Driving is the leisurely way to commute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight while doing it. Although we shouldn’t point at our GMC Sierras and Dodge Journeys and shame them as the cause of our obesity, researchers at Planetizen have found links between driving and diabetes and other weight-related health problems in the U.S.
But as more and more people get rides to work, does that mean us drivers are doomed to the mockery of bikers and joggers, in addition to our bad health? Not necessarily. Sure, you might be able to walk everywhere, but you are very capable of making your commute to work, home and fun much more healthy—and you might even be able to lose a few pounds on your way too.
Don’t Eat and Drive
With so many dining options at every intersection and increasingly busy schedule, it’s easy to get caught in a drive-thru or consume a quick meal on your way somewhere. Eating while driving is not only dangerous, but it is also unhealthy and unnatural. In the best case scenario, you might add pounds, but in the worst case scenario, you might cause an accident.
On the go eating is bad for the digestive system, because it happens in quick spurts and is inconsistent. A red light does not mean “Go” for eating. Schedule your day so that you would have a moment to eat before or after driving to your appointments. Once you are driving, you should be driving—not eating a dashboard dinner.
Don’t Eat Junk Food
If your plan is to lose weight, you should know better than to indulge in junk food—and driving should not excuse you from that plan. Sure, heavy traffic and long trips may lend itself to snacking, but snacking out of boredom is a bad alternative.
Snacking occasionally while driving is a habit that causes drivers to lose touch with their sense of hunger. Instead of enjoying the food, they are just continuously eating, neglecting the fact that they have already eaten. This habit is then transferred to other mundane activities during the day. Don’t associate boredom with eating. Don’t associate driving with eating.
Stack Up On Healthy Snacks
Driving is not a high-calorie burning activity like running or bicycling, but it does burn calories. A person weighing at 130 pounds will burn approximately 118 calories after having driven 30 miles. Increasing speed does not increase the weight loss, but if the person is heavier, the weight loss does decrease. So maybe it isn’t so crazy to stock up on some fuel on long trips just to keep the energy up. But when choosing snacks for long road trips, consider the healthy choices. That means, avoid stocking up on beef jerky and pork rinds at the gas station.
Prepare ahead: bring some peanut butter or tuna sandwiches for protein, some fruit and vegetables for nourishment and some personalized trail mix, as you would if you were going on a hike. Having the right mindset will put you on a path to a healthier lifestyle.
Work Out In Your Car
Drivers have a reputation for being lazy, but that is just not the case. Busy schedules impact their abilities to get a sufficient workout at a gym or home. The excuses for drivers are abundant, but it really doesn’t excuse them if they want to get in shape.
Exercising in the car may sound like a recipe for disaster, but there are ways to do it safely and effectively, even if it’s just a few moments in the parking lot. Turn on some pump up music and try a few of these workouts. To work out your biceps, start by gripping your steering wheel palms down at 11 and 1 o’clock and pulling up, you can work out the muscles in your arm. If you want to work out your triceps, use your hands to support yourself with the arm rests in your car. Push down with your arms, while raising your body. For a chest workout, grab the steering wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock and push inwards and feel the burn in your chest. Finally, if you can, work out your back by grabbing onto the steering wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock and pulling it towards yourself,
These are some simple workouts you can try to sneak in when you are waiting in your car for a friend or your parking metre to run out. Either way, keep an extra pair of running shoes in your vehicle just in case a workout spontaneously occurs.
You might want to get another cup of latte and a snack for the road, but water may be a better alternative.
First off, water is good for you, plain and simple, no arguments there. But it’ll also keep your mind away from those tempting snacks and high-calorie drinks. Keep a bottle of water with you during days where you need to get from here to there, and then back again. You know those types of days where you just can’t help but feel sluggish. Water is the zero-calorie premium.