Keeping up with a busy schedule requires a strategy for exercises that can be done anywhere. You want to work on exercises and techniques you can manage in the car, on a train or on any form of transportation while you travel to and from work. Depending on the length of your commute, the exercises may help you stay in shape and in good health when your schedule does not provide enough time for a dedicated work-out. Fortunately, exercises that can be done anywhere offer the flexibility to keep up with a routine while also focusing on your health.
Exercises for your abs are a solution to help keep your stomach flat or to reduce unhealthy visceral fat from your stomach. The commuter crunch is a classic exercise you can handle on the road, in the office or on public transportation.
Start by sitting comfortably in a neutral position with your legs roughly hip width apart. Put your feet flat on the ground and then relax your shoulders and neck. Contract the muscles in your lower abs and then add a contraction in your upper abs until your body pulls forward and your back starts rounding. Hold the position for a count of ten while breathing normally. Gently release the contracted muscles until you sit up into a neutral and relaxed position. Repeat the process 8 to 12 times or until you cannot repeat the movement again.
Over time, you can add more repetitions or sets. Always stop when you reach muscle fatigue to prevent injuries to your muscles. Keep in mind that you should never work on commuter crunches while you drive. Only work on the exercises when other individuals drive, such as when you carpool or when you take public transportation.
Pull Your Stomach In
A long commute offers a variety of opportunities to work on your stomach and abs. An exercise you can handle at any time during a commute or when you must sit for an extended period is a belly buster exercise.
Sit comfortably and relax your shoulders and neck. Gently take a breath in and then slowly release the breath. As you release your breath, pull your stomach in and your belly button up. Think of the exercise as pulling in your stomach to button or zip up a tight pair of pants. Hold the pose for ten seconds and then gently release your stomach while breathing back in. Ideally, you want to pull your stomach toward your core while you breath out slowly. The slow breath out allows you to pull your stomach in tighter.
Shoulder and Neck Stretch
Whether you are driving the vehicle or are a passenger in a vehicle, a shoulder and neck stretch helps work out tension in your back, shoulders and neck. It also reduces the discomfort of a long commute and allows you to keep your blood flowing throughout the trip.
Start by sitting straight and keeping your head forward. At a red light or when you feel comfortable if you are not driving, gently tilt your head so your ear heads toward your shoulder. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch in your neck and hold the pose for a count of ten. Release the pose and straighten your head. Repeat on the other side if you have time at the light. If the light changes and you are driving, then wait until the next red light to repeat the process on the opposite side.
While you cannot perform leg extensions while driving, you can work on the exercise while sitting stationary during a commute or while traveling. Start by keeping your feet flat on the ground and sitting comfortably. Gently straighten one leg out in front of you until it is parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and then bring your foot back down.
Repeat the process with the other leg. If you cannot lift your leg until it is parallel to the ground, then lift it as high as possible until you feel a stretch in your leg. You can also extend both legs at the same time.
Leg extensions are ideal when you have enough space to life your legs out straight. If you find the space limited, then you may need alternative ways to stretch and strengthen your legs during a commute.
During a commute on public transportation or on a plane while traveling, you may not have enough space for leg extensions. Fortunately, you can handle seated marching in a cramped area with limited space.
Start by sitting comfortable and keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed. Do not slouch and keep your back straight. Place your feet firmly on the ground and keep your legs roughly hip width apart.
Lift one leg up for approximately four to six inches off the floor as if you were taking a step. Put the foot down and repeat with the opposite leg. Continue alternating your feet in a comfortable march. You can start the movements slowly and gradually pick up speed for a double-time march or you can keep the movements slow and easy for a gentle exercise that keeps your blood flowing and circulating in a healthy way. If you have music available, then march to the beat of the music.
When you are on a long commute and you are sitting in the passenger seat, dashboard presses offer a solution to help improve the strength of your arms. Sit straight and keep your shoulders back for good posture. Keep your legs flat and in a comfortable and relaxed position.
Place your hands under the dashboard so your palms are flat against the bottom of the dashboard. Press upward against the dashboard and hold the pressure in your arms for a count of ten. Release the pressure and wait a few seconds. Repeat the press in a set of 8 to 12 repetitions or until you feel muscle fatigue.
Walking Your Hands Back
While exercises are a key part of staying healthy, you also want to stretch your muscles during a long commute. The stretches keep your muscles from tensing up and improve your circulation.
Reach up toward the roof of the car or vehicle. If you can reach the roof, then place your palms flat on the roof of the vehicle. If not, then flatten your palms while reaching up toward the roof. Slowly walk your hands back behind your head until you feel a stretch in your back, abs and shoulders. Relax into the stretch and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Walk your hands back toward the front until they are straight and then bring your hands back down. Repeat the stretch as necessary for your comfort.
Exercises that can be done anywhere offer the flexibility to work on a routine commute to your work or during a long trip. The exercises keep your blood circulation healthy and prevent complications with your health from traveling. It also helps you keep up with your exercise routines when you have limited time available.