Tuesday, November 1, 2011

EXERCISES FOR LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL

I SAW THIS ARTICLE ON LIVESTRONG.COM AND I THINK IT IS GREAT! AS MENTIONED, THESE ARE ALSO GREAT EXERCISES TO DO ON AN AIRPLANE TO KEEP BLOOD FLOWING, AVOID BLOOD CLOTS, AND STAY FEELING GOOD. SOME OTHER GREAT IDEAS TO KEEP YOUR BODY FEELING GOOD ON LONG DISTANCE TRAVEL:


Neck stretches:

1) Slowly drop your right ear to your right shoulder, relaxing the shoulder as much as possible.  Hold for 20 seconds while breathing deeply.  Repeat dropping your left ear to your left shoulder.  

2) Turn your head to the right, then drop your chin toward your right shoulder.  Hold for 20 seconds while breathing deeply.  Repeat, turning your head to your left shoulder, then dropping the chin toward your left shoulder.  


KNEE EXERCISES FOR CAR TRAVEL

Knee Exercises for Car Travel
Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Long distance travel in a car or plane can cause dependent edema, or swelling in the feet and legs. Sitting for long periods can also cause blood clots in the legs, a potentially dangerous and even fatal condition. Knee exercises help to prevent swelling and keep blood circulating properly. A car is not the ideal environment for some of these exercises, but they can be done safely and will allow both flexion and extension of the knee joint.

ABOUT KNEE EXERCISES

Knee exercises strengthen the quadriceps and hamstring muscles that move the knee or increase muscle flexibility by gently stretching the muscle. The quadriceps muscles are the big muscles in the front of your thigh. This muscle group is made up of four muscles that join together to form the quadriceps tendon. You contract the quadriceps muscle to straighten your leg. The hamstring muscles are in the back of your thigh. When contracted, your hamstrings bend the knee.

KNEE EXERCISES IN A CAR

Knee exercises that can be performed in a car include hamstring contractions, knee extensions, ankle stretches, quadriceps isometrics and knee flexion. Perform these exercises in a sitting position while facing forward in the front seat; do not remove your seat belt. Exercise one knee at a time. Perform at least five repetitions of each exercise and then repeat with the opposite leg.

HAMSTRING CONTRACTIONS AND KNEE EXTENSIONS

To perform a hamstring contraction, sit with your knees bent at an angle of about 10 degrees and try to pull your heel into the floor; your foot should not move, as this is an isometric exercise. You will feel the hamstring muscles tighten. Hold for five seconds and then relax. To extend the knee, sit with your legs bent and resting on the floor of the car. Lift one foot to straighten your knee and hold it in position for five seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position.

ANKLE STRETCHES, QUADRICEPS ISOMETRICS AND KNEE FLEXION

The ankle stretch helps to stretch the hamstring muscle. Point your toes and then pull the toes back toward the knee; you will feel a pull in the back of your knee and thigh. Quadriceps isometric exercises strengthen the muscle in the front of your thigh. Extend your leg in front of you so that your leg is straight and try to push your knee down into the car seat by using your thigh muscles. To perform knee flexion, raise your leg straight upward and clasp both hands behind the knee. Relax the knee muscles to allow the weight of the leg to bend the knee, and then return the leg to the starting position.

CONSIDERATIONS AND WARNINGS

Driving is a task that requires your full attention; perform knee exercises only when you are a passenger in a car or when the car is stationary. If an exercise causes pain, stop immediately and consult a health-care professional. It is neither necessary nor safe to remove your seat belt while performing these exercises.

REFERENCES



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