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Crunches in the Car: Ways to Exercise While Driving

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If you spend most of your morning and afternoon commuting to work–and your day stuck at a desk in an office–chances are you don’t have much time to exercise. That 20-30 minutes you spend behind the driver’s seat might feel like a sedentary waste of time, but it can actually be an opportunity to exercise–with the right methods.

We recommend trying these simple ways to strengthen and tone your body while in the driver’s seat. You can also do these while riding in a bus, plane, or carpool.

*Note: Always remain focused on the road while operating a vehicle. Limit your exercising to when the vehicle is stationary, such as at a red light or when you’re waiting outside your child’s school.

Easy Exercises You Can Do in the Car

Exercise in the car healthy driving body habits tips woman torso core


It’s easy to slouch while driving, especially since that comfy seat feels relaxing during an early morning or after a long day. But this is a prime opportunity to strengthen your posture and chest. Sit upright, extend your arms to 9-and-3 positions on the steering wheel, and clench them toward each other, working your triceps and chest. Then, pull yourself toward the wheel and arch your back, stretching between the shoulder blades.

To strengthen your core, twist your trunk to one side and the other, holding for a couple seconds before moving. Then, pull your belly button in and clench it; contract your abs as you breathe rapidly. Do this repeatedly and you should feel a burn.


Exercise in the car healthy driving body habits tips man legs


Wall sits are one of the best exercises you can do for your thighs and legs. While you may not have a “wall” in the car, you can imitate the action by positioning your legs even with your shoulders and digging in your heels while pulling yourself up an inch off the seat and holding it aloft.

To tone your inner thighs, put a soft pillow between your legs (not near your feet) and clench them together, holding the position. You should feel the burn travel all the way up your buttocks.

Do calf raises by rolling onto your toes and lifting your heels, raising and lowering them steadily.


Exercise in the car healthy driving body habits tips man neck


To keep your neck flexible and toned, make sure you frequently stretch it. It’s not uncommon for us to tighten or tilt our necks without realizing it, straining the muscles unhealthily. To fix this, sit upright and alternate turning your head fully left then right, holding for 10 seconds each way. Then, do the same by tilting your head toward either shoulder. Finally, look down and up in the same manner.


Exercise in the car healthy driving body habits tips man arms


There are two great ways to work your arms in the car. First, stretch your arms out to the sides as far as they can go (rolling down your window and making sure no one is in the passenger seat). Alternate pointing your palms up and down (right up while left down, switch). It will take about 50 reps to feel this, but it does work.

Another method is to place your palms flat against the ceiling of the car and walk your hands back behind you until you feel your chest and arms stretch. Slowly walk them back in the same manner.


Exercise in the car healthy driving body habits tips family butts


Who doesn’t want to have nicer glutes after riding in the car? Squeeze them together fiercely while seated, hold the position, and slowly release. Do this repeatedly and regularly for best results.

In addition to working out inside the car, do jumping jacks or run laps around the gas station whenever you stop for a break on a long road trip–especially now when you’re travelling for the holidays.


Sources: The Health Exchange, Seattle Times, Livestrong Foundation