by Shane Borza, Ultimate Performance Coach & Mind-Body Fitness Expert

Several years ago, a friend and I drove my Uncle’s car cross country. We were taking it from the West coast to the East coast as he and his family were moving and couldn’t drive it, their other car, and the moving truck all at once. We also brought their dog Abe which, at first, was a pain in the ass, but ended up being a lesson in programming.

Coordinating stopping for gas, food, bathroom breaks, and dog walks was complicated at first as, it seemed, everyone was at odds with everyone else. But, as I get stiff and sore from sitting in the car for hours at a time, it became a blessing. Over time we developed the habit of stopping every two hours – at a minimum – to let Abe out and give us a chance to walk around. 

As the trip progressed, I began experimenting with different protocols:

  • Walk for 5-10 minutes each stop and/or
  • Stretch for 5-10 minutes and/or
  • Calisthenics for 5-10 minutes

Some days, if we were stopping somewhere to hike around all day, I’d find it was too much and would back off. Other days, if we were doing nothing except trying to make it to Chicago say, which we did in one stretch from Cody Wyoming (Jesus!), it was all I could do to not stop every hour and get out to stretch.

Regardless, as I get older, the ‘sitting for hours at a time’ issue becomes more and more of a thing. Experiment with a driving/stopping ratio that works for you to better ensure you arrive fresh -and not creaky.

Roadtrip breaks are perfect for GTG – keep that KB handy and get some reps in at every rest stop.

Recommended Drive/Stop Ratios:

  • Short Drives (Half Day): For drives up to 5-6 hours, get some stretching, walking, and exercise in before you get in the car, about halfway, and once you arrive
  • Medium Drives (Full Day): For drives up to 10-12 hours, stretch, walk and do some light exercise every few hours throughout the ride (breaks every 2-4hrs is ideal)
  • Long Drives (Multi-Day): If driving for more than two days, take plenty of long breaks, focusing on non-sitting positions. Meal breaks are a great time to squat, stand, walk, stretch, cobra, and simply not be on your butt!
Keep a ball handy, it’s excellent to sit on or lean against and will keep those knots at bay.

The above is an excerpt from my new book Total Mountain Fitness. If you found this helpful and would like to receive the free ebook version, please sign up here: