“Staying flexible can make a big difference, especially when we’re driving. It’s all about maintaining wellness.”
It’s no secret that physical activity provides many benefits to your overall health and wellness. Participating in regular exercise can help increase strength, range of motion, coordination and flexibility. All of these improvements to your physical health can make your daily life easier, like giving you more energy to complete household chores or walk around the grocery store. However, these benefits go beyond just boosting your energy – they can also make you a safer driver.
In collaboration with the MIT AgeLab, The Hartford’s Center for Mature Market Excellence put the link between exercise and driving to the test. As part of this study, experienced drivers between the ages of 60-74 followed an exercise program for 15-30 minutes a day over the course of 10 weeks. And the results speak for themselves.
By the time the study wrapped at 10 weeks, participants were seeing positive outcomes. Specifically, drivers in the study who exercised daily:
- Reported greater ease in turning their heads to see blind spots when changing lanes or to back up;
- Were able to rotate their bodies further to scan the driving environment while making right hand turns;
- Were able to get into their cars more rapidly, demonstrating increased overall flexibility.
By adding 15 minutes of simple exercises into their daily routines, drivers experienced improvements not only in their overall driving experience, but also in the physical aspects of driving they found most challenging.
Of course, daily exercise isn’t the only way to support your wellbeing both on and off the road. There are multiple ways to do it. For example, we should all prioritize our health, including scheduling regular preventative care, checkups and eye exams. In addition, being self-aware and paying close attention to how, where and when we drive can help us make more informed driving decisions.
Being a lifelong learner can also offer multiple benefits to your overall wellness, like increased confidence and social connection. AARP offers a driving safety course that covers a wide array of topics, from learning how to reduce driver distractions to developing new driving techniques.
By prioritizing your health and wellness, you can reap the benefits of a better wellbeing. Set a goal today of staying well to stay safe behind the wheel.