Mini Workout: For Airplane and Car Passengers

Obviously, this is NOT for the pilot of any vehicle!  But for those of us along for the ride, here are some exercises you can enjoy (so long as you don’t distract the driver…)

1.  Shoulder Rolls: Ooo-woo; I feel good just typing it!  As stated, simply lift your shoulders up, back, down, and forward and repeat about 8 times.  If you feel brave and have the room, perform a few “speed bags.”  (Or as we Moms would sing: “The wheels on the bus go Round and Round…”)  With gentle fists in front of your chest, elbows out to the sides, energetically roll fist-over-fist 16 times in away from you and 16 times toward you to engage your biceps/triceps and chest.

2.  Abdominal Tuck and Tilt:  If your seatbelt sign is “off,” sit on the front edge of your seat (otherwise against your chair back is fine also) and tuck your pelvis contracting your gut toward your back then tilt forward lengthening your abdominals.  Exhale on the backward tuck, inhale on the forward tilt, and center your upper body between the two motions after 8 to 12 tuck/tilts.

3.  Knee-Ups and Inner Thigh Squeeze:  If you have leg room (seat belts on), push your foot off the ground and alternate lifting your knees slightly 8 times each leg.  Next, if you have a small pillow or small folded blanket, place it between your legs at your knee joint; squeeze your inner thighs compressing the pillow.  Exhale “squeezing” 4 seconds, inhale and “release” 4 seconds; repeat squeezes 8 times.

4.  Ankles/Lower Leg:  Pump those ankles IF you are not in charge of the brake!  Bring your toes toward your shins (“dorsal” flexing the ankle) then reach your toes straight to the floor (“plantar” flexing, or pointing) and repeat 8 times.  Now circle both ankles 8 times to the right and 8 times to the left (shoeless is most comfortable if they are easily removable).

5.  Neck:  Look over your right shoulder as far as you can for 8 seconds, then look over your left shoulder as far as you can for 8 seconds.  Then look straight forward and lean your right ear to your right shoulder 8 seconds, then left ear to left shoulder for 8 seconds.  Repeat looks and leans again.  (Note: The only exception to this exercise is if you are prone to mini-strokes or have heart disease modifications, cut the time to 4 seconds in each direction.)

For all you car passengers, be sure to get those in the back seat involved or switch out with the driver (so long as you aren’t coaching passengers while driving… no, no, NO.)  Be safe, be strong, and arrive at your new destination feeling better than when you left; thanks for reading!

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