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Road Trip Stretching - The Alphabet Game Revised

Are you taking a family road trip this summer and need ways to pass time in the car? What's great entertainment for the kids that will also keep your body and mind from turning to mush on long stretches of highway?  Play the old familiar alphabet game, but with an athletic twist.   Finding the letters of the alphabet on passing road signs and bumper stickers can be lots of fun.  To bring movement into the game, stretch various body parts when you reach vowels.     
road trip streching blog pic
Start with the vowel "A".  "A" is for "Arch".  With your eyes on the road, gently contract your lower abdominals to support your spine, then gently arch your upper back and chest up towards the ceiling.  This creates a gentle stretch in your upper torso, reversing slumped posture that causes neck and back discomfort.   

      "E" stands for Elevate.  Elevate (shrug) your shoulders several times, taking down tension in the neck and shoulders.  

      "I"  stands for "Inhale".  Taking several long, full breaths helps "reset" your core muscles and brings down stress levels. 

      "O" stands for "Open".  Open and close your fingers and toes several times.  This activates and stretches the smaller muscles of your hands and feet that get stiff on long drives.  

      "U" stands for "Undulate".  Gently wiggle your torso and hips up, down, and all around, decreasing discomfort in the lower back, shoulders and neck.  

      For "Sometimes 'Y'", reach your arms over your head in the shape of a "Y" (or as high is comfortable for your shoulders) and stretch like your morning yawn.  Only use one arm at a time if you are driving! 


This physical version of the alphabet is great family time that helps keep your body and mind nimble over long distances.   And you'll be pleased with the fewer times that you hear that all too famous phrase, "Are we there yet?"