How to Stay Comfortable While Driving Long Distances
As a kid, you probably curled up in the car — head this way, feet the other — contorted like a pretzel. Upon arrival, you jumped right out ready to enjoy the next adventure. Sadly, those days are gone. Now, even sitting for long periods can make you ache as badly as if you ran the trip instead of traveling in the luxury of your car. You don’t have to accept this as your new normal. There are things you can do to improve your comfort.
Pack Food and Water
From unexpected breakdowns to avoiding unhealthy choices, bringing snacks from home will keep hunger away and help you avoid the temptation of fast food. Instead, you can use the breaks you would’ve taken for food to take a short walk around the rest area to stretch those muscles. You should schedule stops every two to three hours to relieve aching joints. Stop even if you feel fine, taking the time to walk and stretch for about five minutes.
Adjust Your Posture
Driving day-to-day, you may not notice your bad posture or driving habits. However, tack on a few hours and you realize the strain you put on your back, shoulders, neck, and hips. Using your cruise control will help ease some of the strain on your lower back and hips because you can place your foot flat on the floor instead of on the gas. Adjust your seat so you have support and you’re not straining to reach the steering wheel. Here are some details on how to sit in the correct posture while driving.
Check All Fluids Before You Leave
The last thing you want on a road trip is your car overheating or your AC giving out. Take the time to check all your car’s fluids before you start your journey. Don’t let low coolant surprise you.
Leave Relaxing Tunes at Home
While the idea of bringing relaxing music on a trip seems like a good one, particularly with traffic jams and things that take you from your happy place, the last thing you need on an open stretch of road is soothing music. Falling asleep is a big no-no when driving long distance. Instead, bring music you love to dance to or sing to. Play it loud and with the windows down. If you feel sleepy and the music doesn’t help, either pull over and rest or take a walk. The same care should be taken with audio books or podcasts. If the sound of the human voice has been known to lull you to sleep, skip it for your trip.
Driving on the open road is exhilarating, but not if you’re so sore that you’re distracted from good driving practices. Take care of your body, paying close attention to how you sit. Once you feel the pain, it rarely disappears just because you switch positions. It took you a while to feel it and will take a while for it to dissipate as well.