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8 Easy Exercises* That May Make You Be a Better Driver

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Germany, Duesseldorf, Mature woman exercising with barbell at home
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Exercise can have many benefits for your physical and mental well-being. But did you know it may also help you be a safer driver? Along with the MIT AgeLab, The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence® researched the connection between physical exercise and driving. The research shows a link between daily exercise and its benefits to overall driving wellness.

Exercising just 15 to 30 minutes a day has the potential to enhance your driving experience. There are four areas to focus on; they include strength, range of motion, flexibility, and coordination. Here are eight exercises to try.

Strength Exercises

1. Having arm strength could help you with both short-and long-distance driving. Consider doing bicep curls a few times a week. You can do these standing up or sitting down. Use a resistance band, light weights, or even cans of soup to build muscle to work your muscles. Begin with your elbows straight, palms facing forward and elbows tucked in at your waist. Exhale as you bend your elbows and raise your hands up close to your shoulders. (2 to 3 sets of 8 repetitions per set).

2. Squats are excellent exercises to increase lower body strength; it may help if you need to slam on the brakes. Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart and your toes pointing forward. Bend your hips and knees and push your hips back as if siting in the air. Raise both arms forward to counter balance your hips moving back. You can even hold onto a chair for balance. (2 to 3 set of 8 repetitions per set).

Range of Motion Exercises

3. For more comfortable right-hand turns, try back stretches for 3 to 5 seconds. From a seated position, cross your right leg over your left at the knee or ankle. Slowly rotate your upper body to the right. Keeping both hips in contact with the chair, hold at the point of tension for up to 5 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

4. To keep the pedal on the metal (safely!), try heel drops to maximize ankle strength and flexibility. From a seated position, slowly alternate pointing and flexing your toes and ankles. Hold each point and flexed position for 3 to 5 seconds. Think of the driving action required for your feet to point and flex at the ankle as they press on the brake and accelerator pedals. (8 to 12 repetitions).

Flexibility Exercises

5. Chest and shoulder expansions are beneficial for greater mobility and flexibility for turning your head when backing out. From a seated position, sit forward in your chair and place your hands low on the back frame. Lean forward at your hips until your elbows are straight. Inhale while lifting your chest, exhale as you lean forward at your hips and stretch your shoulders. (4 repetitions).

6. Shoulder stretches also help improve flexibility. Try stretching your arm across your body by holding your opposite arm on your tricep and pulling gently. This will help with your range of motion. From a seated or standing position, maintain good posture with your chest lifted, shoulders down and abdominals tight. Cross your right over your chest (below shoulder height) and hold in place with your left hand above the elbow for a shoulder and back stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Coordination Exercises

7. Soccer Kicks are great for improving reaction time, agility, balance, and coordination. On a flat surface, warm up with low kicks, alternating right and left kicks. Stand tall with good posture – chest up and shoulders down. Kick across your body with a slight bend in your knees. Let both arms move in the opposite direction your leg is kicking (4 sets of 8 repetitions per set).

8. Another great exercise are lateral steps. On a flat surface, start with your feet together and step sideways right and left – with your feet moving as wide as you are comfortable. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you step to the right and left. Place your hands on your hips and breathe evenly and continuously.

Flex another muscle. Go online to see how much you can save when you make the switch to the AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford. It’s the only auto insurance program endorsed by AARP and from a name you can trust. AARP members save $507* on their auto insurance, on average. Plus, you could enjoy other exclusive benefits like Accident Forgiveness††. Getting a quote online or by phone is easy. Just mention your AARP membership number to get your savings.

Get a Quote Today!

*Readers are encouraged to consult with their physician before beginning this or any exercise program.

The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence® creates innovative business solutions for the mature market. Staffed by gerontologists, the center is uniquely positioned to apply knowledge of aging to develop one-of-a-kind products and services for The Hartford’s customers, and specialized training for The Hartford’s employees. The center conducts original research in partnership with academic institutions and produces public education programs on safety, mobility, and independence. The Hartford has had this in-house expertise since 1984, guiding The Hartford to unparalleled success in understanding and serving the mature market.

AARP member benefits are provided by third parties, not by AARP or its affiliates. Providers pay royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. Some provider offers are subject to change and may have restrictions. AARP membership is required for Program eligibility in most states. Please contact the provider directly for details.

*Savings amounts are averages based on information from The Hartford's AARP Auto Insurance Program customers who became new auto insurance policyholders between 1/1/22 and 12/31/22 and provided data regarding their savings and prior carrier. This data is also used to determine the number/percentage of individuals who saved money when they switched. Your savings may vary. Rate differences from AARP members and non-members vary by state and AARP membership tenure.

†† Terms and conditions apply. Accident Forgiveness and the Disappearing Deductible are not available to CA policyholders.

The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. It is underwritten in AZ, MI and MN by Hartford Insurance Company of the Southeast; in CA, by Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company; in WA, by Hartford Casualty Insurance Company; in MA, by Trumbull Insurance Company; and in PA, by Nutmeg Insurance Company and Twin City Fire Insurance Company. The AARP Home Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. It is underwritten in AZ, MI and MN by Hartford Insurance Company of the Southeast; in CA by Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford; in WA, by Trumbull Insurance Company; in MA, by Trumbull Insurance Company, Sentinel Insurance Company, Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company; and in PA, by Nutmeg Insurance Company. Home product is not available in all areas, including the state of FL.  Savings, benefits and coverages may vary and some applicants may not qualify. The Program is currently unavailable in Canada and U.S. Territories or possessions.

1 In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by Redpoint County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford of the Southeast General Agency, Inc. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by Redpoint County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Hartford Insurance Company of the Southeast.