Driving can often be a lonely experience, but with the world of motoring beginning to look at new ways to aid drivers in their pursuit of wellness hitting the road could once again be the liberating experience it was when we first got our driving licence.
Long drives can be largely uncomfortable and carry negative effects on our mental wellbeing, but it doesn’t have to be this way. By planning your journey and stimulating your mind, the task of getting from A to B could feel like an altogether more rewarding experience.
The art of practising wellness has inspired many car manufacturers to already spring into action in creating vehicles that actively look to care for the wellbeing of drivers and passengers alike. Let’s look at the future of how driving can become an altogether more enjoyable part of life while exploring some tips that can be undertaken today:
The Future of Wellness Behind The Wheel
Wellness is a key focal point of car manufacturers around the world. One of the early pioneers of healthier driving can be found in Ford’s vision of ‘expanding the notion of automotive safety.’
The American car company is already hard at work on developing car seats that can monitor driver heart-rates. Working alongside other sensors in the car that can determine traffic conditions and the actions of the driver, the heart-rate monitor could then take action on the driver’s behalf to lower their levels of stress to mitigate the chances of an accident occurring.
“If the driver workload is high, we can do certain things that are different, such as temporarily routing phone calls to voicemail,” explained Gary Strumolo, manager of vehicle design at Ford Research & Innovation.
Writing for Forbes, Sawant Singh has stated that health, wellness and well-being (HWW) will become a focal point of manufacturers over the next decade. With interconnected technology arriving that’s capable of creating an overview of driver health, performance and even their mood, modern cars could not only help to make roads safer but also contribute to the happiness of those behind the wheel.
Jaguar has also made in-roads into the realm of wellness with the development of its own ‘morphable’ seat.
The seat uses a series of actuators within its foam to create constant micro-adjustments which trick the brain into thinking it’s actually walking. By simulating the movement of walking at a subtle level, the manufacturer believes that its seat can protect against the health dangers of sitting down for too long on extended journeys.
The future of wellness doesn’t have to be as intricate as ever-adjusting car seats though. American firm Lincoln recently turned to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to compose custom chimes and alerts for its new range of SUVs. It’s hoped that the development helps to create a more soothing and enjoyable driving experience when a vehicle is attempting to notify its driver of a non-emergency development.
It seems clear that the future will be punctuated with wellness developments across many aspects of life, and the automotive industry will be leading the way with a series of premium features that could be worked into car finance plans or purchased outright in new models.
However, while the future’s certainly bright for wellness and driving, what about the present? Fortunately, there are plenty of measures that we can take to ensure that our journeys are as relaxing and enjoyable as possible today:
The Importance of Taking Regular Stops
One of the most rewarding ways of ensuring your wellbeing while on long journeys is by not being afraid to stop and rest for a short period of time. Many drivers fall into the trap of driving on in a bid to get to their destination faster, but by breaking the journey up into bite-sized chunks with breaks for snacking or napping on longer journeys, it can really help to make the trip feel more manageable.
Taking regular breaks can also help drivers to create goals for their journey and reward themselves accordingly. By completing a part of the journey in a certain time frame between service stations, the driver can reward themselves with a longer break at the next stop.
Plan Meals in Advance
Mealtimes can be a significant factor in a driver’s wellbeing on the road. By driving on an empty stomach, chemical imbalances can cause any individual behind the wheel to feel more negative than if they were to have planned their mealtimes. Likewise, if over-indulging occurs, this can cause discomfort during the journey that could lead to more negative emotions.
By planning your meals and meal times in advance, you can ensure that you’re fully functioning both physically and mentally.
Regulate Your Temperature
One of the biggest perks of modern cars comes in the form of their air conditioning systems. Some drivers set their car temperature and refrain from changing it over time. However, on long journeys that take place over many hours, the temperature outside can change significantly. Be sure to always act when your body’s telling you it’s too cold or hot. This can also help in alleviating drowsiness or distraction owing to extreme temperatures.
Create a Stimulating Playlist
We all have a list of our favourite songs in our heads. Creating an enjoyable playlist is a fun way of safeguarding a journey from feeling dull and lonely. More voices in the car can help to liven things up and it’s likely to make the time fly faster on the road.
However, another idea is to create a playlist of music that you haven’t heard before. Whether it’s an album that you’ve never got round to listening on Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, new music can help you to stay focused – you may even uncover some new musical gems.
Alternatively, listening to podcasts can be a very engaging way of passing the time from A to B, while audiobooks may help you to practice a little bit of mindfulness while on the road. However, it’s important to avoid feeling distracted by your audio, as this could not only leave you feeling unfocused but it could also lead to accidents.
The future of motoring looks set to be an exciting one for a world that’s becoming increasingly aware of the importance of wellness and mindfulness. However, it’s encouraging to know that whether your car is your pride and joy or simply a tool to get you to where you need to be, there’s always something you can do to practice wellness while at the wheel.