Traveling a lot in a car can make staying fit a challenge. What can you do? Try to avoid sitting in the car for more than a couple of hours at a time. Take a break at rest stops and go for a short, brisk walk. This will help you stay alert while stimulating circulation and alleviating any stiffness or pain.
While in your car at a rest stop, try these simple exercises:
[black right pointing small triangle]Pelvic tilt. This exercise may help prevent or relieve any low back discomfort and will work your abdominal muscles. Sit up tall in your seat and place your hands behind you at the small of your back. Now press your back into your fingers by contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. After doing this a few times, try holding the contraction longer.
[black right pointing small triangle]Quadriceps contractions. Using one leg at a time, straighten your knee and contract your quadriceps. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds and do this several times.
[black right pointing small triangle]Upper-body stretches. Tilt your head toward one shoulder, then the other. Do shoulder circles in both directions. Clasp your hands together on the steering wheel and round your shoulders and upper back.
If the weather is cooperative, get out of your car for these exercises:
[black right pointing small triangle]Full-body stretch. Clasp your hands together and reach above your head, stretching yourself as tall as possible.
[black right pointing small triangle]Calf stretch. Step one foot behind the other and press your heel down. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
[black right pointing small triangle]Squats and lower back stretches. Stand beside your open car door and support yourself by holding onto your open window. Squat down to a 90-degree bend in your knees, then stand up. Do this 10 to 15 times. Stretch your lower back by bending at your waist and stretching away from the door.
You'll find that you can do several of these exercises while refueling your car. They can really make a difference in how your body feels while traveling. Give them a try; you'll be glad you did.