Good energy is contagious
New suburbs and estates, rising house prices in close proximity to the CBD, greater work opportunities spread across Melbourne and increased traffic on the roads. These are just a few of the contributing factors making more and more people undertake lengthy commutes to and from work or study.
A 2011 report found Australians spent 4.4 hours a week, or 53 minutes a day for a five day working week, travelling to and from work – An increase of 3.9 hours since 2002.
This changing dynamic means all of us are driving more than we ever have. We are also aware that driving can be monotonous and driving whilst tired can have catastrophic results.
Often people are misinformed and blasé in their approach to staying alert at the wheel. Sugar hits, energy drinks and harmful stimulants like Nodoz or caffeine orals are typically what long commuters will turn to. Apart from being generally unhealthy, these products can lead to long term side effects.
“A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood.”
Natural remedies to stay alert on the road:
• Powernap: A 20 minute nap has been proven to reenergize and provide crucial rest to power you on. Ensure it is no longer than around 30 minutes as this can cause you to become more drowsy
• Healthy meal pre drive: You’ve heard it all before, healthy eating is a must. If you want to stay alert, fast food packed with salt, sugar and fat will only make you more tired. Find something packed with carbohydrates and protein – Lean meat, veggies and fruit. Try a lean chicken salad and power on!
• Don’t be afraid to pull over: There is no shame in pulling over for 5 minutes, getting out the car and stretching the legs. Wriggle and shake your limbs and if you don’t feel too silly, do 10 star jumps!
• Put your favourite music on: Music releases a mood enhancing chemical called dopamine, turn it up loud and let the music promote positive vibes and increased energy levels.
• Call a friend or family member: This is contentious as talking on the phone while driving should never be encouraged. Nevertheless done safely, with the use of hands free calling a friend or family member and having a stimulating chat can keep the mind engaged.
• Wind down the window: Ever had that invigorating feeling of a fresh breeze striking your face, it’s uplifting and will almost certainly give you an instant energy hit.
• Snack on something healthy: As with a healthy meal pre drive, mid drive snacking can prolong the release of energy. Replace sugary snacks with a handful of nuts.
• Hydrate: Sip on a bottle of water while driving, it’s simple and highly effective. If you want to try something a little out of the ordinary add lemon, orange, mint or cucumber.
• Car pool wherever possible: Have a colleague that lives in the same area? Make life easier for yourself and negotiate a car pool. Driving every second day instead of everyday sounds much better.
• Have a routine: Consistent sleep cycles and regular exercise are very important. Routine allows your body to know when to rest, when to work and hopefully when to be alert while driving. Routine also builds good habits, increases efficiency and saves time planning and stressing.
Sugary snacks and energy drinks may be the easy, appealing option, but in the long run ask yourself if they are positively contributing to your health. Routine and healthy snacks are two of the most important factors in keeping your mind engaged while driving.
For more information on how Muscle Joint Bone can help you, or to book an appointment contact us on (03) 9174 9174.