Stretching is a process in which we willingly flex or stretch to increase the elasticity and release the tension in that particular group of muscles.
Performing stretching prior to any heavy exercise or doing just stretching makes you feel good, relaxed and helps in boosting your mood.
Why do we feel good when we stretch?
What happens within our body when we stretch? It’s our body so we should be aware that what is going on inside us. Let’s have a look.
Parasympathetic Nervous System Activation
The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for the digestion and the body’s rest when the body is relaxed or feeding. It is 1 of the 3 autonomic nervous system.
Changes it bring in our body
It helps in conserving energy.
Releases a calm and relaxing feeling.
Lifts up our mood.
Reduces blood pressure.
Strengthens the immune system.
Ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous system
Ways to activate the parasympathetic nervous systems are as follows:-
Spend time in nature.
Take deep breaths.
Stretch and exercise.
Try to sit and involve yourself in the children’s group.
Do what you love.
Do prayer on a regular basis.
Secretion of Endorphin
Endorphin is a chemical produced by the nervous system to get through pain or stress. They act as a pain killer for our body. There are 20 types of it.
Endorphin is released when we stretch or exercise and they interact with the receptors in our brain to reduce our perception of stress and pain.
The feeling released by endorphin is somewhat similar to what of Morphin. It is released by our brain, backbone, and many other parts of the body. They are released in response to brain chemicals neurotransmitters.
It is released when we perform tasks like exercise, sex, eating, and drinking. According to some research, it helps in reducing menstruation pain.
Whenever we stretch or perform any intense physical activity it helps in improving blood circulation. As we stretch or exercise the blood vessels in or near that area stretch a little more than usual.
As the blood vessels stretch it allows more blood to flow in which is being pumped by our heart. Along with the increase in blood flow more oxygen as well reaches those muscles which helps in getting rid of metabolic waste products.
Exercises for leg stretching
Now, as we have figured out why we feel good when we stretch. Therefore, in that case, we should stretch daily because one should be happy and if you are getting such a fabulous way to stay happy then why not do that daily.
Happiness is all what we need in our life’s. Today we got one reason to stay healthy and fit. So, now let’s see how to do that.
NOTE- Whenever you start exercising make sure that you wear comfortable and flexible clothes so that you do not face difficulty in stretching.
Stand straight, then extend one leg in front.
Bend your upper body towards the ground being in that position.
Adjust a little bit and bring it up to a level that it makes a right angle(90degree).
Stretch the other leg towards the back, keep your body in a straight line, and your heel facing the sky.
Maintain the same position for 30 secs.
In order to flex more, exert pressure on the front leg by pushing it with your hand.
Repeat this 5-10 times each side.
This exercise will focus on the thigh area.
Bend your upper body, keeping your legs straight.
Touch your feet with your palms and touch your nose on to your knee.
Hold the position for 5-10 secs depending upon individual.
Repeat the exercise 10-20 times.
Incase, if you want to flex more then try to touch the ground in front of your feet or try to touch the floor on either side of your legs.
This exercise will focus on relaxing and removing tension from your knees and hamstrings area.
Sit straight on the ground keeping your legs unfolded straight.
Fold your legs bending from the knee and then with the help of your hands push them closer to your body.
Bring them as closer as you can bring to the lower abdomen making a butterfly posture.
Hold both of your feet with your hands and then exert pressure on your knees.
Making movement up and down like a butterfly flies moving her wings up and down.
Repeat the same 10-15 times, 15-20 times up and down depending upon the individual’s body’s strength.
This exercise will focus on the groin part of your body which is between the stomach and the thigh.
Stand straight and open your legs a little bit making some room for your legs to move freely.
Then bend your right knee and sit while keeping your whole body weight on the right leg. Do not touch your hip on the ground.
Keep the left leg straight and making a 90-degree angle with your right leg. Do not bend your left leg.
Make sure that your left leg toe faces the ceiling.
Repeat the same with your right leg, putting your body weight on your right leg and extend your left leg facing the ceiling.
Do this 10 times each side.
This exercise will focus on hips and thighs.
Uplift your body by raising your heels.
Raise and flex as far as possible comfortably.
Hold the position for 10secs and then come back to the normal position.
Repeat the exercise for 25reps X 3sets.
This exercise will focus on calves.
Come on your knees and palms facing floor.
Stretch your both legs up to a level till the time you can not touch your inner side of the feet on the ground.
It should be touching the ground properly.
Then bring both your hands in front of you.
Slowly and steadily try to sit in the area between your stretched legs.
After that again slowly come back on your hands keeping your legs wide open.
Repeat this 10-15 times, sit between your legs till the time you are comfortable sitting.
With time try to push it a little more so that you can increase your strength and flexibility.
This exercise will focus on thighs, hips and lower abdomen.