The work week can go by at a rapid pace and leave very little time for exercising. The ideal workout routine would be to hit the gym for about an hour, but the average day is already anything from ideal. A schedule of commuting to and from work, along with any other obligations that the day may bring can lead to very little time to squeeze in a good workout. The following is a list of five creative exercises that can be done during the commute and at work.
1. Side Twist
This exercise can be done in your seat while driving or riding along as a passenger. This workout focuses on the core and will help you tone your abs during the commute.
- Sit upright and begin to tighten your abdominal area while keeping both feet on the ground and facing forward.
- Start by twisting the upper body slightly to the left and then slightly to the right. This motion should be done as slowly as possible while continuing to face forward.
This workout can be done by keeping track of repetitions or by time intervals. The important part of this exercise is to make sure that the abdominal muscles are contracted throughout the workout. Side twist may not give a perfect six-pack, but it will help shape and tone the core.
2. Grip Squeeze
This workout is great because of the small amount of movement that it requires. The only item that is needed for this exercise is a hand grip. It is a workout device that's used for strengthening the forearms as well as grip.
- The first step is to get a hand grip at your local sporting goods store. They offer many different styles and tensions, depending on individual strength.
- Squeeze the hand grip with the right hand and then alternate to the left. Make sure to keep a track of how many repetitions are being done with each hand.
This exercise is very simple to do in the car. It also can assist with relieving stress from a tough day.
3. Calf Raises
These are great to do at a stop light or even at your desk. The benefit of this exercise is that it's fairly easy to do as well as a great way to strengthen the legs while sitting down.
- Start with both feet on the floor at shoulder width apart.
- Raise calves slowly while tightening the calf muscles.
- Lower and repeat the calf raise.
This workout can be done for any time increment, long or short. It can also be turned into an isometric (static) exercise by raising the calves and holding them for a minimum of thirty seconds.
4. Short Bicep Curl
A full bicep curl would be tough to do in any car because of the space that is needed for this workout. A little modification will be needed in order to perform this exercise in the car. Short bicep curls require a lightweight, rubber dumbbell; a 5 pound or 10 pound dumbbell would be sufficient.
- Start with the weight in one hand and your arm slightly bent.
- Keep your elbow stationary and move the weight towards your body until your forearm is in a vertical position.
- Hold this vertical position for at least one second, and then slowly bring the weight down.
This exercise can be done for ten repetitions on each arm. The range of motion at which the curl can be done will vary with the size of the car. The bicep muscle can also be tightened with the weight held outward for an isometric exercise if space is limited.
5. Bike or Walk to Work
Hopefully this is a valid option as opposed to driving to work for anyone living close to work. A five mile commute will take around thirty minutes on a bicycle, which will equal about an hour of aerobic exercise. If one travels to and from work, it's thirty minutes over the suggested amount of exercise that is recommended per day. Walking is also a great idea, but hard to do since most people tend to live further than walking distance from their job. Those who cannot take advantage of walking or cycling to work can also try to find time to do some exercising during their lunch break. A brisk walk during a portion of an hour lunch break can be beneficial and help burn some extra calories.
These exercises are not meant to supplement a full workout; instead they are intended to create motion for people who are sedentary during their work day. Please keep safety in mind when it comes to driving and exercising, and don't do anything that might put you and others in danger while behind the wheel.