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By November 3, 2008 19 Comments

Caristhenics: Exercises to do while traveling by car.


Whether you’re a traveling nurse on your way to your next assignment, or just on a road trip, here are a few tips to keep that blood circulating while driving in the car for so long. I for one don’t have that big of problem with keeping loose while driving for extended period of times, you see, I probably have the world’s smallest bladder and take many, many rest stops along the way! My friends always try and limit my beverage intake, but without fail at every stop, I buy more to drink and eat… What’s with road trips and beef jerky?

All the frequent detours allow me to get up and stretch my legs and arms which keeps me alert, stimulates blood circulation and prevents my back from getting too stiff. I know many of you may just want to get there as quick as possible, but you should try and stop every couple hours, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Always allow time for breaks in your itinerary, it is imperative to your well being. Besides, you’re probably traveling through unknown territory and what better time to soak up the surroundings and make your trip a little more memorable. For instance, my favorite road trip discovery of late is this truck stop/fireworks st and /antique/lawn ornament store between Omaha and Kansas City. It’s like a buffet of useless things one could ever need to buy while on a road trip, unless you’re in desperate need of gnome for your garden… Then this is your place!

Okay, so here are a number of exercises you can do while traveling cross country.

• Pelvic tilt. Funny name, good exercise. This exercise may help prevent or relieve any lower back discomfort and will work your abdominal muscles. Sit up tall in yourseat and place your h and s behind you at the small of your back. Now press your back into your fingers by contracting your abdominal muscles.Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. After doing this a few times, try holding the contraction longer.

• Quadriceps contractions. Using one leg at a time, straighten your knee and contract your quadriceps. Hold the contraction for 10 seconds and do this several times.

• Upper-body stretches. Tilt your head toward one shoulder, then the other. Do shoulder circles in both directions. Clasp your h and s together on the steering wheel and round your shoulders and upper back. If the weather cooperates, get out of your car for these exercises:

• Full-body stretch. Clasp your h and s together and reach above your head, stretching yourself as tall as possible.

• Calf stretch. Step one foot behind the other and press your heel down. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

• Squats and lower back stretches. St and beside your open car door and support yourself by holding onto your open window. Squat down to a 90-degree bend in your knees, then st and up. Do this 10 to 15 times. Stretch your lower back by bending at your waist and stretching away from the door.

So if you follow my suggestions, you can save yourself from pain and stiffness, all the while enjoying the scenic highways of these great United States. Happy travels!

Posted in: Life on the Road

About the Author:

Patrick Fuerstenau here. Born in Kentucky, raised in Germany, landed in Nebraska and still here. I've been involved with Marketing and Advertising for over a decade. It all began with an internship at an ad agency in Omaha, followed by a 9 year stint as a graphic artist at the lone major newspaper in Omaha. A friend of mine told me about an opening at her company and said that it was the best gig she's ever had... So I decided to spread my proverbial wings and see what I could do for them and vice versa. So here I am at Medical Solutions as a Marketing Specialist for a great travel nursing company. This by far has been a major blessing in my life. I love the work I get to do just as much as I love the people who make up this fabulous company. I can see myself here for a long time... As long as they'll have me. Now that we've got the career timeline out of the way... Let me tell you a little about who I am. I am oh so passionate about the game of futbol! I've been playing soccer since the age of 8 and am still playing today. If I couldn't at least kick the ball around, I don't know what I would do with myself. I fear getting old. I also have a strong love for the arts... Music, Visual arts, Film, Design... pretty much anything and everything arty. I'm happy go lucky and am always looking to have a good time. Just ask my manager! And I love writing about travel nursing.

19 Comments on "Caristhenics: Exercises to do while traveling by car."

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  1. mical john says:

    I don?t normally comment on blogs but your post was a real call to action. Thank you for a great read, I will be sure to bookmark your site and check in now and again.

  2. Lili1


    I never knew I had a Itâ??s like a buffet of useless things one could ever need to buy while on a road trip unless youâ??re in desperate need of gnome for my gardenâ?¦ Then this place.

  3. This brings me to an idea:…

  4. I think the exercises you suggest are very good and I look forward to trying them!

  5. roadtourscr says:

    wow.. great article buddy, thanks for sharing 🙂 keep posting !!!

  6. This was really good. Who needs a gym with these exercises? Thanks

  7. Roof Rack UK says:

    I am very glad to see this article. Mentioned all exercises are very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing and good explanation.

  8. Aubrey Ann says:

    These exercises are perfect! I’m not a travelling nurse, but I usually do long drives with my Vancouver Dodge car. The best thing is, these exercises can also be applicable even if you’re not driving a car. If you are a home based or office worker facing the computer whole day, these are very much useful routines. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Camille says:

    Cool tips! I’m used to driving fast and I do forget to stretch up a bit while driving my Edmonton Dodge. When I reach my destination, only then will I feel fatigue, neck and back pains. These exercises will surely help me do away with them. Thanks for the post and looking forward for more!

  10. Are these exercises all right for pregnant women especially if they will be engaging in long travels on the road? Or can you suggest other exercise alternatives for women who are expecting?

  11. Aubrey Ann says:

    Thanks for the Caristhenics. I’ll show this article to my husband since he’s the one driving on our long trips to encourage him to make a few stops and do a few stretches. Driving for several hours can be a bore and you are right stopping for a quick bite or refreshment can really make a big difference on your trip.

  12. Nice tips. I usually flex my feet and move it up and down while driving for a long time. It worries me when I start feeling cramps in my feet so that’s why I need to move it around from time to time.

  13. good articles thanks you so much!

  14. I’m trying to look for a travel nurse employment for a month now but unlucky. I traveled by car everyday to check out different hospitals. I Caristhenics is a very good exercise I can do while traveling.

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