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Florida GrandDriver® Exercises to Improve Physical Mobility

  Exercises to improve physical mobility

The following sections describe exercises you can do at home which may improve physical mobility that effects driving ability. Before beginning any exercise program, consult your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you do these exercises 3 to 5 times per week.

Head and Neck

Stiffness in the neck, which keeps you from turning your head, limits your field of
vision. For each of these exercises, hold for 5 counts and repeat 10 times.

Flexion: Curl chin to chest. curl chin to chest
Axial Extension: Tuck chin in; don’t tip head down.
Rotation: Tuck chin in, turn head to look over right shoulder and then look over left shoulder.
Sidebending: Tilt head to right shoulder, then left.

Arms and Hands

If your arms and hands become tired or tingly and numb when driving and you have difficulty gripping the steering wheel and lifting your arms to adjust the rearview mirror, try these exercises or activities.

Cup Exercise: Gather 5 to 10 styrofoam or plastic cups and practice turning them upside down and right side up. Then practice stacking and unstacking them as quickly as possible. This exercise will help to improve your gross motor coordination and speed.

Transferring Objects Exercise: Practice transferring various objects from one side of the table to the other. This will help with coordination and seeing things using your peripheral vision.

Folding Clothes: Folding clothes is a good activity to help increase gross upper extremity movement.

Legs and Feet

Stiff or numb legs and feet slow reaction time and ability to quickly depress the brake or gas pedal. For each of these exercises, hold for 5 counts and repeat 10 times.

Hip Flexion: Sitting, lift right knee then left knee to chest.
hip flexion

Knee Extension: Sit with back against chair. Straighten right knee then left knee.

knee extension 1knee extension 2


Ankle Flexion: Sit with feet on floor. Raise right foot then left foot. Keep heel on floor. Raise heel. Keep toes on floor and hold.

ankle flexion 1ankle flexion 2
This information was developed by the Central Plains Area Agency on Aging, Wichita, Kansas; in conjunction with the staff of "Rehability", a national rehabilitation corporation specializing in physical therapy.


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