Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Get Exercise on a Road Trip

Graham and I love road trips. We often go camping at locations that are hours away and have done cross-country journeys several times now. As a fitness lover, it's a priority for me to stay active even when we are on the go. Spending hours in a car on a road trip will start to wear on you after about the third hour. It's important to keep active for the sake of your body and mind. Here are five ways I have found to sneak in a workout while you're traveling:
  1. Wear running shoes and jog around the rest area each time you stop. 
  2. Do some stretching at each stop.
  3. Bring your yoga mat for a session in the hotel room or at the campsite.
  4. Lie down in the back seat at a stop and do some quick crunches or situps. You can do these on a  yoga mat on the ground at a stop as well.
  5. If you have a membership at a gym that can be used nationwide, incorporate visits into your route if possible, even if it's just for half an hour.
Yoga poses that I do to relieve effects of sitting too long (plus links to Yoga Journal explanations of each):

  • Child's pose (Balasana): From a tabletop, bring your torso down between your thighs. Your knees are spread out as far as is comfortable. Lengthen your back and breathe into the back. Stretch your arms out forward. Palms can be facing up or down. You'll get a much-need stretch in the hips, thighs, ankles and back.
  • Yogi squat/garland pose (Malasana): I love doing this low squat after sitting at a desk or a car. It relieves some of the tension that is built up. Squat with your feet as close together as possible. You may have to move your feet out to get your heels closer to the floor. Hold for about 10 breaths or longer.
  • High and low lunges: From a forward fold, step one foot back and bring hands to ground around your front foot. Stand on your back toes. Your front knee is in a right angle. If you do the high lunge version, you can raise your arms overhead. Be sure to do the pose on both sides.
  • Cat/cow (Bitilasana): Your back might feel stiff, so this will loosen it up and provide some relief. Start in a tabletop position with hands directly under your shoulders. Inhale look up, drop the belly and lift the tailbone. Exhale as you curl up like a Halloween cat, lifting the belly button up. Keep breathing back and forth between the two poses.

How do you stay active while on the road? Comment with your tips!
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