Easy mini-workouts toning your body while driving to work
Is it possible to work out while driving to work or on a road trip? It is, and why not! Besides, getting in a mini-workout as you drive is a good use of time and energy for reducing pain, soreness, and leg cramps when commuting. Long road trips or commutes are notorious for causing aches and muscle fatigue. It’s vital to position yourself as you drive and follow correct ergonomics comfortable. Driving allows little to no movement, and when seated for long periods, it helps to keep your body engaged with stretches for your legs, feet, abdomen, and arms, keeping muscles toned while burning calories.
Ergonomic tips for driving
A common mistake made is to drive with poor posture. If the seat height, angle, backrest, and steering wheel are not positioned correctly, posture will suffer. That’s why proper ergonomics is important when seated in a vehicle. Making these adjustments can help reduce joint stiffness and pain.
Before beginning mini-workouts while driving, here are ergonomic tips for adhering to during your commute:
- Raise your seat until your hips and knees are aligned to reduce back flexion.
- Adjust the backrest recline to an angle of 100-110 degrees, helping reduce pressure on your discs in the lower back.
- To reduce strain on your neck, shoulders, and upper back, lower the steering wheel, moving it towards you.
- Your seat position should allow you to use the foot pedals without moving from the backrest.
Car exercises while driving
Staying reasonably physically active while driving, helps avoid physical discomfort due to being sedentary and keeps you alert. Do all exercises with your seat belt on and only do what feels comfortable to you:
- For your core
Sitting tall in your seat, tighten your abs to pull down your rib cage. Hold for 15 seconds. Do 2 sets. Work your way up to 3 sets of 1-minute holds.
Here’s another version for your core: Pretend you’re about to get hard in your stomach by contracting your abdomen tightly to prepare for the impact. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and work up to a minute or more. Do at 5 sets.
- For your glutes
Sitting tall in your seat, squeeze your glutes and hold for 15 seconds. Do 2 sets. Work your way up to 3 sets of 1-minute holds.
- For your inner thighs
Place a tennis ball or rolled towel between your upper thighs to work your inner thighs. Squeeze your thighs together pressed hard against the tennis ball or rolled towel. Hold for at least 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.
- For your posture
Sitting tall in your seat, arms extended while holding your steering wheel, push your shoulder blades into your seat and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for 2 more sets.
- For your feet/ankles
With your feet flat on the mat, lift one foot while keeping your toes down. Then, life toes upward before repeating with the other foot. Do 10 pumps on each foot for 2 sets.
- For your neck
Keeping your neck flexible and toned helps prevent straining in this area. While at a stop light or parked, sit upright and alternate turning your head fully to the left and then to the right, holding for 10 seconds each way. Do the same by tilting your head toward each shoulder. Then, look up and down in the same way.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.