Curious Science Facts For Kids: Why Do We Stretch? Does Stretching Help?

Christian Mba
Jan 24, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 09, 2021
Rear view of fit woman doing gomukhasana in yoga.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.4 Min

When feeling tired or bored, stretching the body can relieve you from this annoying feeling.

Stretching can be beneficial for your health. This is a small act capable of removing anxiety, boredom, and the feeling of being tired.

After waking up every morning, do you know what the first thing that you do even before placing your legs on the ground? You take a yawn followed by several muscle stretches. We know stretching helps in relieving stress, but there is no existence of stress or tiredness when we wake up in the morning!

Then why do we stretch? Read the whole article to know why! In this article, we shall discuss about the mechanism of stretching.

If you like such interesting fact articles, then you will also like our facts on why do we see different phases of the moon and why do we vote.

Why do we stretch when we wake up?

There can be many reasons behind this one simple range of motion. To answer why we stretch in a few words, it is because it makes us feel good. Stretching helps in the loosening of tight muscles which really feels good.

The first thing we do after waking up in the morning is stretch our body followed by yawning which makes us feel really good. This act of stretching and yawning together is known as pandiculation. Pandiculation helps the body in relieving tight muscles and it is a healthy act. When we are sleeping at night, our body stays in a particular position for a long time. This makes the muscles lose their tone and gradually all the body fluid gets collected around a certain area, mostly in the back. Stretching after waking up helps in circulating these fluid materials throughout the body again. It also increases the rate of free-flowing blood.

Why do we stretch involuntarily?

We stretch to relieve physical stress and tension. This is very normal behavior. After sitting in a fixed position for hours or sleeping, our body requires some sort of mobility. In that phase, stretching seems to be the best thing to do, but it is important to always start gently.

There are moments when we need to stretch our body and that's completely normal. There are moments when we are busy doing something and suddenly we start stretching our body parts without realizing it. Small stretches include stretching our shoulders, neck, legs, arms, or maybe our head. This small stretch helps our brain and our body to stay healthy. Be it voluntary or involuntary, stretching helps decrease muscle pain and all issues that are related to it. Stretching also increases the elasticity of muscles. The perfect example of this statement will be of an athlete or any sportsperson. We all have seen players stretching their bodies before they start playing. Now, why do they do that? The answer is simple. They warm up their muscles. Without stretching, if an athlete starts playing or running and suddenly their body performs a fast reflex movement, due to a lack of elasticity they might end up causing a physical injury like a sprain. stretching is very important!

Young businesswoman is relaxing in her office.

Why do we stretch when we are tired?

When sitting for a long time, we need some sort of movement to relieve our stiff muscles. At that time, we start stretching. Stretching is good for the body as it helps the nerves throughout the body in increasing blood flow in stiff portions.

When we are tired our muscles become stiff, meaning blood flow doesn't stay uniform and certain portions of our body start to feel pain. At this time, stretching relieves the joints and muscles from stiffness. When we are tired, our body feels stress and our mind also becomes a bit dizzy. Along with stretching, taking a yawn also helps in relieving mental stress. Specialists say that the sound of a yawn helps to free the mind. The combination of stretches and yawning is a complete system that works effortlessly. We not only stretch our muscles but also gently stretch our joints too. The best example of joint stretches can be the act of popping our knuckles. We mostly pop our knuckles while writing. Just like humans, animals also stretch their bodies because having the body stretched out feels really good. Some common animals we find stretching their body are dogs and cats.

Why do we stretch when we're tired?

Now there are different types of stretching such as the voluntary one, the involuntary one, and the one that helps the body rejuvenate. Normal stretching helps in temporary ways while doing stretches like in yoga helps in rejuvenating the body.

When we are tired (both mental and physical), we tend to stretch our bodies. Imagine in the middle of the day, you are sitting at your desk in your office and doing your normal work. Now after some time, it is normal to feel the requirement of some sort of mobility as it is not possible to sit in a particular position for several hours. In this situation, some light pulls or stretches on your muscles is what you need first. If our body doesn't move for a long time, the fluid inside is collected in a certain area. Seconds of stretching can recirculate these fluid materials. Walking is also a type of stretching. While walking, all leg joints and muscles are stretched well and the blood circulation also improves. All these help in the removal of tiredness. Stretching is not just a momentary act, it also helps when recovering from physical illness. Doctors suggest people wake up early in the morning and go out jogging and do a stretching session. Stretching in the morning improves blood flow in our body and reduces heart risk and also helps with other health problems as well. There are so many different types of stretching starting from our shoulders and back. Nowadays, yoga is very famous. Yoga is a lifestyle that you choose. The practice of yoga also uses the technique of stretching, with specific names for stretches and complicated stretches. A good instructor can describe to you all the nuances.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for curious science facts for kids: why do we stretch? Does stretching helps? then why not take a look at where do peppercorns come from? Fabulous ancient spice facts to know! or curious pet cat fact to know: how often do cats poop?

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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