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Why Does Stretching Feel So Good?

Updated on November 22, 2018

Did you know?

There have been studies that have suggested fetuses also stretch while still inside their mothers’ wombs. The action is something that is universal among all mammals. They stretch their limbs, especially after taking a nap. So, why does stretching feel so good? There’s something about having a good stretch that makes a person feel much better.

Stretching feels good not only to humans but to animals as well
Stretching feels good not only to humans but to animals as well

According to experts, stretching stimulates and enhances the body right after waking up from sleep or nap. Researchers are baffled for years and have also asked why if feels so good after stretching. In recent years, pieces of the puzzle have been solved, and the answer lies in the relationship of each one of them.

Increased Circulation and Oxygen Top-up

A study was conducted wherein the blood circulation of a person was measured. They found out that when a person stretches, the circulation increased. Muscles contract and squeeze more blood back to the heart. At the same time, oxygen is replenished in the lungs as the chest expands to draw more air in. There are times when a person yawns while stretching. This action fills the bloodstream with more oxygen and makes the person feel much better.

There are many reasons why the simple act can make a person feel good. One of the reasons is that the brain is cleared of impurities and gets fresh oxygen. This is beneficial especially when a person is waking up a nap or a night’s sleep. This is also the reason why stretching after sitting for a long period of time makes a person feel better.

According to researchers, the body utilizes less oxygen when at rest that makes breathing shallower and circulation of the blood slower. When a person stretches, the body’s metabolism is stimulated and brought up a couple of notches.

Stretching releases Endorphins, the "feel-good" hormone

These actions release endorphins to the person’s brain. In some instances, the endorphins stimulate the same area of the brain that is also stimulated while having an orgasm, but only on a much lower level. That’s why stretching gives a person a feeling of happiness and a sense of freshness. Another reason why it feels good after stretching is because of psychology and emotions. When a person stretches; it heightens one’s emotions and provides a mild feeling of well-being. It provides some sort of mental relaxation that’s beneficial for someone who is stressed and full of anxiety.

Stretching improves flexibility

Well, stretching will not only improve one’s flexibility, it increases oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream that helps keep the body healthy. Stretching is beneficial for maintaining the functions of the body, and that’s why it feels so good. That’s why it is recommended to do a couple minutes of stretching daily to prevent stiffness and pain, and feel good all day.

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    • Ladymermaid profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      2 years ago from Canada

      I woke one morning to the longest most enjoyable stretch I had ever experienced. It felt like it would go on forever and it was the first sign of the start of a 6 year remission from an autoimmune illness. Every time I stretch now I remember how great that one felt. It really does aide one's health. I believe it with all my heart and soul.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 

      2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      That was really interesting. Do you have any particular stretches you recommend? I certainly wish I were as flexible as the person in the picture above. I must do some stretching.

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