Stuck in Traffic? Exercises You Can Do in the Car

Just imagine, you are sitting in your car, minding your own business just trying to make the commute in to work, and all of a sudden traffic stops moving. You’re on the train, which, of course, is already running behind, and over the intercom you hear about another delay. In these situations it is so easy to become stressed, frustrated, and anxious. However, allowing these emotions to get the best of you is bad for your health!

How can you turn these stressful moments where you are stuck in traffic or delayed on a train into a positive influence? Easy. You can exercise!

No, we are not talking about getting up and performing a Richard Simmons type exercise routine. But yes, we do believe these moments stuck in traffic can easily be used for something good! Read on to learn more about exercises you can do in the car or train while you are waiting for traffic to start flowing again.

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Exercise in the Car — Seriously?

Did you know that the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average American spends 26 minutes getting to work in normal traffic? If you added all Americans’ commuting time up over the course of a calendar year, it would equal 1.2 billion days. That is a LOT of time spent in the car or train. Now factor in the fact that nothing about the city of Chicago and its traffic is normal, and you start to realize you’re spending a lot of time sitting on your commute each day. That’s a lot of time wasted unless you find a way to make it productive.

A great way to use commute time to be productive, is to exercise. You can stretch your muscles, reduce joint pain and stiffness, decrease muscle tension, and improve your health all while in the car or train! Give the following exercises a try. They’ll help you pass the time you spend stuck in traffic, and even make you healthier at the same time.

Neck Exercises

Dr. Paul Fisher at Gold Coast Chiropractic in Chicago, Illinois knows just how important the neck is. After all, it is what supports your head. It also houses arteries that supply blood to the brain from the heart. A healthy neck helps the entire body function well. Try these exercises on your commute to help keep your neck mobile and ready for the day ahead.

  • side to side – This exercise is as easy as it sounds. Simply turn your head to one side and hold for 5 seconds. Then turn it to the other side, and repeat. Do this for 10 times on each side.
  • head tilt – Make sure you are sitting up straight. Then, while looking out in front of you, slowly tilt your head to the side as you lower your ear to your shoulder. Hold this pose for 5 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. Repeat 10x each side.
  • chin to chest – Focus on your posture, and then sit up straight while looking down. Slowly move your chin to your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your neck. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds and then return to a neutral position. Repeat 5-10x.

Abdominal Exercises

A strong and healthy core is so important for a strong and healthy body. Try this easy exercise that will help keep your core lose and mobile.

  • Sit up straight
  • Rotate your core to one side of your body
  • Hold this rotation for 10 seconds and then return to neutral
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Do this at least 5 times per side

Back Exercises

Our backs can endure a lot of strain while sitting still. Give your back a break with these two simple exercises.

  • arch – As always, make sure you are sitting up straight before beginning this exercise. Lean forward as you curl your bottom forward until the small of your back forms an arch. Hold this for 10 seconds, then slow return to the neutral position. Repeat 5-10 times.
  • rocker – This exercise will help take pressure off of your back that can build up from sitting for too long. Shift your body weight from one side to the other. Make sure you lift you lift one side of your butt off of the seat, and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Try and do this 5-10 times each side.

Arm Exercises

Even your arms can become stiff and exhausted when stuck in the car or train for extended periods of time. This is especially true if you find yourself clutching onto the hand rail or steering wheel. Try these tips to give your arms a break.

  • Lean forward in your seat and place both hands behind your back
  • Pull your shoulders back, focusing on trying to bring your shoulder blades together
  • Hold the pose for 5 seconds
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times

Make sure as you do these exercises on your commute, that you never do any exercise to the point of feeling pain.

Gold Coast Chiropractic Can Help

Dr. Fisher understands the stressors of Chicago traffic, and what sitting in it for hours can do to the body. He cares about both his patients’ health and mental sanity!

If you are suffering from the pain and stiffness so often associated with a sedentary commute or job, please contact our offices today at 312.988.9655 or info@goldcoastchiropractic.com for your consultation and appointment.

Dr. Fisher can identify the source of your aches and pains, and through chiropractic, correct them. There is no need to accept poor range of motion, stiffness, back or neck pain, or low energy as part of every day life. Chiropractic can help change that!

Reach out to Gold Coast Chiropractic today. We look forward to working with you on your wellness journey!

Gold Coast Chiropractic proudly serves many communities of Chicago, including, but not limited to: Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, River North, Old Town, Grant Park, South Loop, Magnificent Mile, and more. 

  • "Dr. Fisher was fantastic. I had hurt my back running and the pain was radiating from my lower back into my hip. Three weeks with Dr. Fisher and I was feeling completely normal again and able to get back in the gym."- Thomas Niemants
  • "After spending years suffering with chronic migraines, I'm finally getting my life back and have Dr. Fisher to thank for it! I have tried EVERYTHING, have been on countess medications and am kicking myself for not coming here sooner."- Linz M.
  • "I have been in 2 car accidents in less than 5 years causing debilitating headaches, neck and shoulder pain. Dr. Fisher was able to diagnose what others couldn’t. There are few words to express my thanks for saving my life."- Lisa N.