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Avoid Excessive Sitting: 6+ Best One-Minute Short Workout Exercises for a Long Road Trip in 2020

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Staying fit on the road

Sightseeing, singalongs, and snack stops can be fun while road-tripping, but sitting for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your body and health. Over time, excessive sitting can not only have a negative impact on your posture but also contribute to an increased risk of cancer, heart disease and even premature death, according to a recent meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

When we are seated, much of our anterior musculature (internal shoulder rotators, hip flexors) becomes tight and shortened, while the opposite side of our body becomes inactive and lengthened. This effect can lead to cramping, lower back pain, poor posture and even more significant health risks, such as deep-vein thrombosis. It’s important to incorporate regular intervals of activity that help stretch the front of the body and activate the back of the body.

Fitness expert and celebrity trainer Brent Bishop designed this road trip workout so that you enjoy the journey while working toward improving circulation and preventing muscle aches and cramping. Check out these 6 simple exercises you can fit in on the go:

1. Seated Side Bend (1 minute) 

a. Sit tall, with your hands behind your head and your fingers clasped.
b. While keeping your spine straight, slowly bend to the right, stretching your side.
c. Stretch to the left and repeat, alternating sides for one full minute.

2. Seated Ankle Flexion/Extension  (1 minute) 

a. Sit tall, with your toes pointed up toward your shins while keeping your heels on the floor. Hold for three seconds.
b. Push your toes into the floor while lifting your heels. Hold for three seconds before repeating position A. Continue for one full minute.

3. Raise the Roof (1 minute)

a.  Sit tall, with your spine straight and your abdominals engaged.
b.  Extend both arms above your head and push your palms into the car ceiling.
c. Hold for three seconds and release, bringing your arms back down to your sides. Repeat for one full minute.

4.  Scapular Retraction (1 minute)

a.  Sit straight and allow your arms to drop relaxed to your sides.
b.  Keeping your spine straight, elevate your shoulders toward your ears.
c.  Rotate your shoulders, starting with a shrug and rotating them back and down while squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Keep repeating this motion for one full minute.

Repeat round 1.

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Credit: Shutterstock

A Pit Stop Power Up

2 great exercises you can do outside of the car.

5.  Seated Side Bend (1 minute)

a. Sit tall, with your hands behind your head and your fingers clasped.
b. While keeping your spine straight, slowly bend to the right, stretching your side.
c. Stretch to the left and repeat, alternating sides for one full minute.

6. The Stop and Walk (1 minute)

a. Walk with your posture tall and your shoulders back.
b. Take long steps, pushing off the ball of your foot with each step to activate your calves. 

Interested in upping your road trip workout? Add weights (ankle or wrist) to make any of these exercises more challenging. We recommend starting with 2.5 Pounds.

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