Highway Rest Area sign | Priority Toyota Hampton in Hampton, VASpending lots of time in your vehicle because of a long commute or even a long vacation could increase your health risks. You can use these tips to protect your health and stay comfortable on a long drive.

Get Some Exercise 

You should stop driving every two or three hours to get some exercise, go to the bathroom, and stretch your legs. Fortunately, most highways in the United States have multiple rest areas with bathrooms, large parks, brochures about the region, and other amenities. You can take a short walk and relax at one of these places, stop at a local museum and stroll through the exhibits, or visit another nearby attraction such an amusement park. 

Even if you’re on a tight schedule, regular exercise is important. It can help you avoid gaining weight, stay in shape, and extend your life. In the short term, moving around will keep blood from pooling in your legs due to poor circulation and prevent back pain and stress from a drive without breaks. Exercise will also help you stay focused and prevent accidents due to fatigue.

Remember to Rest

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 72,000 auto accidents because of drowsy driving in 2013 alone. Even if you don’t fall asleep, drowsy driving lowers your reaction time and makes distractions more likely. If you have difficulty keeping your eyes open, you start yawning frequently, or you drift into another lane, pull over. You can take a nap at a rest stop or let a passenger take over. Don’t try to stay awake by consuming an energy drink, opening your windows, or turning up your stereo. Most people need to sleep for at least seven hours per night.

Eat Healthy Foods

Making healthy choices is tough when you’re passing mostly gas stations, fast food restaurants, and ice cream shops. When possible, find a grocery store that sells healthy snacks. You can also pack lunches and snacks for yourself and your passengers. Choose foods such as sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, nuts, sunflower seeds, or granola bars.

Stay Hydrated 

Drink plenty of water; keep some extra water bottles in your vehicle; and avoid coffee, soft drinks, and other caffeinated beverages. If you have a drink with caffeine, drink some water at the same time. Stay away from salty pretzels or chips as well. According to Physiology and Behavior, a scientific journal, driving while dehydrated can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Dehydration reduces blood volume, causing dizziness and keeping your brain from performing at its best. It can also lead to low blood pressure, nausea, and fainting.

You can also stay safe and reduce fatigue by choosing a vehicle with advanced safety and driver assistance features – Toyota’s Safety Sense comes on most new Toyotas. It includes dynamic radar cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams. Priority Toyota Hampton has an extensive inventory, and we can assist you with choosing a vehicle that will help you stay healthy!

Image via stevendamron | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Categories: Tips

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