Stuck In Traffic? Use That Time!

Don't you just hate the time you waste sitting in your car, creeping ahead a little bit at a time in traffic? I'm going to tell you how you can make use of that time! While I don't advocate taking your eyes off the road too long, or distracting yourself enough so that you get into an accident, here are a few things you can do to loosen the tension in your neck and upper back even while behind the wheel of your car.

First of all... switch the radio away from the NPR, or whatever loud music helps you through your traffic and work aggressions. (Yeah, I like Megadeth, too.) Maybe find something calming, but not calming enough... to... zzz...

Sit as upright as possible in your seat. Car seats were not designed to promote perfect posture; their primary purpose is to keep us safe in an accident, and the two goals are often mutually exclusive. Once you've found your best posture, glide your shoulders away from your ears, and grow tall out the top of your head, as if you're a turtle sticking its neck out. From here, you can do a few things while keeping your eyes on the road:

  1. Neck stretch: Tilt your head to the right, lowering your right ear toward your right shoulder. Hold here for 5 to 6 breaths. You should feel a gentle stretch along the left side of your neck. When finished, change sides.
  2. Shoulder release: make circles with your shoulders, while maintaining that wonderful posture. Bring your shoulders up and around toward the front, and release them down toward the back. As your shoulders release back down, imagine tension releasing from the body. Repeat about 10 times.
  3. Steering wheel press: This strengthens the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades, which helps you maintain great posture in your upper back without having to think about it! Place your hands at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions of your steering wheel. Keeping your elbows bent, use the muscles around your shoulder blades to gently press your hands down into the steering wheel, towards the floor. Hold for a count of five (without holding your breath). Release, then repeat two more times.
By the end of this, you'll already be halfway home!

By the way -- today is the first birthday of Port-A-Pilates! Join me in celebrating! :) Thanks for your support.

 — Brooke :)