Stressed DriverA little while ago I wrote a post about driving with medical conditions. Since then, my Husband – a former driving instructor – has had a heart attack (myocardial infraction). I’ve also heard of two other driving instructors as well, who have unfortunately succumbed to the same and news of another having a stroke.

What this has done, is getting me looking at driving from a different perspective.

I know that many of you out there are champing at the bit to learn to drive and I don’t blame you. Driving your own car is one way to gain your physical freedom-it doesn’t take a moment to jump behind the wheel, drive somewhere completely new, uncover and discover possibilities that have only been limited by being in one place. I too have stood on a cold, damp train station platform, waiting for the last train to turn up, only for an announcement to be made that either it isn’t coming, or the trains are terminating somewhere else and now you have to climb aboard a bus to take the journey home or even worse, as a friend of mines daughter did, sleep on a cold platform whilst waiting for the first morning train to arrive.

Freedom – the most important ¬†aspect of a person’s life.

Learning to Drive – a way to gain access to freedom.

My husband has always loved to drive. Me, I was quite happy to find my way on foot for a long time-that gave me freedom. His interests were different and on the arrival of our first born, he decided to enter into the world of professional driving. As much as he would have preferred Formula 1, alas the opportunity to become the precursor in english motor racing, to Lewis Hamilton, didn’t arise and so my husband stepped into the world of HGV1 lorry driving. Ensuring his love for driving was able to offer both a wage to care for his children and allowed him to continue with something he enjoyed. The hours were long, the wages ok, but what did become apparent was that no matter how hard he tried, it was an immobile career, as much as he was constantly on the go. Couple that, with being away from home constantly from Monday to Saturday lunchtime and even if you are as inventive with your food requirements as he was, you still find your options for healthy home cooking, way down on the list of priorities at the start of your working week.

Eventually he left this career after approximately ten years, knowing that the sedentary lifestyle which it provided, was not good for his health, intent on trying to find another way forward in his day to day living and responsibilities as a Father and Husband.

As much as you youngsters out there may be thinking, “What the hell does this have to do with me?” I’d really like you to look at this in another way – as an investment in your long term health. Life can kick you in the gut no matter what precautions you take sometimes, and luckily enough for my husband, although he suffered a heart attack, the fact that he is basically a fit man and only in his late forties has meant that he is quickly recovering and this I believe is partially because of his good eating habits and get up and go attitude.

Try and think that what you put into your body in your teens is an investment for later in life, a bit like a pension scheme. It is worth eating as healthily as you can – try and avoid those pizza runs at midnight and if you cannot forgo them completely (who can!) when that cheese stuffed crust, double pepperoni delicious delight calls to you, then if you live within a short walking distance try collecting rather than having it delivered.

Keeping Fit as a Car Driver

  1. Washing your own car, rather than taking it to a car wash.
  2. Leave the car at home for short journey’s.
  3. Static sit-ups whilst driving: Simply tighten your stomach, hold it while you count to ten, then release. Each ten count is equivalent to a traditional sit-up.
  4. Bum Crunches: Sit straight in your seat, placing your feet flat on the floor of the car. Tighten your glutes (bum muscles) for five to ten seconds. Relax and repeat twice a day- five to ten times. Even when driving this exercise can be achieved. Think of doing it at the start and end of your journey.
  5. Park in a car park at the far end, from where you intend to go and take that extra long walk. If you’re at a concert or something similar then parking closer to the exit than the entrance will be a bonus – believe me I do this, rather than sitting in the queue with everyone else just waiting to get to the exit, you’ll be out and on your way. It saves time and keeps you fit!


STRESS and WORRY

Long term stress and worry can be damaging to the health of a person and as much as we would all like to eliminate it from our lives completely, that ain’t ever gonna happen and so it is learning effective ways in which to deal with it.

Worries: I believe these tell us about the things important to us in our lives. So sometimes it is about spending a moment to acknowledge those concerns, assess if there is anything we can do about them and then flex our faith muscle if possible (like all other muscles if you don’t flex it, it doesn’t strengthen) breathe deeply and find a way to carry on.

Stress: This too can be looked at realistically from a personal standpoint. You can ask yourself if there is anything you can do as an individual to ease the stress in your life. You need to assess from your own point of view.

E.G Sitting the Driving Test is a form of stress but it also gives you a purpose to keep moving forward with your driving lessons and remember the freedom I spoke about earlier, that’s just on the end of that test…

This is called motivation, something that if you can find it, helps in those times of worry and stress.

Driving yourself to good health may not be the easiest thing to do, but it will be helpful as you travel along this little journey, we call life.

Image source: bikesandwich / Flickr