From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare
While road trips offer family together time and visits to new and familiar places, they can be a bit of a pain.
Keeping our bodies in the same position for a prolonged period can cause neck stiffness, lower back discomfort, knee pain and muscle cramps due to the lack of movement. Incorporating regular intervals of physical activity during a road trip can get the blood pumping and stimulate muscles while in the car.
Try these 6 simple exercises to ease your travel aches and pains and reduce your risk of blood clots:
1. Ankle pumps
With feet flat on the floor, lift 1 foot slightly up. Point the toes down as far as possible. Relax the ankle then point toes upward. Repeat this motion 20 times on each foot. This exercise will increase movement to the ankle joint.
2. Seated knee lifts
Sit up straight with legs at a 90-degree angle. While keeping the core engaged, gently pull both knees toward the chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 15 times to stimulate hip flexors and abdominal muscles.
3. Seated side bend
In a seated position, raise hands in the air above the head, keeping the spine straight. Bend slowly to the right side, then return to a neutral, upright position. Switch to the left side. The deeper the bend, the deeper the stretch. Repeat 20 times to loosen the spine and torso.
4. Forearm exercises
Wrap fingers around a round object, such as a tennis ball, and squeeze tightly for 2 seconds, then release. Repeat 15 times on each hand.
5. Chin tucks
Bring the chin to the chest. Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lift the head so that it gently presses against the headrest. This exercise can help maintain proper posture and exercise the neck muscles.
6. Seated glute stretch
While seated, bring the right ankle onto the left thigh, resting it just above the knee. Keep your back straight and lean slightly forward, stretching the gluteus maximus muscle. Hold this position for 20 seconds and then repeat the motion on the left side.
The VEBA Resource Center offers Low Back Care and Pain Prevention Classes. This class will focus on exercises that are designed to strengthen your core, improve your posture and help you stay pain free. Perfect for all levels. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.