Why does stretching feel good?
But just why does stretching feel good?
How many times have you woken up in the morning and stretched so much that it made you feel like you could take on everything that day? Stretching feels so relaxing that it’s always the first thing we do. But here’s the question: why exactly does it feel so good?
Well, there are various reasons for that – most of which have a medical reason. First of all, stretching triggers our parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). This increases the blood flow to our muscles, causing us to feel less cramped as those muscles relax.
This exact action will also act as stress relief. When we stretch, as we know, we activate the PSNS, which will go straight to the stress center of our brain. This action will help remove the psychological effects that were a direct result of stress. As an after effect, it will make us feel calmer and more relaxed.
Stretching is also believed to release endorphins – a.k.a. the “happy hormones.” Endorphins represent the “natural reward system” of our body, and they are released once we do certain activities such as exercising, drinking, eating, and sex. Stretching activates your muscles, so your body sees it as exercise.
Yes, if your body makes an effort, your brain will enter “reward mode” and send out the endorphins. As a result, if you feel happy and euphoric, you will feel good as well.
Moreover, when you stretch, you also improve your blood pressure – which in turn, will kick out the buildup of toxins from your muscles. When you do some stretching, your veins are compressing. This will kick your blood into high gear and flush the waste and toxins out faster.
As you can see, there are several reasons why you should stretch. Not only will it improve your flexibility, but it will also give you a dose of happy chemicals. Plus, imagine how happy you’ll feel if you do regular stretching and can finally do those splits.