The Windshield Workout

by Melissa | April 22nd, 2008 | Exercises

Are you planning a long road trip this summer? Perhaps you have a long commute to work each day, or you drive as part of your occupation. Maybe you’re like me and you spend a lot of time in the car toting kids from one place to another. Be careful; too much time behind the wheel can start to affect your health. All that windshield time can sap your energy. It also can cause a sore back and stiff muscles. The solution? The Windshield Workout.windshield

If you’re planning a long car ride, you don’t need to stash fancy workout equipment in your car or get out and do laps at each stoplight. There are simple exercises you can do safely while driving to improve your health and reduce stress.

  • Try isolating and contracting different muscle groups, one at a time, and holding for five to ten seconds, then releasing. Start with your calves and move up through the different muscle groups. You can do some shoulder rolls to relieve the tension in your neck.
  • Sit up tall while you drive. Poor posture can lead to sore muscles and fatigue. Adjust your headrest and mirror to help remind you.
  • Try taking some deep breaths. Sometimes when we are stressed or in a hurry, we do a lot of shallow breathing, which can leave us feeling dizzy or lightheaded. Try inhaling slowly through your nose, filling your lungs with air. Exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing helps to relieve stress and increases your oxygen intake.
  • Make sure you bring plenty of water when you travel. You can lose a lot of fluid sitting in an air conditioned car for long periods of time. Dehydration can cause you to feel drowsy. If it is particularly hot outside, try putting a few water bottles in your freezer several hours before your road trip. When you’re ready to go, just grab the frozen water bottles and take them in the car. The water will stay cold during your trip and provide cool refreshment for you.

These simple “Windshield Workouts” can help you feel less stiff and more energized during your long car rides.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.