Preparing for a long journey? Road trips = yay! But if you’re not mindful of your journey, giving yourself the breaks you need, you might turn that into a solid nay. We know it’s exciting to finally catch a glimpse of your destination, but reaching it with a sore back and a stiff neck might just dampen your joy a little bit. We’ve just recently published some nifty pointers for long distance journeys, but here we give you some handy stretches to help you say goodbye to those annoying driving aches by the end of your journey. (Image above via rememberingletters.wordpress.com)
(Additional tip: The best way to remind yourself is to set a visual cue. E.g. everytime you see a red car, take a break and stretch)
This can be done during light traffic durations. Keep on the slow lane, mind your distance between the next car, and scrunch your shoulders up to your neck for a five seconds. Do 5 reps every 30 mins, or more if you feel that you need it. (Via setonspineandscoliosis.com)
Part of the fatigue felt after a long drive is due to a poor adaptive posture when driving. Once in a way, remind yourself to lift the back of your neck up straight, and chin pointing a little downward. This small movement will readjust your spine to its correct posture.
An example of poor driving posture.
Stop, drop, & neck rolls
Don’t overestimate your body. At least every hour or so, pull over and do some neck rolls both clockwise and anti-clockwise, and shut your eyes (don’t fall asleep!) for a couple of minutes. Eyes get tired too, especially when driving in bright sunlight.
While you pull up for the neck rolls above, take the opportunity to do some ankle raises. Raise your legs a little, point your foot and stretch it back a few times to get the blood flowing well to your feet.
This can be done while driving, doing one hand at a time, keeping the other hand on the steering wheel always. Roll your wrists in a circular motion, and stretch them towards your arm and back the other way. Do this as often as you like, or when your wrists start feeling stiff. (Via morethanmedication.ca)