Raise your hand if you’re in the 30 minute plus commute with me! We all know the dangers of sitting all day at the office, but sitting (basically trapped) awkwardly in your car for extended periods of time can be stressful and damaging to your body as well.
It often takes me 45 minutes one way to commute to work in the early AM–that’s 90 total minutes I’m spending in the car! I’m not quite in the position to quit my day job, so to make the ride as healthy as possible I’ve compiled some fit tips to share with others who share in the long commute struggle.
Being organized in the car can make or break the ride. Being starved or dehydrated only to realize your water and snacks are in the back seat, or buried too deep to find can be devastating. Having a bag packed with drinks and snacks in easy to reach compartments next to you will make it easy to stay hydrated and fueled on the go. Investing in a quality bag will make your long commute a much more comfortable trip.
2. Fuel (not just for your car!)
Even if you think you can make it through the commute, remember, you are actually fueling for when you arrive. When you get to work, it may not be convenient, or you may not have time to sit down and eat. Fueling in the car will leave you ready to tackle your day–when you finally make it there! I’ve been known to sneak a few of these into an easily reachable spot for my morning trip 🙂
When I first went back to commuting, I was feeling it–and not in a good way. The depressing stop and go (mostly stopped) traffic left me slouched and hurting. I felt my body giving up. Of course I would never do that, so I whipped up this little goodie as a way to get me in tip top sitting shape.
4. Ab Vacuums
After hearing about this trend from @realheidipowell, I decided to check it out. If it were effective it had the potential to be a commuter’s dream exercise! This post provided some great info on the correct ways to utilize the technique, but essentially, tightening your core is never going to be detrimental. I performed some ab vacuums in the car this morning, and I definitely felt my transverse abdominis engaged, and if nothing else, it helps to increase awareness of abdominals, and engages them when they otherwise wouldn’t be. Win!
No one needs dehydration and delirium setting in when everyone around is counting on your reaction speed. Have an easy to use water bottle neatly stashed in a compartment of your bag from aforementioned #1.
The mental game plays a huge part in a long commute. Having control over your mind is essential to staying fit–physically and mentally. Shifting your mind to think about specific topics can give you a sense of control and productivity while you are seemingly trapped in your car. Hey, it’s where I conjured up the idea for this post!
7. Breaks (for a really long commute)
If your commute in very long (longer than an hour and a half), it might benefit you to take breaks if possible. Even just 15 minutes of fresh air and a quick stretch can rejuvenate the body and prepare it for round two of the commute.
8. Commute Recovery
You’ve finally made it! Now give your body a chance to recover. Try some quick stretching to extend your body and release the built up tension. Try to walk around your building, or park far and take a stroll to loosen up tight muscles.
And What’s That One Thing?
Well, the same way a triathlete (or cyclist for that matter) should be fitted on their bike, you need to be ‘fitted’ for your car. On the bike, bad biomechanics can lead to discomfort, pain, and injuries really quick–same goes for the car. Be sure to adjust all aspects of your seat in order to make for the most comfortable positioning while you drive. Just like a bad bike fit, bad car fit can cause nagging injuries too.
Long commutes are an unfortunate piece of working a 9-5, but don’t let the car control your life. Try these 8 fit tips to keep your body and mind sharp during (and after!) your long commute.
Do you have a long commute?
How do you pass the time?
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