Everybody Stuck in Traffic Needs Pilates

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Sitting in a car for minutes to hours at a time may have a larger impact on your body and your health than you think.

Driving to and from work negatively affects the body by causing your posture to be compromised, your neck and back to become strained, and effecting damage to your heart.

The disks that are between each vertebra are made to contract and expand with your movements. Being cooped up in a driver’s seat rotates the pelvis backward and puts extra pressure on the lower lumbar disks. When in this position, the weight shifts and the shoulders curve as compensation. The blood and nutrients cannot be absorbed in the spine sufficiently causing the disks to become compressed and lose their flexibility over a period of time. This can most definitely affect your posture!

The strain on the lower back can be caused by the pressure of an unbalanced pelvis in the sitting position. Slouched in the car for what seems like forever on your commute may also lead to strains in your cervical vertebrae – the top 7 bones of the spine. This strain on the upper spine can cause permanent imbalances that include neck strains as well as sore back and shoulder muscles.

While sitting, your blood travels to and from your heart at a slower rate. This causes muscles to burn fat at a slower pace which makes it much easier for fatty acids to clog arteries. In fact, as soon as you sit down, the electrical activity in your muscles drops significantly and your calorie-burning rate plummets to about 1 calorie per minute. This also causes the muscles to decrease in size over time.

While the disks in your back are being compressed from that long car ride, relieve some tension on the reformer! Read how to expand those disks and even potentially become taller in our PREVIOUS BLOG.

One of our Pilates experts had an excellent tip on how to combat back and hip strains!

“Pilates training is designed to help counter those issues by focusing on core strength, flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. The back and hips can suffer after a long drive! That’s why I love the bridge series. (It can be done on the reformer or mat!) The bridge strengthens your low back and hip muscles, helping stabilize your spine.” – Taylor