Bored out of your mind during long road trips? Dread even the thought of a long drive? If this sounds like you then here is one suggestion to eat up at least some of the time. Exercise your body while driving! Of course your driving safety has the highest priority and is your number one job. Work these in where appropriate and where it is safe to do so. None of these exercise suggestions require equipment. By exercising while driving long distances you can improve your mental alertness and make use of some of the idle time.
Remember safety first, always! Always check with your doctor to be sure you are healthy enough to perform these exercises.
Calf Raises: This assumes that you are driving a vehicle with cruise control where you can take both feet off the pedals. Bring your feet together on the floor centered in front of you. Flex your calf muscles and drive your toes into the floor. Relax and slowly return your heels to the floor. Your knees should raise up if you are doing this correctly. For variation alter the speed of each repetition.
Shin Raises: Again, this assumes you can take your feet off the pedals. Position your self just like you would for calf raises, but with your feet just a bit further from your body. Flex the muscle on your shin to raise your toes. Your heels should press into the floor while your toes lift up. Relax and slowly return your toes to the floor. Alter the speed for variation.
Ab Rock: Keep your eyes on the road. Sit up straight. Use your abdominal muscles to bring your chest to the steering wheel. Use your lower back muscles to make your back touch the seat. This is a rocking motion. Add some resistance from the countering muscle if this is too easy.
Buttocks Clench: This one is easy. Just squeeze your butt muscles and release. For variation, squeeze and hold for 1 second. Increase the time.
Shoulder Hold – Lateral: Do one arm at a time, keeping the other hand on the wheel. Raise an arm out to your side so that at least the upper part of your arm (shoulder to elbow) is parallel to the ground. Alter the position of your lower arm as comfort and space allow. Hold your arm in this position as long as you can. Relax and switch arms.
Shoulder Hold – Frontal: This is very similar to the lateral movement described above. The difference is that now your arm is raised out to the front of your body. Keep one hand on the wheel while doing the exercise with the other.
Upward Elbow Strike: Very similar to the Shoulder Hold Frontal movement, but this is a dynamic movement. Collapse your arm so that it forms a tight V with your palm close to and facing your shoulder. Raise your elbow out in front of you and lower it back to your side.
Self-Resistance Bicep/Triceps Flex: With this movement, you will supply your own resistance. Collapse your arm so that it forms a tight V shape. Tighten your bicep and use your triceps to fully extend your arm. Once fully extended, tighten your triceps and use your bicep to return your arm to the V position. If you are not used to doing this exercise, it will be jerky at first but will smooth out with practice. Alternate arms – exercise one while steering the vehicle with the other.
Lumbar Crunch: Sit up straight and use your lower back muscles to “crunch” your lower back area into a C shape. Well, you probably won’t get to a C, but curve it. Relax and return to sitting up straight.
Ab Crunch: Keep your eyes on the road. The reverse of the Lumbar Crunch. This uses your abdominal muscles to “crunch” your upper body forward into a C shape. You’ll probably hit the steering wheel before you get to the C position, but go as far as you safely can. Return to sitting up straight and repeat.
Grip Squeeze: Both hands on the wheel and squeeze. Hold for a second and release. Increase the hold time as this become easy.
When performing these just use your common sense and drive safely. DO NOT do this in traffic. Use these suggestions to kill some of the boredom and make use of your driving time. Stay safe.