The average travel time spent each way to work for commuters is 26 minutes, adding up to four hours and 20 minutes a week. Instead of being stressed out and frustrated by your commute, put that time to use with a workout! These seven creative, commuter-friendly exercises will get your blood flowing and body moving. You’ll find you feel more rejuvenated and less frustrated when you reach your destination.
All of these exercises can be done while traveling by train, bus, car (some only while being a carpool passenger, please!) and even on a plane. They can also be done while at work as desk workouts or standing desk exercises.
1. Pec squeeze
While seated, bend forward and put your arms on your lap, then interlace your fingers. Now touch your elbows together making sure to keep the chest lifted and shoulders back. Squeeze the chest and hold for 10 seconds (make sure not to hold your breath), release contraction and repeat for 8–12 reps, for 2–3 sets.
2. Ab crunch
Sit with feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. With neck and shoulders relaxed, contract lower ab muscles. Contract the upper and lower abdominal muscles, then slightly round the lower back moving the ribcage down toward the hips. Hold for 10 seconds while breathing normally, then return to beginning position. Repeat for 8–12 reps, for 2–3 sets.
Bus stop or train platform exercises:
3. Calf raises
This is an easy one…just raise up and down on the balls of your feet until you start to feel the burn (then do a few extra). Take a break and repeat.
4. Commuter squats
When waiting for the bus or train try doing static holds. Squat against a wall pretending to sit on a chair, and hold for as long as possible. Take a break, then repeat. If there is a bench, squat down as if you are sitting, then stand up right before you touch the bench. If you have a laptop bag, try holding it as extra weight.
Stuck in traffic/red light exercises:
5. Arm pump-up
Assuming you are driving alone, open your window and stretch each arm out to the side. With your palms facing out, make 25 small circles to the front and then 25 small circles to the back, rest. Next, put your right palm down and left palm up and switch palms from up to down. Try doing for 50 reps, then rest. Finally, with arms out and palms up, make a fist and squeeze up in a bicep curl contracting the bicep. Do for 15 reps.
To add a little weight, you can keep wrist weights in the glove compartment to add to your arm workout.
6. Torso twist
Sit upright with hands at the 9 and 3 positions on the steering wheel. Now, while engaging your core, twist your trunk to the left side, hold, then twist to the right. Do 20 reps, rest and repeat.
Anywhere exercises (these can be done sitting or standing)
7. Ab and glute squeezes
Simply continuously flex your stomach muscles! It’s a great ab workout and helps improve posture. Flex until you can feel them getting tired, rest and repeat. Next, squeeze your glutes tight, then release. Continue to repeat until you feel fatigued. You can also do these exercises to music on the radio or your headset, squeezing to the beat!