A Good Morning Stretch… There’s a Word for That - Pandiculation!
Isn’t this a cool word? I love words. I try to guess the meaning of a word before I look it up in the dictionary. This one is a new one for me.
While I was doing some research on our latest program, Eyes-Free Fitness® Whole Body Stretch, I came across this word, “pandiculation.” According to the dictionary, it means; “a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep.)”
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
I usually uncurl my body and stretch out as long as I can make it. I point and flex my feet and tighten all my muscles in my whole body. Yawning and exhaling with large, silly noises. It reminds me that I am a lot like my cat and dog. They do the same thing upon wakening or after taking a little nap. It is instinctual. It feels wonderful and somehow necessary.
Our bodies naturally want to unfurl after being curled up tight, either from sleeping balled up or from sitting all day in a chair. Our bodies want and need to restore active circulation. Blood and fluids can pool over night and when we stay sitting still for long periods of time. Stretching this way gets our engines running again.
Unfortunately, this one-time stretch in the morning really isn’t enough. With today’s lifestyles, there just is not enough activity to keep us stretched out with blood well circulated all over our bodies. We need to give ourselves a helping hand.
Stretching with intention and deep breathing everyday can go a long way toward keeping our bodies free from pain. It helps to hydrate our muscles, and it will wash away the metabolic waste that collects when stillness is prolonged.
Stretching the whole body with specific movements can also lubricate joints, making pain melt away. It is a good idea to stretch your body a few times a day.
Whole body stretching also feels good. It opens up our chest which creates breathing space. It relaxes and rejuvenates at the same time.
This is the reason why I created The Whole Body Stretch as part of my audio described programs for the blind and the visually impaired.
Together with Barbara Seiden from KickSmart Swimming, we have designed a whole body stretch, which can be done multiple times throughout the day. Once you learn these stretches, you can adapt them to your lifestyle.
Many of the stretches are performed while sitting which is perfect if you work in an office. Others can be done in your bed or on the floor. Every muscle and joint in your body will become more fluid and elastic. This is what our bodies crave.
The Whole Body Stretch is the latest addition to the Eyes-Free Fitness® collection and will be released in a few days. Look for an announcement. If you haven’t signed up for our E-newsletter, now would be a perfect time to do so.
Good health to you,