Traveling is a pleasure for some, an obsession for others and a necessity for most of us. Whatever may be the reason, exercising during the journey, especially when on long road trips, becomes imperative for your health and well being. This is because remaining in a single position negatively impacts the blood circulation through the body in general and the limbs in specific. So, take a few breaks during the journey. Apart from just being healthy and comfortable, these exercise breaks will ensure that you enjoy the territory and environs of your journey. Even a small 5-minute break will go a long way in ensuring better health and fitness.
It is an exceptionally good exercise for the back and one of the first exercises that one must get familiar with while on a road trip. Doing the pelvic tilt strengthens the muscles in the abdominal region. This exercise can relieve muscular pain as well as prevent discomfort to the lower back. The pelvic tilt is a simple exercise. Lie on the floor, on your back and with bent knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles, bend the pelvis slightly and flatten your back against the floor. Hold the posture for up to 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise a few times. This exercise can be done on a daily basis and the contractions can be held for a longer period.
Upper body stretches
While on a road trip, it is vital that you first loosen up your body before you can get to actual exercising. These stretches are smooth and continuous movements of various body parts. There are several exercises which come under this category. Not only are these simple to perform, but they also require minimal time and space.
Reaching stretch: Stretch out your arms at shoulder height and interlace your fingers in front of you. As you reach forward, turn the palms to face outward. Hold this stance for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
Overhead stretch: Hold your palms above your head with fingers interlaced. Turn the palms upwards and push your arms back and upwards. Hold this posture for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
Triceps stretch: Put your arms overhead. Hold one elbow with the hand of the other arm. Create a stretch by pulling the elbow behind the head. Move slowly and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the exercise with both arms.
Lower back stretches
The back is an important asset in every human body. It not only helps in doing most tasks during the day, but it also takes the weight of the body in several postures while a person is traveling. Hence, in order to be fit, it is important to maintain and exercise the back on a regular basis. One such exercise that helps to keep the back muscles in fighting fit condition is lower back stretches. This is a simple exercise and requires the support of a car. Stand beside your open car, supporting yourself holding the open window. Squat down, bending your knee at a 90 degree and then stand up. This exercise can be repeated 10-15 times a day.
Squats are an excellent exercise that strengthen the thighs and tone the back of your legs. They also firm the glutes that give the derriere a nice shape. While on a road trip, this exercise is a must. After the stretches have been completed, squats can be performed fairly well. It is important to do the exercise in the right manner. Take a chair that does not have wheels and stand in front of it. Keep your feet and heels in a straight line and the feet a hip width apart from each other. Bring your arms forward and lower yourself toward the chair. Do not sit down. Stand and relax. Repeat the sets about ten times each. Do not perform squats immediately after eating. Although this exercise offers a lot of benefits if performed correctly, it is important to be attentive while doing the same. The squat is one primal motion pattern: it is a movement that your body is naturally meant to perform.
Bicycle-style ab crunches
In a research done in order to find the best exercise for the rectus abdominus, bicycle-style crunches have topped the charts. This exercise does not only work on the six pack, but it also targets the obliques or the spare tire in one easy exercise. Lie on your back, place the hands behind the head and bend your legs such that the feet are down and knees up. Get the opposite knee to your elbow and rest the other elbow comfortably on the floor. Switch sides consecutively at least ten times in a row. Remember that the chin must be kept out of the chest. Also, extend the opposite leg straight forward while the elbow and knee touch each other. You could make this more challenging for yourself by placing your straightened leg parallel to the floor. If you feel the exercise is too intense, raise the straight leg upwards and perform the crunches.
Every work out requires a smooth cycle. Just as adequate warm ups are essential before a rigorous work out, it is also necessary to have lighter exercises before you end the work out. Side bends are the perfect exercise for people on a road trip. This is not only easy to perform but it also improves blood circulation in the limbs as well as the upper portion of the body. Take a good wide stance and ensure the feet are wider in distance than your hips. Place your hands behind your head, with elbows wide. Bend the knees like a squat, and turn your toes out a little. Hold the posture for a few seconds. Then gradually bend from the right side to the left and simultaneously move your elbow towards your thigh. The deeper you bend the legs, the more you will be able to bend sideways. Also, having both legs in a wide squat stance helps tone and firm your buttocks. You can also raise the heels and do this exercise. This helps you exercise your calves too.
The push up is a classic exercise that will not only help you physically but also increase your mental alertness levels! But to do this exercise, it is important to find a level surface that is also clean. Position your palms down on the floor, approximately at shoulder-width distance from each other. Stretch your legs out back. Now , slowly lower the torso to the ground level till the elbows form a 90-degree angle with the floor. Then, raise yourself back again by pushing against the ground. If you have never done push ups before, it will be difficult to do even 5 such cycles. Do not strain yourself and gradually increase the number as you get comfortable.
The quadriceps are a group of four muscles on the front of the thigh. Sitting for long in one position can get them cramped and make you uncomfortable. Contracting the quadriceps muscles will remove the stiffness by helping them relax. Seated at a comfortable height, straighten the knee of one leg and contract the quadriceps. Hold this position for about 10n seconds and repeat the same with the other leg. Repeat this cycle for about 4-5 times at every break that you take.
Full body stretch with calf stretch
A full body stretch lumbers up almost all the muscles and limbs of the body. Get out of your car and stand on level ground. Stretch both your hands above the head and clasp them together. Now stretch your body as much as possible, rising on to your toes at that very instant. Repeat the cycle for about 5-10 times and you will immediately feel much refreshed. It is important that you feel no stress or strain when you stretch. Do not push the limits. While you are driving the car, the calf muscles get strained a lot due to the constant application of the accelerator, brake and clutch. A calf stretch would do a lot of good here. Step one foot just behind the other and then press your heel down as hard as you can. Hold that for about 20 seconds before repeating with the other leg.