When you think about it, your car is just one big veal pen and you’re a trapped animal getting softer by the second. Cassey Ho works as a Pilates instructor at Equinox and runs an online fitness empire that includes a blog about nutrition and body image, hundreds of instructional YouTube videos, and an app where users all over the world post about their progress. A self-proclaimed "hater of sitting around," she’s developed a sequence of exercises that let you battle traffic boredom—and the bulge. Here are six moves to help you crush it during your commute:
1. Target Area: Your Insides
The Problem: You’re trying to drink 8 to 10 glasses a day, but your car cup holder is usually used for venti lattes.
The Solution: Keep a 24 oz. water bottle in your car, and drink the whole thing during each hour you are driving. Just make sure there’s a potty happening on the other side.
2. Target Area: Thighs
The Problem: Listening to a This American Life marathon doesn’t count as running. Worse yet, sitting for long periods of time shortens leg muscles and risks varicose veins.
The Solution: Squeeze both your thighs together as tight and as quick you can, pulsing for counts of 50. For inspiration, remember how hard it was to squeeze into those dress pants this morning.
3. Target Area: Arms
The Problem: Are you a creative director? Or a lunch lady? Getting harder to tell with those floppy arms. Aside from shaking our fists, most of us don’t do much with our biceps.
The Solution: With your hands gripping at seven and five o’clock on the steering wheel, pull yourself forward using only your upper arms. Think Hulk arms: “Hulk smash car, Hulk pull steering wheel.” Try to do 25 every time you’re at a stoplight, and don’t forget to make Hulk faces at anyone trying to sneak an illegal left turn.
4. Target Area: Backside
The Problem: During a double daily commute, our asses are spread like cream cheese for 50 minutes every morning and evening—and that doesn’t count the hours spent slouched at the office desk.
The Solution: Bootyliciousness does not grace the lazy. Make Beyoncé proud and clench those butt-cheeks for five sets of 10.
5. Target Area: Heart Rate
The Problem: The only time you experience an accelerated pulse is when somebody cuts you off.
The Solution: Pick a high-energy song and move in your seat through the whole thing. If you are worried about keeping control of your vehicle, focus on just moving with your abs. This exercise works at burning fat as long as you bump up your heart rate.
6. Target Area: Your Hunchback
The Problem: The sheer weight of your commute presses on you until you to look like a resident of the bell towers of Notre Dame.
The Solution: After your auto-exercising, make sure to check in with your posture. “It’s important to stretch after being in the car for so long,” Ho said. “Even just bending over to touch your toes will be good for your hamstrings and back.”
You can find more exercises, including ones you can do in the passenger seat (or the back seat if your chauffeur is on duty) in this Blogilates Road Trip Challenge Video: