The single most used excuse people use why they don’t work out is that they don’t have time. I agree that life can be busy and I have also had days when I haven’t been able to do some decent movement or training. Conditions are not always perfect and things don’t go according to plan. But what if I told you that sometimes you don’t need to spend additional time to exercise and get the most of being stuck in traffic. Improving your health and mobility doesn’t necessarily come in big leaps, but in small steps over time.
Countless times people have told me that I am in the shape I am because I train for hours daily. Here comes the shocking news. Trainers are just like ordinary people. I also need to squeeze time to train and balance between training sessions with clients, running the business and spending time with my family.
Sometimes the difference between stagnation and progress comes from learning to optimize time and make the most out of every situation. As soon as you change your perspective and realize that you don’t need to be in the gym to move or to work on your mobility, posture or balance, your start progressing a lot faster. In this article I want to explore the options we have while commuting. Every day we spend hours driving. Instead of getting frustrated we can wake up our body in the morning or relax and get rid of the stress in the evening.
Here is a simple routine I use. I don’t claim it to be exhaustive, but it is something that helps me. If you have other good tricks and tips, please don’t hesitate to share them so all of us and we will be forever grateful J
Head nod forward/backwards/side to side – it is a simple one we used to do in school. Too bad most of us stopped doing it right about then.
Finger stretch – complicated is almost never effective effective.
Wrist stretch – this one might hurt a little. To decrease the stretch on the wrist you can bend your elbows and work toward straightening the elbow over time.
Wrist circles – another not so sophisticated one. On this one try going slow and keep the elbows locked.
Triceps stretch – you have all seen this one. The secret of getting ahead is doing the simple things more often.
Shoulder stretch – your shoulders will love you for this.
Elbow rotations – don’t have anything smart to say about this one.
Thoracic twist – great for your upper back, and the good news is that you can even do it at work.
Spine flexion and extension – the more your show love to your spine, the happier and pain free life will be.
Grip and forearm strength
Steering wheel overgrip – I know I said that we are about to work on relaxing the body, but this one creates a little bit of tension. However, you can build finger, wrist and forearm strength, which is not only good for your arm health, but also translated into physical activities in the gym, such as pull ups and deadlifts.
Steering wheel undergrip – the benefits are similar as with the previous one
Adjust the seat – this one is pretty straight forward and I will save you the picture.
Use both arms when you drive and don’t lean sideways while driving – this one has made a huge difference for me. I used to feel pain in left side of my upper back. Ever since I started using both my hands while driving (just as they taught us at the driving lessons) I haven’t felt this pain. Maybe my mindful training helps, too.
It goes without saying that if you can’t breathe while doing a stretch or hold a position you don’t own the position. Simply said, try to breathe your way into a stretch rather than forcing yourself into it. It is easier said than done for a lot of people. Trust me it makes a all the difference.
Practice mindful breathing – inhale through the nose trying to breath deep down in your abdomen and exhale slowly. Work on relaxing your breathing to the point where you no longer hear the sound of your breath. You can call this a mini-meditation. It might not have the benefits of spending more time in silence and relaxing our mind, but it is the best you can do in your car while sitting in traffic. Doing the best we can is what matters and what drives our progress as all these small efforts build up and we start to see changes in our overall health.
If you think this article might help someone, please share and be the change is their life. Because helping people is easy.