Practice These 4 Rest Stop Stretches for Long Road Trips
The holiday season often brings together families, which means long road trips. While road trips can be exciting, they can also be hard on the body. These simple rest stop stretches are poses you can easily do at any rest stop along your route.
Stretch Out Your Legs
Sitting in the car for endless hours can really cramp the legs. If you are traveling in a smaller vehicle, you probably don’t have much room to stretch your legs. The simplest method for stretching out your legs is taking a walk around the rest stop. If you want something that gives you a little deeper of a stretch, try the runner’s stretch. Drop down into a low lunge, with one leg in front of you. After a few seconds, switch legs. For an even more intense stretch, do the revolved crescent lunge. This is your traditional runner’s lunge, but with an added spinal twist.
Relieve Lower Back Tension
Long car drives can put a lot of muscle tension on your lower back. To relieve lower back tension, do a few standing cat and cows. The cat and cow yoga poses are usually completed on all fours while on a yoga mat. But, you can easily customize this beneficial pose for standing. Simply stand on two feet, bend at the hips, and push your chest out as you roll forward. When you roll back upwards, push your stomach in and put your head down, also rounding out the back. Do a couple sets of these to fully loosen up the lower back muscles.
Relax Your Neck and Eyes
Your neck can easily get sore from sitting in the same position for hours on end. Your eyes, which are also a muscle, can get sore too. When you are safely parked at a rest stop location, sit back and relax all of your neck muscles. Do a couple of rotations with your eyes and then close them for 30 seconds. Open them and repeat again. You can also do minor stretches by moving the neck from left to right and then forward and backward in a gentle movement. Avoid making sudden or sharp movements.
Stretch Your Arms and Shoulders
Your shoulders tend to carry the most tension. Relaxing the muscles in your shoulders will also release any tension that you are also carrying in your arms. Once you are standing outside of your vehicle, give yourself enough room to fully stretch your arms on the sides of you. Start with your arms along your sides and gradually move them up, stretching them out as far as you can. Once your arms are fully above you, reach for the sky. Clasp them together and push them back as far as is comfortable. For an even deeper stretch, slowly move your gaze to the sky.
Road trips can be a great adventure. They can also be tiring and uncomfortable. While you are planning your next road trip, make sure you keep these rest stop stretches in mind along the way.