On some days it feels like I spend more time in the car than I do outside. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have proper posture (I couldn’t make it as an English guardsman) and sitting for long periods in the car doesn’t help. After a day of contorting my body under dashboards, lifting tires and reaching over engines to get at spark plugs, my body needs to keep up with my energetic kids. Here are some exercises my chiropractor, Dr. Mae Chan of Advanced Health Centre, suggested for me to keep strain & fatigue at bay. You can do these while waiting at a traffic light, waiting to pick up your kids from school or waiting for your girlfriend who’s running late for your lunch date!
Holding the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o’clock positions, roll your shoulders forward and backwards. Repeat several times.
Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down. Grasp fingers with opposite hand and gently bend wrist down as far as comfortable. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat for other wrist.
Hold one arm out in front of you, palm down. Grasp fingers with opposite hand and gently bend wrist back. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with other wrist.
Sitting tall with shoulders relaxed down and back. Tip head straight sideways, ear to shoulder, as far as comfortable. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on both sides.
If you’re driving for long periods, remember to take breaks periodically. Stop the vehicle and get out to stretch and walk around.
Talk about multi-tasking! Get some stretches in while you’re waiting in the car and your neck, back & legs will thank you.