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5 Ways to Keep Moving While You Wait for the Green Light

Stuck in traffic? Maybe now's a good time to get in a little stretching.
Stuck in traffic? Maybe now's a good time to get in a little stretching.

Few things are more boring than sitting at a stop light, waiting for that big red beacon to turn a glorious shade of green. And unfortunately, that's not the only time we sit in our driver's seat with the engine idling. According to the 2011 Urban Mobility Report from the Texas Transportation Institute, the average commuter spends 34 hours a year tied up in traffic congestion -- up from 14 hours in 1982 [source: Texas A&M Transportation Institute]. All the while, we're doing something hazardous to our health: Sitting for extended periods of time contributes to slower metabolism, muscle imbalances, and a host of ailments like cardiovascular disease and cancer [source: Levine].

Even though the demands of driving and the physical limitations of a car drastically limit your opportunities for fitness when you're behind the wheel, we've found five exercises to help pass the time and combat some of these health problems. But before you start incorporating the exercises on the following pages, remember that these movements are complements -- not substitutes -- for a well-rounded fitness regimen that incorporates cardiovascular and resistance training. Also, while sitting still can be hazardous to your long-term health, distracted driving poses a serious and immediate threat to you and your fellow drivers, so stay alert to your surroundings and stop exercising when you're in motion. With those caveats in mind, let's look at a few ways to keep moving until the light turns green.