stretching

What is the best purpose of stretching, and why do

workout

Getting your body stretched first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do for yourself. There may even be times when you pull involuntarily. The body needs a good stretch to work more efficiently and comfortably.

The act of stretching lengthens your muscles and reduces stiffness. Stretching can also improve your circulation and release pain-relieving endorphins.

Incorporating stretching into your daily routine can be beneficial, even for a few minutes.

In this article, we’ll explore why you may wish to stretch in the morning, during the day, and before bed. We’ve also got some simple stretches to get you started if you need help.

stretching

What are the benefits of stretching?

As well as feeling good, stretching keeps your body healthy. Regular stretching has the following potential benefits:

  • Improved flexibility. You can improve your range of motion and lengthen your muscles by stretching.
  • Better circulation. Stretching regularly may benefit your circulatory health in the short and long term.
  • Reduced injury risk. You can reduce the risk of muscular injury by improving your range of motion.
  • Less back pain. By strengthening your back muscles, stretching can reduce and prevent back pain.
  • Improved athletic performance. You may boost your athletic performance by improving joint movement and flexibility.
  • Less stress. Stretching can be relaxing for many people. You can induce calm by extension, which activates your parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Better posture. Your body can be pulled into poor posture by tight muscles. You may improve your alignment by combining a stretching program with core strengthening.

Stretching in the morning

When characters wake up in cartoons, they often yawn and stretch their arms over their heads.

Animators may have a point. PandiculationTrusted Source is a behavior seen in most mammals that involve subconscious stretching.

Yawning and stretching can be your body’s way of modifying fascial tension when you wake up.

Muscles, organs, and blood vessels surround fascia and connective tissue. By stretching, you can maintain suppleness, flexibility, and oxygenation of your fascia.

A healthy fascia may make moving, exercising, and daily routine easier.

Examples of morning stretches

With these two stretches, you can loosen and warm up your muscles in the morning.

Cat-cow

Stretching the spine, shoulders, and abdominal muscles with the cat-cow stretch relieves tension.

How to do this stretch:

1. On your hands and knees, place your palms flat on the floor, fingers pointing away from you, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Kneel under your hips.

2. While arching your back downward and tilting your head upward, take a deep breath and drop your belly toward the floor.

3. Push through your palms and round your back to the ceiling while exhaling.

4. Take five to ten breaths in each position.

Neck circles

When you sleep on a pillow that’s too high or too low, your neck may feel tender or painful in the morning. When you wake up, neck circles may be beneficial for alleviating tension and stiffness.

How to do this stretch:

1. Maintain a good posture and look straight ahead when standing or sitting.

2. If you feel a gentle stretch on the right side of the neck, roll your head forward and left.

3. Take a moment to roll your head to the right and forward.

4. The motion should be repeated 5-10 times on each side.

Stretching during the day

stretching

Spending a long time in one position can cause your muscles to become stiff and tight.

The muscles in your neck, back, hips, and legs can become stiff and uncomfortable if you spend a lot of time sitting.

You can ease tension and discomfort in your muscles by taking a few minutes to stretch or move after long periods of sitting.

As well as easing muscle fatigue after exercise, stretching can alleviate muscle tightness.

Examples of afternoon stretches

The following two stretches can help reduce muscle stiffness throughout the day.

Poses of pigeons

The pigeon pose is beneficial for releasing tension in your hips and glutes.

How to do this stretch:

1. Get down on your hands and knees.

2. Bring your right shin to the floor before you while bending your right knee.

3. The top of your left foot should be flat against the floor when you extend your left leg behind you.

4. A pillow or yoga block can be placed under your hips if you can’t get them to the ground comfortably.

5. Rest your hands on the floor beside you while straightening your back.

6. Hold this position for up to 10 breaths and switch legs.

Downward-facing dog

It’s excellent for strengthening and stretching your back, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves with the downward-facing dog yoga stretch.

How to do this stretch:

1. On your hands and knees, begin.

2. Your knees should be lifted off the floor as you push up through your hands.

3. As you lift your tailbone toward the ceiling, keep your back, legs, and arms straight.

4. Keep both sides of your body evenly balanced and press firmly into your hands.

5. Your head should be the same level as your arms, and your heels should be slightly elevated.

6. Take a minute to hold this position, then return to the starting position.

Stretching before bed

Research supports the benefits of stretching before bed.

Most studies examining meditative movement – including stretching poses – and sleep quality found positive results, according to a review published in Sleep Medicine Reviews.

By activating your parasympathetic nervous system, stretching can help promote calmness. You use this branch of your nervous system to rest and digest.

Examples of bedtime stretches

Before going to bed, do these gentle stretches.

Child’s pose

The child’s pose is a simple stretch that can help you relax and reduce stress. This stretch will also benefit your shoulders, back, and neck muscles.

How to do this stretch:

1. Sit back on your heels on a yoga mat or soft surface.

2. As you bend forward and bring your forehead to the floor, hinge your hips back.

3. Put your palms flat on the ground and stretch your hands over your head.

4. Breathe deeply while holding the pose for 3 to 5 minutes.

Kneeling and lat stretch

Kneeling lat stretches are especially effective at reducing tension in the latissimus dorsi muscles. Linked to your vertebral column, these muscles form a V-shape.

How to do this stretch:

1. Kneel on a chair or other low surface. With your arms straight over your head, place your palms against the chair’s surface.

2. Feel a stretch under your arms as you hinge back with your hips.

3. Take a minute to hold this pose deeply breathed.

The bottom line

You stretch for a variety of reasons, sometimes unintentionally. Your body benefits from trying in addition to feeling good.

Flexibility and range of motion can be improved by stretching. Moreover, it can reduce muscle tension, pain, and stress.

Especially after sleeping, exercising, or sitting for long periods, stretching can be beneficial. You can also use it before bed to relax and unwind.

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