Driving for better health

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Many of us hop into a car remembering the rules of the road but forgetting about our body position in the car.  Yes, even while driving, proper posture can help prevent accidents and improve driving comfort.  Personal trainer Troy Walker from Phenomenal Fitness says sitting in a car for long periods of time can aggravate the back and hips and also cause more tension and unnecessary stress.

A common unhealthy habit people have while driving is not learning how to relax.  First, Troy suggests preparing yourself mentally for a long drive whether you are going across country or sitting in a traffic jam, the best practice is to get in the car in a relaxed state, breathe deeply and focus on the drive ahead.  Once you are in the car, proper posture starts with proper hand placement at the 9 and 3 positions and the steering wheel should be set at the correct height and reach. Next, , your seat belt should fit snug over the waist with the shoulder strap placed over the middle of the shoulder and the mounting higher than the shoulder.  It’s important to position yourself correctly in the seat so Troy says to sit straight up and make sure your buttocks and back are square in the seat.  If you are taking a long road trip, Troy recommends every hour to take a break at a rest stop to stretch and move around.  But, if you’re just stuck in jammed up traffic for hours on end, there are simple movements you can do to get the blood moving like turning your body as if you were looking for a car behind you.  The most important tip to remember is to focus on the road, feel the steering wheel in your hands, feel the car seat underneath you and truly be present in moment.

And always remember, no matter what the traffic is like… you’re going to get there… eventually.