We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the day, you’re cruising homeward, and suddenly everything comes to a grinding halt. While the team at My Auto Shop love to spend their time making it easy for you to find and book a mechanic, we know it’s not always the solution to every challenge you find with your car. We haven’t quite figured out the traffic part, yet!
As such, sitting in traffic can often be pretty stressful, and sometimes lead to road rage. We thought it’d be cool to share some easy exercises you can do to build your inner strength and hopefully also calm your mind a little as well! You could build this into a mini workout routine and give yourself some virtue points in the process!
1. Chin up! Let’s strengthen your jaw.
Okay, this one is actually pretty funny because people will probably be able to see you, but if you just extend your jaw out and move it up and down a few times, you’re going to give yourself an excellent stretch and remove a lot tension from this area, which is actually where we store a fair amount of stress. Feel free to through some chewing gum into this mix!
2. Strengthening your core.
We know core strength is all the rage right now, so here’s a great exercise you can do to build up your abdominal strength. Suck in your belly, then push your lower belly downwards and pull your belly button towards your back. This will create a nice contraction which you can then swiftly release — and watch yourself relax in the process! Work it up to about 12-15 reps for the best results. Do it fast, and you’re basically doing breathwork.
3. Sit up, and push up!
This is a great one for the upper body. But don’t do this exercise while you’re moving, because it involves using the steering wheel as a pull up bar. Please, be sensible when you do this. Straight lines, straight lines!
Hold onto the wheel with your hand sitting neatly at 10 and 2, then squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself towards the wheel and then back again. In terms of reps, you should get a nice stretch after repeating this 5 or so times. But remember, safety first!
4. Ease tension in your lower back and strengthen your spine
Unfortunately, car seats don’t always offer the best in back support, and it can sometimes get pretty sore. I’ve found the best spinal exercise for the car is to sit with your back slightly arched, then pull yourself closer to the wheel. Tense those abdominals and focus on your breathing (belly breathing is best). You should improve your range of motion, but you’ll need to wait to get out of the car to feel it properly!
5. Easy thigh toning
Again, you’ll need to make sure you’re sitting stationary for this exercise. It’s great for people who want to feel the burn! Keep one foot flat on the floor, hip width apart (perfect for the car, right?) and then lift your other leg slightly, pushing against it with your hand. We’re creating an inner tension here that goes above and beyond what you might expect! Try to work this for about 10 reps and see how you feel.
With all of these exercises, use your best judgement as to whether it’s appropriate and sensible in terms of the traffic. Also, don’t overdo your workout. You’re not actually at the gym, so you don’t want to injure yourself and need to pull over to the side of the road. We’re here to make rush hour traffic easier!