Traveling often involves sitting for extended periods of time. Sitting with little or no movement tightens muscles and stiffens joints. This discomfort can last for several days after the trip.
When you travel you will feel better during the trip and after you arrive at your destination if you do the following exercises:
- Get Up And Move at Least 5 Minutes Every Hour. If possible, walk and stretch during this time.
- Do some slow easy stretches.
- Walk slowly, then walk or march briskly in place.
- Stretch your back by placing your palms on your lower back and arching your back slightly.
- Stretch your lower back by lifting one knee high; repeat with the other knee. Repeat the whole exercise five times.
- Stretch the back of your thigh by placing one heel on an object elevated about 12 inches above the floor or ground. Bend forward slightly from the hips keeping your knees straight. Hold 15 seconds; then stretch the other leg in the same manner.
- Stretch your calf muscles by placing your hands at chest height on something firm. Place one foot forward with your knee bent and the other foot back with the knee straight. Press your back heel to the floor. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Stretch the other leg. Repeat the exercise.
While Sitting, Take at Least 5 Minutes Every Hour to Do Sitting Exercises
- Do hand exercises. Curl and open your hands; make Os with your thumb and another finger. Circle a finger with your thumb in both directions. Invent other hand exercises.
- Keep a 3- to 4-inch foam ball handy to knead and squeeze with your hands.
- Stretch your legs if possible; add a heel press and then point your toes.
- Use your hands to draw a knee up toward your shoulder; repeat with the other leg.
- Do buttock squeezes slowly, and then as fast as possible
- Squeeze one buttock (and thigh muscle), and then the other.
- Arch your spine; next round your spine by tilting your pelvis, pressing the small of your back into the seat, and squeezing your abdominals.
- Reach (and press) your arm forward, up against the roof, behind your head and down your spine, across the front and over your other shoulder.
- Turn your spine and shoulders slowly; look over behind your right shoulder, then over your left shoulder.
- Lift your shoulders up; press them down; curl them forward and backward, then circle them.
- Do neck exercises: look slowly to your right and left; draw your chin in, then relax; slowly tilt your head from side to side; draw your chin to one side of your collarbone, then to the other; tuck your chin and draw your head straight down. Sit tall as you do these.
- Sit with your legs uncrossed and with both thighs and feet fully supported.
- Sit tall with a long neck and with firm, upright back support.
- Let go of tension in your shoulders, abdomen, jaw, and hands.
Take Steps to Reduce Muscle and Joint Strain