Whether you are transporting goods or commuting, driving can be unhealthy at times. You get stuck in traffic, experience occasional bouts of road rage, or try to stay awake at the wheel during an all nighter.
At any rate, it is important for any motorist to stay healthy no matter what. Your physical condition may very well keep you safe while you are on the road.
That said, let’s take a look at a few ways to keep yourself healthy as a motorist.
1. Keep hydrated
Drinking water is important even if you’re driving down the highway. Especially during long travels, your body may still expend fluids, requiring you to replenish every now and then. A study featured in Men’s Journal found that well-hydrated drivers are less likely to commit errors while on the road. Mild dehydration, on the other hand, can cause loss of concentration and negatively affect mood. So, if you want to be in high spirits while you are behind the wheel, it’s best to bring a bottle of water with you.
2. Do a bit of stretching
Even if you are just sitting and pushing pedals, driving can still be physically demanding. You are just as likely to damage your wrist or ankle during a road trip, so it’s best to keep your bones and muscles properly conditioned before driving. You can try out simple stretching exercises for your back, wrist, and legs. You can try twisting your upper body so as to condition your abdominal muscles. For best results, you can also add a cushion or something soft to support the lumbar region of your back. You might also want to bend your neck sideways and rotate shoulders in order to lessen tension in these areas. If you feel your body giving in, stop over somewhere safe and stretch your arms and legs while standing up.
3. Keep a sharp mind
Even if you are driving along Florida highways and minding your own business, nothing can prepare you for a reckless truck driver. It’s easy to find a Florida truck accident lawyer to help you launch a lawsuit, but things would have played out better if only you could have avoided the accident. Indeed, anything can happen on the road, but staying alert for potential dangers can help you reduce the injuries and medical costs you will have to shoulder afterward. That said, you should be able to reduce potential distractions in your car. Listening to soothing music, for instance, helps enhance your mood so you can concentrate better on the road. If you have passengers with you, you may have to ask them to keep it down when they are talking. You might also want to avoid stressful conversations. Getting into an argument with someone while you are driving can affect your mood and eventually your concentration.
4. Get enough rest
This is a no-brainer, but many of us are probably guilty of driving without getting enough sleep the night before. Drowsiness reduces concentration and nodding off, even on a short drive can be very dangerous. Sleep-deprived driving is one of the leading causes of fatal road collisions. So, if you haven’t had enough sleep, let someone else drive you to work or, better yet, call in sick. You can’t take any risks when you are in such a state. For long travels that will take several days, there is no harm in staying at a motel. After all, the risk of car collisions is very high at night and you also need some beauty sleep before you continue on your journey the next day. Moreover, make sure not to overload yourself with caffeine. Just drink enough coffee for a needed “pick-me-up.” Too much could crash your body, leaving you very tired and sleepy once the caffeine loses its hold on you.
5. Maintain a balanced diet
Believe it or not, your ability to stay safe on the road also depends on the type of food you eat. Especially if you are a professional taxi or truck driver, you will have to avoid food that causes drowsiness and fatigue and prevent yourself from overeating. It’s also important to follow a specific schedule and avoid skipping meals. Not having enough nutrition can affect your response time and lower your concentration. But if you are planning to drive non-stop, you can eat a full (yet nutritionally balanced) breakfast before heading out. You should then stop when you’re hungry. Just make sure not to bring your food along while you are at the wheel.
Driving a car or a truck seems easy, but it’s important to know that your safety depends on the condition you are in. No matter where you are going, the tips above should help you stay healthy so you can stay safe.
Being a Healthy Driver Takes Work
There are a lot of factors that you need to keep in mind as a driver. It is important to make sure that you take the right steps to stay healthy. You will be glad that you did!