Car rides are fun until the ride feels like forever, resulting in an uncomfortable ride filled with body pain and aches. So, whether it’s going on a trip or visiting your relatives from afar, having an active & comfortable feeling during long/far trips should be a top priority.
There are several measures one can adopt to create a relaxing environment. If you’re wondering what those are, we suggest you keep scrolling.
So, sit back and relax as we guide you through various exercises to help stretch your legs and calm your body. But if your car is so uncomfortable that even charging doesn’t help, change it. Now it is very easy to do this with Zemotor, the leader in online car sales. And for those who still want to try, let’s get started!
5 Best Exercises to Practice During a Long Drive
Long drives can significantly affect your body, and a car is not the most convenient area to practice your cardio routine. However, there are several other physical exercises one can practice while driving your vehicle.
These exercises are guaranteed to relax your aching muscles and keep you flexible for the entire ride. You can make use of the following exercises to kill off some time, tone your muscles, or cut down a bit of energy.
Sitting Side Bend
Practice the seating side bend by positioning yourself tall with your palms placed behind the head. Your fingers should also remain clasped. Make sure your spine is sitting straight, and start to bend gradually towards the right.
As you begin bending more, the greater your side will stretch. Make sure you hold this pose for a short moment before reclining back to the previous neutral position and then switch the stretching towards your left side, following the same steps.
You can hold 20 counts for each side. This exercise will allow you to work on your side abs while also stretching the upper body.
Place your feet flatly and lift one foot a little with your toes pointing downwards as far as you can. Next, you can relax the ankle by lifting the toes upward. Make this motion repeatedly for about twenty times per foot.
This workout may help elevate your ankle joint movement. Ankle pumping exercises such as this are great as it uses muscle contraction in the calves and pumps blood into the heart. This exercise also helps improve the circulation of blood around the legs, which is great for your tired body during a long, dreary drive.
Sitting Glute Stretch
If you practice this exercise, you can move your right ankle atop your left thigh that’s just above the knee while remaining seated. Straighten your back and then gradually lean forward, thus, helping your gluteus muscle stretch.
You can maintain this position on each side for about 20 seconds alternatively. It is an easy exercise to practice while in a sitting position. Hence, it makes a great pair for your long and exhaustive car rides.
To carry out this exercise, position both feet flatly atop the level ground/floor and raise your heels upwards. Position your weight under the balls on your feet, contracting your calves. Continue rocking back your heels to help stretch out your shin.
You can even make use of a ball, e.g., a tennis ball if you wish to increase the effort. This exercise will also help provide a better scope of motion. The calf raises, or toning exercise is something one can practice easily while driving.
You can hold the position for about 10 seconds and keep repeating around 8 times if you’re practicing this while driving, be wary of the gas pedal and ensure not to tense up your calf too much.
Seated Knee Lifts
The Seated knee lift is an exercise meant for both passengers and drivers alike. But it is highly recommended to practice when your vehicle is safely parked. To begin the workout, sit up in a straight manner and place your legs at an angle of 90 degrees.
With your core engaged, you can pull both your knees against your chest. You can hold this pose for around 10-sec and then release it. A practice of 15 rounds is usually recommended to stimulate your abdominal muscles along with hip flexors.
This seated knee exercise is a simple and fun routine to implement during long journeys, as it can improve hip function and relax your core muscles. Moreover, this exercise targets the Iliopsoas, which is a powerful hip flexor that’s vital for all kinds of daily activities.
Why Is Exercise Important When Driving For A Long Time?
Exercise is essential when you’re taking a long trip, and you’re the driver. The following are some of the reasons that will convince you about how you should consider the exercises we have talked about earlier.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
If you sit in one position for an extended period of time, you have higher chances of experiencing blood clots or DVT — deep vein thrombosis. This usually happens in the legs, and if nothing is done, it could cause serious conditions where the blood clot arrives in the lungs. Pausing your trip is more essential so you can give your legs a breather.
Highway Hypnosis usually happens when you’re driving on a long, monotonous road. Even if you think you’re driving your car on autopilot while you zone out but still are “technically” awake, highway hypnosis can still make you less aware and alert than you should be. This could lead to potentially harmful consequences where you can skid through the road or crash into another vehicle.
If you are going out for a long drive, you should ensure that you take regular pit stops to get some fresh air. Going on a continuously long trip without stretches or breaks can make you feel tired. Tiredness and lethargy can go hand in hand to quickly bring you to sleep, a dangerous enemy while driving.
If you’re a regular driver and are consistent at making long trips to a destination, then you will be prone to experience chronic pains in the back, knees, and joints. If you’re driving under some stress, you might even feel some headaches coming in because of increased blood pressure. So, preventing lower back pain, joint stiffness, etc., is a must.
If you’re going on hours-long drives, this could affect your health in many ways, and you could even have to compromise your workout routine. So, stretch your sore limbs and joints to keep blood circulation working normally. The recommended exercises can be done within the car if you can’t easily make pit stops.
However, it would help if you took breaks from driving whenever you can and head outside the door to stretch and walk about properly. You will get a quick boost of much-needed energy, making your body and you enjoy the trip.