While driving is often less expensive than taking a flight, sitting in a car for hours on end can wreak havoc on your body. And although taking a break every hour or two sounds nice, if you want to make it to your final destination in good time, you’re likely going to have to tough it out for at least a few longer stretches. So whether you’re headed to a national park in your Ford, Pembroke Pines in a coupe, or across the country to Grandma’s house, here are three things you can do to make long car rides easier on your body.
The Perfect Seated Position
Remaining in a sitting position for a long time can be very hard on your body. Your back, hips, neck, and legs can begin to get tired, cramped or restless within just a few hours. So to keep these pains at a minimum, you’ve got to find the perfect seated position for yourself. Marijke Vroomen-Durning, a contributor to Everyday Health, recommends making sure you’re not reaching too far for the steering wheel, that your back is straight and supported, and that you can keep both feet on the floor as much as possible for maximum comfortability.
Getting The Temperature Right
Especially if you’re driving with other people, getting the right temperature in the car can be difficult. With the sun shining through the windows and the extra bodies, the inside of the car can heat up quickly. But if you’re driving through shaded areas or with the a/c blasting, it’s also easy to get too cold.
To help with this, Kathryn Walsh, a contributor to USA Today, suggests bringing along items that make it easy to personalize your temperature. She advises bringing things like hanging sun shades or small fans in the event that you get too hot as well as a blanket or sweatshirt if the temperature drops too low for you. This way, each person can be comfortable without having to make constant adjustments to the heating or cooling.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Even if you know you could make your entire trip in one shot, it’s still a good idea to take a break every two or three hours to give your body a reprieve. To get the most out of these breaks, Jon Mixon, a contributor to LifeHacker.com, recommends taking a few minutes to stretch each and every time you stop. You should be sure to stretch your back, legs and arms enough to get the blood flowing and release any tension that may have built up while sitting in your cramped car seat. You’ll be glad you took the time to do this once you make it to your destination and still have a bit of energy left in your reserves.
For your next long road trip, consider using the tips mentioned above to help keep your body healthy and happy.