Diamond

Workout behind the wheel

24/01/2006

Many people will have broken their New Year's resolution to get healthy by now due to busy lifestyles, time spent travelling and probably a hint of laziness. So one company has compiled a workout that motorists can do to while sat in their cars to ease a bit of the guilt.

Women's car insurance specialist Diamond has worked with Dr Karianne Wasley Backx, an Exercise and Sport Physiologist from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff and came up with the following exercises that are suitable while you are stationary in traffic queues.

  1. Improve posture - Sit tall with your weight evenly balanced on each buttock. Lengthen your spine, keeping your shoulders relaxed, pull in your stomach muscles and lift your ribcage. Adjust your rear-view mirror so that you have to sit up straight to use it.

  2. Facial exercises - Raise your eyebrows into a surprised expression, and then pull them down into a frown. Repeat 10 times.

  3. Neck exercises - Slowly and carefully turn your head to look left then back to the centre to look straight ahead and then turn to look right. Keep the back of your neck long and your shoulders relaxed. Repeat 5 times. Do the exercise again, but instead of looking straight ahead when your head is in the centre, move your chin towards your chest.

  4. Shoulder circles - Sit tall. Bring your shoulders up towards your ears and circle them back downwards. Repeat 5 times. Then lift your shoulders towards your ears and drop them back down. Repeat 5 times.

  5. Arm exercises - Stretch out your arms to the front, to the side and towards your back pulling your shoulder blades together. Repeat 5 times.

  6. Hand and wrist exercises - Grip the steering wheel very tightly for a few seconds, release your hands from the steering, making a clawing motion by curling your fingers, and finally stretch your fingers as wide as possible. Repeat 5 times. Circle your right hand, keeping your arm as still as possible. Make ten circles in each direction and repeat with the other hand.

  7. Buttock exercises - Sit tall. Balance your weight evenly. Clench your buttocks tightly. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 10 times. Ensure that you have nothing in your back pockets, sitting on for example a wallet can cause numbness and increase the risk of sciatica.

  8. Pelvic floor exercises - Kegel exercises: without using your buttocks draw up the pelvic floor muscles, while also drawing in your belly button. Repeat 10 times.

  9. Calf exercises - Make sure your feet are not in contact with the pedals. Keep your weight even and your feet flat. Push up onto your tiptoes, hold for a count of five and relax. Repeat 5 times.

  10. Ankle exercises - Again, make sure your feet are not in contact with the pedals. Keep your weight even. Circle your left foot, keeping your leg as still as possible. Make ten circles in each direction with each foot.

Sian Lewis, managing director at Diamond said, "Motorists in the UK are regularly finding themselves stuck in traffic queues. These exercises are easy to do while you are stationary for any length of time and are great for easing the stress too. Although, don't be surprised if you get some funny looks when carrying out the facial exercises!"


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