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4 Safe Driving Tips For This Holiday Season

4 Safe Driving Tips For This Holiday Season

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning drivers of potential road dangers this Thanksgiving holiday, as more than 1.2 million residents are set to travel 50 miles or more.

“AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts that 1.2 million area residents will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday. That’s a 6 percent increase over the number who left the area last year and the largest amount since 2007,” The Washington Times reported.

As experts warn, a significant of those people who will be commuting through an automobile will likely be teenagers, which is why the concern is at its highest this year. Earlier this month, the media also reported on another research study by AAA, confirming that teen driving deaths have hit an all-time high.

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Researchers have pointed out that teen drivers are three times more likely than adult drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, according to the study. So yes, young drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. But that’s not to say there’s no hope for improving your chances of getting into an accident.

While it may not always be your fault, here are fiour tips you can follow to help prevent a collision – and even possibly fatalities – during the holidays.

1. Eye Balls On The Road

When it comes to teenage drivers, one of the principal factors of a horrific accident is the mobile phone. As technology has improved, so has our dependence on these devices. Utilizing the GPS can take your eyes off the road for a few seconds, but that’s all it takes for a fatal accident to occur.

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If you don’t have one already, investing $11 in a magnetic phone mount – like this one, for example – can not only save your life but probably prevent you from totaling your precious car.

2. Hands Off The Booze!

In the United States, about 30 percent of fatalities involving car accidents, are caused by impaired drivers under the influence of alcohol. In 2008 alone, there were more than 11,000 deaths because of drunk drivers. All these senseless tragedies could’ve been avoided in the first place if, to begin with, none of the perpetrators had their car keys.

Even at low levels, alcohol is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can slow down reaction time, sparking foolish choices that may lead to a life or death scenario.

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3. Hide All The Car Keys

Despite what’s written in this piece, irresponsible binge drinking is going to occur anyhow. So here’s how to make sure everyone is safe: Have the responsible individual who will not be consuming alcohol take all the car keys and hide it from sight before the binge drinking starts. This way, responsible person in charge will be able to keep track of who is leaving and their mental state.

Do you have a friend or relative that is unfit to drive and has no way home? Call Uber. However, if for some reason —and I highly oppose to this decision — you had a couple of drinks, have no ride home, and might be in danger, try the following tips from the instructors at Texas Drivers Ed.

“One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to keep your eyes scanning the road ahead of you. Watch how traffic is moving – this boosts your reaction time and helps you prepare in case the car in front of you swerves or makes a sudden stop.”

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4. Prevent Your Teen From Driving

This one is for all the parents who have teenage kids: It’s easier said than done. Giving strong advice to teenagers will likely enter one ear and travel out through the other. It’s important to prevent your teen from driving out of your sight during the holidays. The line, “Young drivers, are among the most dangerous on the road,” should speak volumes. Additionally, peer pressure also plays a factor in your teen ignoring the advice you gave a few hours ago.

Bottom line: Understand that every single decision you make in life has consequences, whether they are good or bad. As a person who lost friends and relatives to drunk drivers, I always stand by one quote: “Make it a night to remember – not a night to forget.”

Featured photo credit: Joe Bielawa via flickr.com

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Jose Florez

Mental Health Writer

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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