Tips for drivers: reaching your destination in good health

Studies show that many car drivers – especially commuters – feel stressed out. In addition, the back often hurts after long journeys. The AOK gives tips on how to ease the strain on your back and psyche while driving.

Counteracting mental stress

Driving in traffic jams is exhausting. It’s not going anywhere, they want or need to get to their destination on time. The stress level rises.

Tip: fill your driving time with something useful. So you don’t feel like you’re wasting time. Put on a good audiobook or podcast with a tutorial that will keep you on the job. In addition, you should check the traffic situation before the journey. This is how you can avoid a possible traffic jam.

Take breaks if you feel tired

Long car journeys or driving in the dark can quickly make you tired. This can be dangerous. Tired people are less able to concentrate, react more slowly and tend to overestimate themselves.

Tip: watch out for fatigue warning signs: burning eyes or wandering thoughts. In this case, only one thing helps: make a stop and, if necessary, take a nap. An open window, loud music or coffee will only help in the short term.

Drink enough, eat light

A rich meal also makes you tired quickly. On longer journeys, you should avoid a sumptuous meal at the rest stop.

Tip: prepare some fruit or vegetables such as apples, cucumbers or carrots to nibble on in between trips. This also keeps them awake, since chewing stimulates the blood circulation. The vitamin kick also makes you active. Make sure you drink enough, preferably mineral water. Sufficient fluids are also good for your intervertebral discs and thus your back.

back problems: adjust the car seat properly

Many drivers suffer from back problems. This is also partly due to an incorrectly adjusted car seat.

Tip: Your car seat should be adjusted so that you sit upright. The backrest is positioned at an angle of about 100 degrees to the seat surface. Back and shoulders should be in contact with the seat, keep knees slightly bent.

exercise breaks during long car journeys

On the way to your vacation you want to reach your destination quickly. Nevertheless, take breaks after driving for about two hours. You can prevent back pain with a few exercises.

Tip: relax your leg muscles. Walk a little and stand on one leg and pull the heel gently and carefully in the direction of the buttocks. Then repeat the whole process with the other leg. This relaxes the lower back muscles. For a more relaxed neck, you should pull your shoulders towards your ears, hold them for a short time and then let your shoulders drop again. In addition, regular, targeted exercises help. They prevent back and neck problems.

Distraction for children

If children are traveling with you, they’re bound to complain during long car journeys. This stresses the driver.

Tip: especially if you are traveling alone with children, you should prepare enough diversion. Audio games, card games and drawing utensils to pass the time. In addition, drinks and snacks should be placed within easy reach for children.

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Christina Cherry
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