Hey everyone — it’s that time of year! Everyone’s loading up the minivans and heading out onto the Great Open Road! But be careful — it’s way too easy to get all cramped up and sore in the car, when you’re strapped in and having nothing to do but watch the scenery. I get it — cows, man!
You really should try to move around when you can. Even if it’s a long way between rest areas, here are some great ways to stay flexible (and even burn a few calories), even on the longest road trip!
- Abdominal Contractions (in the car): Draw your belly button in toward your spine as you contract and hold your abdominals tight while you continue breathing. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, release, then repeat another one to two times. (Sparkpeople: Road Rules: 10 Exercises Designed for Long Trips)
- Calf and Toe Raises (in the car): Raise your heels as high as possible, putting your weight in the balls of your feet while contracting your calves, then rock back on your heels to stretch the shins. Repeat eight to 12 times to complete one set. Work towards completing three sets total. (Sparkpeople: Road Rules: 10 Exercises)
- Rock your oblique stomach muscles. Flex your lower and upper abdominal muscles and then raise your right hip as high as it will go. Hold for 3 seconds and then lower and repeat on the left side. Repeat 10 times on each side or until you feel muscle fatigue. (Wikihow, Exercise While Commuting)
- Do isometric exercises. Imagine you need to flex every single muscle in your body. Begin by wiggling your toes and then flex each muscle 1 at a time for 3 seconds, until you reach your arms, neck and top of your head. (Wikihow, Exercise While Commuting)
- Raise the roof: Sit tall, with your spine straight and your abdominals engaged. Extend both arms above your head and push your palms into the car ceiling. Hold for three seconds and release, bringing your arms back down to your sides. Repeat for one full minute. (Best Health Mag CA: The Best Workout for Road Trips)
- AND A BONUS TIP! Food: Of course, there are tons of convenience stores and fast food places along the road. I’ll do another post on those later, but for now, just remember that even in the wilderness of the junk food aisles, more and more places — even gas stations — have healthier options like string cheese, bananas, and even my beloved Buddig slices! Look around, you can always find *something* good. And when you can’t — well, just count the calories and do the best you can!
And OF COURSE, whenever possible, get out of the car, st-r-e-t-ch, and WALK! You’ll burn some calories AND stay flexible, which is really important because if you’re like me and have arthritis, you’ll get all cramped up and sore in the car. That’s no way to spend a vacation from your problems, friends – that’s a way to invite MORE problems!
Whatever you’re doing on YOUR vacation, enjoy it! See you Monday for one last weigh-in before the freeway!