When you wake up from sleeping the natural instinct is to stretch. Not just people, but cats, dogs and other animals do it, too. It helps to wake you up and generally feels good. Stretching after sleeping has benefits for your body, mind and spirit, so enjoy your stretching, as it is healthy and helps get you moving for the day.
People often lie in the same position for an extended period of time when they are asleep. This can make your muscles stiff and tight from lack of movement. Stretching after sleeping helps loosen and realign the muscles, irons out the kinks, and signals to your brain that it's time to start using the muscles again. Because your body is normally warm from sleeping, it is ready for effective stretching.
The blood flow into muscles that are relaxed and still naturally decreases. Big stretching movements after sleeping get the circulation going again. The heart rate is slow before you wake, and increasing the circulation by stretching will help you move and function normally during the day. Stretching pushes the blood out to the extremities and invigorates you as you get up.
Flexibility, Balance and Posture
Stretching on waking helps loosen the muscles; that and the increased blood flow helps with flexibility. Increased flexibility has many health benefits and means less likelihood of experiencing poor balance, which means you will be less likely to fall and suffer injuries. Stretching daily can also help with posture. If you have good posture, you are less likely to suffer back and other pain, and will have more vitality and endurance.
A good stretch is a soothing and calming way to assist your body and mind to move from a resting to an active state. Stretching helps relieve tension and stress as it is physiologically beneficial, and the sensation helps you feel more positive mentally. To get the most of your stretches make them long and slow and keep them dynamic rather than static (held). Stretching is a natural motion that gives plenty of health benefits.