Road trips. They’re an awesome way to travel on a budget, see the sights and take a little time to recharge. But as exciting as they might be, long hours sitting in the car, whether you’re the driver or passenger, have a tendency to wear on your body. If you’ve ever taken a long-haul road trip, you know what we’re talking about — sometimes, you arrive at your destination feeling physically exhausted and sometimes even tense.
Most of us feel the effects of sitting in our hips, low back and neck, and if not addressed they can quickly slow you down on your trip. Sitting, especially for long periods of time, puts pressure on the discs, causing low back pain.
Fortunately, there’s a way to treat your body and be more mindful to help reduce the feelings of stagnation that come with being on the road — car yoga. To help you arrive at your destination more relaxed, CarRentals put together this simple guide of 11 yoga poses that you can do while seated during your drive or when you stop to fuel up at the gas station. While these were created with road trips in mind, they’re also easy to implement on plane and train rides. Check them out in detail in their full car yoga guide and in the infographic below.
Some of our favorites include the modified downward facing dog where you raise your hands upwards on a car window or door and hinge forward slightly relieving pressure from your shoulders, neck and upper back.
Others like the seated chair pose are simple enough to do while in route and help stretch a stiff spine/back by creating synovial fluid.
The Benefits of Car Yoga
With more and more research suggesting the negative health impacts of marathon sitting sessions, learning how to incorporate some basic car yoga moves before, during and after your trip are a great way to stay limber and feel physically stronger when you arrive at your destination.
Another upside to practicing car yoga exercises is alertness. Most of us have experienced the feeling of drowsiness while on the road for extended periods of time, which can be extremely dangerous.
In fact, an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the past 30 days. Not to mention, that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 100,000 traffic crashes can be attributed to drowsy driving, including more than 795 deaths and over 70,000 injuries each year. Implementing some physical activity like car yoga can help wake up your muscles and keep you alert, especially if you’re traveling alone.