Fitness for drivers

Fitness for drivers

We all sit too much and move too little. This is especially true for driving. Hundreds of kilometers are reeled off – especially during the vacation season – and only for refueling or a "pee break" is actually illusory get out of the car quickly, bend your back once – and continue on your way. This is bad for the circulation, the spine, generally for our overall well-being. There are some very simple exercises and tips to help us stay fit in the car.

Let’s start with the problem of night driving. It’s popular with many drivers because the highway is (perhaps) emptier and because you’re already at your destination on the first day of your vacation and don’t use it up getting there. Generally you should not start the night ride before 2.start at 00 o’clock in the morning and be sure to have slept a few hours beforehand. Before you start: five minutes of stretching, walking vigorously on the spot and circling your arms – this will get your circulation going.

The eternal topic of coffee. Of course, strong coffee makes you awake, it is also good for quick thinking and your reactions – but its awakening effect only sets in ca. 3 hours after enjoying a. You must take this into account.

Take breaks

The well-intentioned advice: "take a 20-minute break every two hours" is actually illusory and unrealistic. Every person has a different rhythm of life. Some people need a break after an hour and a half of exhausting highway driving or after cranking around on narrow country roads, while others are still fit after three hours. But the body sends warning symptoms when it needs a break. For example:

  • eye burning and more and more frequent blinking.
  • You notice that you no longer keep the distance and keep tailgating.
  • The mistakes of other drivers are starting to annoy you more and more.
  • hands and fingers are no longer loose on and around the steering wheel. They cramp.
  • Sitting becomes more and more torturous, you slide back and forth more and more often.
  • You have the feeling that your eyes are about to close.

Light food does not put a strain on the stomach

Your diet is much more important than you think. In no case before a long journey take a sumptuous meal. According to the motto: "then I hold out for a long time." the last meal you should eat around. Two hours before departure: plenty of protein (dairy products, fish), steamed vegetables, fruit, whole-grain products, no fatty meat. Good things to eat on the road: bananas, apples, tomatoes, grapes. Less good are thickly sandwiched sausage sandwiches, sweets. Chocolate is not so good either, because it makes your mouth and throat slimy and you get thirsty. If you notice that your strength and concentration are waning, a power bar with wheat germ and glucose will help you quickly.

Do not forget to drink

Most cars run on air conditioning, which means you are breathing extremely dry air. Therefore, you should really take liquid at intervals of one hour. Still mineral water is very good, apple juice spritzer is even better. Carbonated water is not so good, it bloats the belly. Sweet lemonades, children’s lemonades, sweetened teas (iced tea) or coca-cola are not good at all. The dry air also damages your eyes: they dry out and begin to burn. Frequent and vigorous eye blinking helps: this distributes new tear fluid on the surface of the eyes. If necessary, soak a cotton ball in water and moisten your eyes.

Turn your car into a "sports car. Tense certain muscle groups (upper arms, forearms, fingers, thighs) again and again – and let them go again. Five to ten times. This does not interfere with driving, since you are not moving in the seat.

Involve other body muscles as well. The sphincter muscle, for example: bite your teeth and let go again. Pull in the abdomen, relax again. These muscle games keep the circulation going and the brain is well supplied with blood.

Especially our spine is under a lot of stress when driving a car. During the ride, put pressure on a different part of your back from time to time by pressing it firmly against the backrest. Move the pelvis by alternately tensing and relaxing the pomus muscles.

Exercises for the break

But all this cannot replace a break. It should not be too short. Get out of the car, first approx. Three to four minutes of simply walking around to get the blood circulation going again. Then walk briefly on the balls of your feet, alternating with your heels. After that, stand up in the straddle, arm circles, then try to touch the right foot with the left hand and vice versa. In quick change ca. 10 to 12 times. Stand with your legs straddled away from the car, lean on the roof of the car with your arms and press down hard eight to twelve times. Before starting the ride, stand firmly on the ground, turn your upper body to the left and to the right as far as you can. After that you can take the next two or three hundred kilometers under the tires.

Mental freshness is just as important on long trips as physical freshness. Talk to the passenger: about the upcoming vacation, about your plans, about trips you want to take. Try to change your angle of vision as often as possible. If you only keep an eye on the exhaust of the car in front of you at 150 km/h, you will soon get tired. Drive at alternating speeds. Chew a piece of chewing gum between trips. For long journeys, choose your favorite music CDs. Do not try to overcome fatigue in the car – go out to the parking lot, take a break.

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Christina Cherry
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