The average commute is anywhere between thirty minutes and two hours to and from work each day. Many people use a train or bus commute to get some extra sleep, read, do work, or catch up on emails. But if you’re driving, you have to stay focused on the road and the time can feel wasted. At the same time, many people can’t find time during their busy days to stretch or do the thirty minutes of recommended exercise.
Luckily, there are some simple stationary stretches and exercises you can do right from the driver’s seat of your car! These five simple exercises can help tone your muscle and can even bring some positivity to your otherwise boring commute.
Always make sure to perform exercises when your car is stopped, whether in traffic or at a red light.
Bring your head against your headrest in your seat. Tuck your chin back and slide the back of your head up and down the headrest. This gently stretches the back of the neck – the exact place you may be holding tension from your commute’s traffic. It’s a great way to relax those tense muscles before your day starts.
Shoulder Retraction / Protraction
Put your hand on the steering wheel, or in fists in front of you with your elbows at a 90 degree angle. First, push your shoulder blades forward, as if you’re trying to separate them from each other (protraction). Then pull your shoulder blades back and down (retraction) as if you’re trying to make them touch.
We should all work each day to activate our core. Our core muscles are the centre of the rest of our strength and can help protect our back, neck, hips, and more from injury!
Take deep breaths in and out. As you inhale, picture your belly filling up with air and expanding to relax the muscles. As you exhale, picture your belly emptying completely while you tighten your core. Think about bringing your belly button up and back to try and touch the spine.
In this type of breathing, you’re activating your diaphragm to help improve circulation, posture, and digestion. As you inhale, imagine filling the deepest parts of your lungs first, in your lower ribs and stomach. As you exhale, flatten your belly while activating your core like mentioned above. Your chest should move very little, and the expansion should be in your lower rib cage.
Sit up as tall as you can in your seat. Next, squeeze your glutes as if you’re trying to make yourself taller. Our glutes are one of the largest muscle groups in the body and very easily get weak if we sit for long periods of time. Activating them while we’re sitting on a commute can be a great way to help keep them strong.
10 reps (hold each for 10 seconds)
Ready for More?
If you’re looking for more simple exercises or lifestyle changes you can implement daily, contact Physio Art. Part of physiotherapy is teaching clients things they can do on a daily basis to improve their overall health and level of functioning. No matter your injury or condition, daily exercises are a key part of recovery.
Contact Physio Art today to book a physiotherapy appointment. We can create a custom exercise plan tailored specifically for your injury and lifestyle to ensure you get the best recovery as smoothly and quickly and possible.
Contact us to book a Hamilton physiotherapy appointment today!