Stretching is not just for runners and yoga fanatics. After a long day on the road, stretching will help you avoid soreness or cramping, and can even prevent long-lasting injuries. It’s best to stretch at least once a day, but doing some quick stretching throughout your drive can help your overall driving comfort too.
Some of our favorite post-driving stretches include:
The Hamstring Stretch
Stand with one of your feet about six to twelve inches in front of the other one. Then slowly bend the back knee, lowering your body until your thighs come together. During the movement, rest your hands on the bent knee for support and to make sure you don’t put any extra pressure on it. Hold this stretch for thirty seconds to a minute, and then switch legs and do it again.
Standing Hip Stretch
This is a stretch you can easily do on the road or in your room at night. First, place your hand against your truck or a sturdy surface, such as railing or doorway. Then slide one leg back about two feet, while bending your front leg slightly. Next, lower your body slowly, placing your weight on the back leg. When you can feel the stretch in your back leg, you’ve gone far enough.
This is another stretch that is easy to do on the road or at home. Hold on to your truck, a wall, or the back of a chair. Stand up straight and bend one leg, lifting your foot toward your back. Grab the foot with your same hand and hold it for several seconds. Then switch legs.
You probably remember this stretch from gym class. Face a wall, standing about two feet away from it. Move one leg forward until your foot touches the wall, and then bend your ankle so that your toes slide up the wall. Next, reach out and place your hands against the wall. Keeping your heel, hip, and head in a straight line, lean forward into your hands. Try to keep your back heel on the ground, while you hold this stretch for twenty seconds. Then switch to the other leg.
Your legs aren’t the only thing that tense up when you’re driving. Your back can get extremely tense and, over time, can make driving—and just about everything else you do—painful. To loosen up your back at the end of the day, stand up straight with your legs together. Lift your arms over your head, palms facing forward, and reach as high and back as you can.