Are You Fit to Drive?
Have you ever considered how fitness training could be beneficial to your skills as a driver? According to a new study, simple exercises can enhance your ability to drive, keep you safe on the road, and extend the years that you are able to drive. The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab found some fascinating results in their research on the connection between daily exercise and driving. Drivers in the study reported benefiting from some of the most challenging physical aspects of driving:
- Greater ease in turning their heads to see blind spots when changing lanes or backing up;
- More rotation in their torsos to scan the driving environment when making right hand turns;
- Increased ability to get into their cars more rapidly.
- Strength training to strengthen the legs for using the floor pedals and the upper body for controlling the steering wheel. Here's a great exercise to improve lower leg strength and flexibility.
- Range of motion for movements like turning your head and putting on your seat belt. Check out this video for simple limbering exercises that will help.
- Flexibility exercises to keep your movements fluid and more agile, able to get in and out of the car with greater ease and speed. These full-body stretches will help.
- Coordination exercises to improve integration of upper and lower body movements, such as when you have to simultaneously brake and turn. Combine upper and lower body moves in one exercise, think squat with a biceps curl or a side lunge with a shoulder raise.
If you include these types of exercises in your training program, you will surely have new confidence next time you need to parallel park!