Want to stay on the road? Here’s what to do, according to experts.

September 15th, 2020

There are a variety of reasons people stop driving. In a recent study conducted by AAA, researchers discovered the real reason many people stop driving may not be as specific as you think. At Columbia University, researchers studied different health issues such as anxiety, depression, and fatigue to understand how they affect driving. The results of the study show that often, increased fatigue and poor physical functioning cause people to stop driving.

Two of the most common reasons people stop driving are physical and visual impairment. These both become more common with age, and vision especially is important for driving. Physical decline is inevitable, and this begins after age 30 for sedentary people. They tend to lose their ability to do physical activity faster than those who stay active. While you may not be able to reverse severe vision impairment, the same study showed that simple lifestyle changes can keep mature adults driving longer.

So, what did the researchers advise? According to the study, making time to stretch and exercise can help you stay on the road. This has the double benefit of improving your overall flexibility and helping you move more freely. Building even a little physical strength can help you operate vehicles better, too. As you know, driving isn’t just sitting down and steering. Physical strength helps you control the car better. This includes things like braking, steering and parking. Being able to react fast also makes you a better driver.

This might sound alarming if you don’t get a lot of exercise. There is some good news, though. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests adults who are able to should get between 2.5 and 5 hours of moderate exercise every week. Or, if you like a fast pace, you can aim for 75 minutes to 2.5 hours of intense exercise every week. 

This might sound like a dramatic change. But over a whole week, 2 hours and 30 minutes comes out to about twenty minutes a day. You can even break it up even more and try two 10-minute sessions. Moderate exercise doesn’t have to be super hard. It can be something as low-key as talking a walk or stretching. The important part is to find out what works for you.

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