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The Health Benefits of Driving

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April 22, 2020

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Are there times wherein you just want to get in your vehicle and drive? The idea of going on a road trip can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. But the destination is not the only thing that can benefit you – the journey itself can bring a host of health benefits.

The task of driving involves a lot of your cognitive functions such as visual processing, information processing, and memory. Find out how you can capitalize on this task to boost your health and take advantage of its benefits.

Driving as a Form of Workout?

How is driving beneficial to your health?

The advent of workout apps and other technological tools to encourage exercise has made it easier to keep up with fitness these days. You can also add to that the widespread availability of nutritional and health supplements that can increase your performance and maintain weight. A good example of a supplement designed for athletes is discussed in this Vintage Burn Review.

In most cases, mundane tasks such as driving are often taken for granted. Driving, though, is more of an exercise for the brain. It is being looked at as a great exercise to prevent mental and cognitive decline. While research on this is still in its infancy, it is already showing enough evidence that claims are indeed valid.

If you want to give your mental and cognitive health a boost, make sure to do more driving. It is a great exercise to complement your regular workout routine to keep your mind and body in its top shape.

Benefits of Driving to Cognitive Function

Driving is a task that a lot of people perform on a daily basis. Whether you are driving to work or school, it is a task that requires an assortment of cognitive skills. Humans naturally see a decline in their cognitive skills as they age. By driving frequently, you can keep those skills at their best.

For seniors, driving is also regarded as a great exercise for ease of mobility. It ensures their safety and health while keeping them socially engaged – all of which are beneficial to their overall health.

The conclusion that driving is beneficial to one’s health was determined by an epidemiological study conducted by behavioral scientists from the Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Kentucky. In their study, they arrived at the conclusion that driving is linked to maintaining cognitive function.

Reasons to promote driving in older adults. (Image Source: Unsplash)

Below are some of the reasons why you need to get behind the wheel and drive regularly:

  • Driving can help stave off dementia. If an older adult is at risk of developing dementia, driving can greatly benefit them. Some of the symptoms include reduced concentration, memory problems, and apathy or withdrawal. By allowing older adults to drive, you help older adults keep their brain function and concentration sharp.
  • Driving can promote independence in older adults. Seniors experience a sense of freedom and independence when they drive; especially if they had been driving most of their adult life. That sense of personal liberty encourages them mentally and emotionally. The act of driving encourages them to remain alert and to stay focused once they get behind the wheel. Not only that, but it also allows them to do whatever they want or go wherever they want to.
  • Driving cessation has been linked to a decline in mental and physical health. This data is applicable to older adults who feel a loss of independence when they are forced to give up driving. Without it, they may develop feelings of depression. All of these combine to affect their physical and mental health. According to a professor from Columbia University in New York, driving is viewed as a key responsibility for adults in their daily life. Taking it away from them can lead to a lack of self-control and freedom.

It is important to note that there are a few physical changes that older adults might experience that could force them to stop driving, such as failing vision. In the event that they still have perfectly good eyesight and alertness, driving should not be a problem. It is important to have the car checked regularly to ensure it is in good condition so you’ll rest assured.

Key Takeaway

With aging comes a natural decline in cognitive function and abilities. That does not mean that you should accept it as it is until it limits your ability to perform certain things or enjoy life. Even as you age, there are ways to maintain your cognitive function and gain independence. Driving has that kind of impact on your day-to-day life. If it also means that you can slow down the natural aging process and cognitive decline, then that is a bonus.

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