It has been well established that physical activity can help you live longer. Cardiovascular disease in currently the leading cause of death in America. Physical activity has been directly linked to increased cardiovascular health. But did you also know that physical activity may help you stay safe during a long drive? It is true, and today we will discuss why.
The Dangers of a Long Drive
Accidents, including those which occur in a vehicle, are the number 4 leading cause of death in America. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has that annual highway crashes account for nearly $1 trillion in economic loss. Thousands of individuals die every year on the highway.
Highways are dangerous for a number of reason, first and foremost being the speed at which cars are traveling. Additionally, studies have shown that drivers have a rapidly declining ability to focus as the duration of a drive exceeds 2 hours. Surprisingly, physical activity can directly address the risk factors associated with highway driving!
Benefits of Physical Activity
So how exactly can physical activity help us stay safe on the highway? Through two ways: it increases our ability to focus and it sharpens our reaction time. Physical activity floods our bodies with endorphins which cause a sense of wellbeing and pleasure. This sensation doesn’t just last during exercise. It says with us for days. Increased endorphin circulation has also been linked to an ability to stay focused for long periods of time. Additionally, exercise sharpens our reaction time.
If you are planning on taking a long road trip, one lasting over four hours, it is important to plan out breaks. Every few hours get out of the car and walk around. More strenuous physical activity is ideal, but a simple stroll around a parking area can be enough.