Why does stretching feel good
Stretching, the easiest of all physical activities, provides significant benefits to our body and mind. After spending lots of time on a particular task or being physically inactive for a prolonged period of time, our muscles tend to become stiff and tensed. Due to this the blood circulation in our system slows down. All it takes is some stretching exercises to reduce the muscle tension and improve blood circulation in the body. Besides, there are many benefits that are related to stretching, some of them being:
1. Improving flexibility and agility.
2. Increasing mental alertness and focus
3. Reducing anxiety, stress and weariness.
4. Reducing the risk of an injury.
5. Better mind-body synchronization
6. Clear memory
It is important to adopt the right technique when it comes to stretching exercises to derive maximum benefits. For instance, you should warm up first before doing these exercises. Stretching muscles, when they are cold, can cause muscle pull. You can warm up by walking or doing a low intensity exercise for about five minutes. Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds at least, and for problem areas or places where you are feeling muscle tension, do so for 60 seconds. It is important to breathe freely while stretching.
Yoga and Pilates are two popular and highly effective forms of exercises that involve stretching major muscle groups, some of which demand high level of flexibility and composure. For instance, in Yoga, there is an “asana”, known as the “lotus position”, which involves sitting cross-legged with the feet placed on opposite thighs, with eyes closed and body relaxed and steady for long periods of time. This is one of the best stretching exercises where you can get complete control of your breath, reduction of muscle tension and increased blood circulation in the body.
Stretching daily can help in getting the required amount of flexibility, agility and fitness for everyday tasks like bending to tie your shoe laces, lifting weights, catching a ball mid-air etc. Though our reflexes tend to diminish as we get older, we can maintain it better by doing stretching exercises. Stretching can indeed, make you feel good, keep you in optimum health, improve your reflexes and overall fitness levels to a great extent.