Archives for: May 2004, 10
Our son is home from college for the summer! He goes to a university that is more than 300 miles from home. That is a 7 hour trip in the car. We drove there on Saturday, loaded up all his worldly possessions, and drove home on Sunday.
Last summer when he and I made the trip alone for freshman orientation we left very early in the morning and made few stops in order to arrive on time for the first afternoon session. I was getting rather stiff from sitting so long in the car. So I started tensing and relaxing different muscle groups. It felt really good.
In road trips since then I have come up with a pattern I call "Five Minute Isometrics." I set the cruise control. I never take my hands off the wheel, and I never take my eyes off the road, but I can get a good workout in the car.
I isolate a muscle group and tense it HARD and then relax it. I stay with the same muscles for five minutes on the car's digital clock, and then I switch to another muscle group. (For instance I start with left quad, right quad, right bicep, left bicep. I repeat that pattern for 5 minutes.) Some of the exercises are isometric exercises our doctors have given us for shoulder and neck injuries over the years. Some come from various exercise tapes. Some I have made up in an effort to cover all my muscles. I use the steering wheel for resistance on several patterns.
We normally switch drivers every two hours. So theoretically I could get in 24 stretches. I never really get that many because when we drive through a town or a construction zone I have to take the cruise control off.
I am amazed at how much better I feel at the end of a long drive. In addition I get some exercise on travel days when there's often not time for a walk or a run.