By Ana Snyder, M.S., Exercise Physiology; CPT, FNS
I love traveling, but I hate sitting for long periods of time—whether in the car or a plane—mostly because I feel like an actual sack of potatoes just throwing snacks back and being the most sedentary human alive. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Spice up your long trip by adding a few stretches and workouts to help you pass the time and to be more mindful about your health.
These exercises will help you burn some extra calories, but will also help you keep your blood circulating. When your legs are still for too long, blood typically pools in your legs. Have any of you gotten swollen ankles after a long trip? Well, this is why! Not only can it be painful, but it can also lead to blood clots. So get up and get your blood flowing!
Place your fists underneath your butt and lift yourself up into the air. Hold yourself this way for 20 seconds, at least. Repeat 4 times.
Close your feet and wrap an exercise band around the top and bottom of them. Keeping your legs at a 90 degree angle, pull your knees up and down without touching the ground. Aim for 3 sets of 8-12, and you will feel the ab burn!
Start with your feet flat on the floor. Keeping your heels on the floor, lift your toes up as high as they can go. Return both feet flat on the floor, then keeping your toes on the floor, lift your heels up as high as you can. Continue to alternate back and forth.
Step forward with your right leg and bend both knees until your left leg almost touches the ground. Then push yourself back up into a standing position, place all your weight onto your right leg, and extend your left leg up behind you. Step forward with your left leg and repeat. I highly recommend using an exercise band around your thighs for this exercise to make it more difficult.
Use an exercise band of equal or more intensity to do squats as well. Lower your body down like you’re about to sit, keeping your weight on your heels. Once your butt has dropped below your knee level, stand back up and squeeze your glutes. Repeat 15 times and do 3 sets.
This is a great way to end your exercise and to really get your heart pumping! Keep the band around your upper thigh and squat down like before, then jump up into the air. Keep jumping for 30 seconds.