How To Make Your Car Healthier for You

Woman driving car

By Jessie Shafer, RD

The average American spends 204 hours each year commuting to and from work. Not only can all this car time make you cranky and anxious, but it can seriously harm your well-being. Use these tips to arrive alive—and healthier!

Don’t eat and drive

Woman eating a sweet and drinking driving a car

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, eating while driving increases the likelihood of crashes by 80 percent. Additionally, distracted drivers who are eating or drinking cause 65 percent of near-miss crashes. That’s pretty scary, considering that 70 percent of drivers eat and 83 percent drink beverages while they’re behind the wheel, according to a survey of 1,000 drivers conducted by Exxon Mobil. Eating while driving involves all three of the most common distractions:

  • visual—diverting your eyes from the road,
  • manual—taking your hands off the wheel and
  • cognitive—taking your focus away from driving.

If you commonly find yourself in a morning rush that requires breakfast to-go or picking up food on the way, consider getting up just 15 minutes earlier. This small amount of time will not only allow you to prepare and mindfully eat your breakfast at home (which is almost always healthier than what you’d take or buy), but it could also save your life and the lives of commuters around you.

Relieve traffic tension

Woman driving car distracted by her mobile phone

Driving more than 10 miles each way for your daily commute is associated with higher blood sugar, higher cholesterol and higher risk of depression, according to research from Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, The Cooper Institute in Dallas and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

But, with the right mindset and tools, you can relieve some of the stress by reframing the time spent in your vehicle.

Before starting the ignition, take a deep breath and accept that the next 25 minutes (or however long your commute takes) is an opportunity for “me-time,” especially if it’s the only chance you have to be alone all day. Too-slow or too-fast drivers, traffic jams and aggressive mergers will happen, but try your best not to give them too much of your energy. Instead, use this time to mentally transition from home to work or vice versa. Stash your cell phone and other dangerous distractions out of reach, and perhaps listen to a favorite podcast, audio book, meditation guide, playlist or radio channel.

SOURCE: This article is posted by permission Delicious Living (and its parent company New Hope Network), a trusted voice in the natural living community for 30 years.

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Combining her passion for food and a lifelong commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Grace O has created FoodTrients®, a unique program for optimizing wellness. Grace O is a fusion chef with a mission: to cook up recipes for sustaining a long and joyful life that are built on a foundation of anti-aging science and her work in the health care industry. Mixing foods and unique flavors culled from a lifetime of travels from Asia to Europe and America, Grace O encourages young and old to celebrate a full life that embraces diversity. Lifestyle tips, age-defying recipes, and secrets of the healing properties of food are the centerpiece of FoodTrients™–all available through cookbooks, e-newsletters, and
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