So travel time screams sedentarism right? It screams sitting still in pretty cramped places for hours at a time, especially if you’re in the car with the family’s food for the next 12 hours around your feet (not that that has ever happened to me!!)
Anyway we have done a huge amount of travelling in the car this summer and I wanted to share some of my tricks for moving as we travelled.
1. Make your seat flat! So most car seats have a slope to them, they slope downwards towards the back of the seat. This means that your pelvis rocks back and you sit in a tucked position essentially on your lower spine. Not only does this make movement more challenging but it also isn’t great for your spine or pelvic floor (yes boys you have a pelvic floor that matters too!) You can sort this out by putting a rolled towel at the back of your seat (in the bit where it dips away) to flatten out the seat and bingo your pelvis is much more able to be neutral position giving relief to your spine and options for move movement, which brings me nicely to point #2. Note: I am no safety expert so please please don’t put anything on your car seat which is going to compromise the effectiveness of your seatbelt or impact your safety.
2. Mix up how you sit! There’s sitting normally of course with the legs down in the footwell, there’s sitting cross-legged, there’s sitting with your legs out straight (you might be able to carefully balance them on the picnic ;)), there’s sitting on your left with your legs to the right, there’s sitting on the right with your legs to the left … you get it, there’s lots of ways to sit in the car that you can rotate through as the journey goes on. No one way is ‘bad’ for the body, but the length of time we spend in that one way has its consequences. Note: Do not stretch your legs out on the dash or anywhere else you have an airbag in the car … and Again I’m no safety expert so please be safe!
3. Put on the music and dance! Ok, so your body still needs to be within the seatbelt for safety but your arms and legs can move and your torso can twist all creating lots of good movement around your body … good for both the body & soul!
4. Stop regularly! Now this seems pretty obvious, but it really matters! Try to stop at least every couple of hours and get out of the car!
5. Move when you stop! Here are some super quick ways to move the crunched up bits of your body when you stop
a. Stand on one leg & swing the other one
b. Do 10 squats with vertical shins
c. Find somewhere (the curb normally works) to raise the ball of your foot and do some calf stretches
d. Do some lunges with a nice neutral pelvis
Tanya is co-founder of Move More UK. She is passionate about seeing people thrive by moving more!