Improve Your On-the-Road Eating Habits

Business travel and road trips can prove to include poor eating habits. There are ways, however, to make your meals and trips heart-healthier.

Take Out

One study recently revealed a significantly higher risk of developing atherosclerosis disease amongst business travelers. Atherosclerosis is a slow, steady, clogging of the arteries. The main culprits in this social business diet are large meals mainly consisting of high-fat foods and lots of alcohol.

Being that cardiovascular disease causes over 17 million deaths annually, it behooves us to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Granted, it’s not just poor eating habits that lend to our risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise, sleep and overwhelming amounts of stress also contribute.

Three Courses

The study examined the health effects of three different types of eating plans. One plan was the Mediterranean diet, which consisted of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and nuts. Another was the Western diet, which included red and processed meats, dairy products, and refined grains. And the other, the social-business plan, looked a lot like the Western diet but included more unhealthy snacks and excessive amounts of alcohol.

The results were recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to fMRI and ultra-sound test results, those who ate the “business” diet revealed a “significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile” than the Mediterranean diet folks.

Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

On the Road Again

It can be tough avoiding fast foods when you’re on the road. And sometimes they can seem appealing—until you’re finished with the meal and feel regretful and gross. Here are some tips for making your road trip or business trip healthier overall:

– Drink more water

Drink less sugary beverages and limit alcohol consumption

– Carry around snacks like nuts, low-sugar granola, fruit, and baby carrots

– Avoid red meat; substitute grilled poultry or fish

– Salads are great—keep the dressing healthy and low-fat

– Plan your meal ahead. Figure out when, where, and what, beforehand. With everyone running around, getting “hangry”, you’re bound to make impulsive food decisions.

– If you’re driving, keep a small cooler in the car filled with non-sugary drinks and crunchy raw veggies

– Get good rest. Meetings don’t need to go late into the night. Also, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to be driving when you’re tired. While traveling, “early to bed, early to rise,” is a wise choice.

– Take brisk morning walks. Use hotel swim or gym facilities. Carve out time during the day (even a few minutes) to move your body. Driving and working all day without stretching is awful for your posture (back and neck, too.)

If you’re the kind of person who eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle at home, there’s no reason you can’t continue those behaviors while on the road. Coming home feeling like you need a vacation or a detox isn’t any fun. Safe and restful travels…

Road Rage: Anger behind the Wheel Could Be a Sign of Poor Mental Health

A look at any recent police blotter will most likely reveal at least one incident involving an aggressive motorist. Known as “road rage,” volatile behavior behind the wheel is a leading cause of car accidents—and is becoming a growing health concern.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road rage contributed to 218 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries in a six-year period. Check out this site here to read moreabout real road rage facts.

Most recently, former child star and singer, Aaron Carter, was captured on video allegedly engaging in a road rage incident at a gas station. One story says Carter yelled at the other man to fight him, then threatened to report the man to police for threatening him. Read more about this news story here.

In another case, a motorist rear-ended another vehicle and then got out of his car to shove the other driver. Last year, a road rage case made headlines across the country when a mother of four was shot and killed by another motorist.

These incidents are tragic and scary – but new health news research shows they may also be linked to an underlying mental health condition. Psychologists state that motorists who experience pronounced road rage may actually be suffering from a mental condition.

Characteristics of Angry Drivers

A study conducted by a Colorado State University psychology professor revealed that angry drivers share numerous personality traits. Although they aren’t always dangerous and aggressive behind the wheel, they are far more likely to become irritated or irrational when challenged on the road.

Their common characteristics include:

More Likely to Take Risks

Angry drivers take more risks than average motorists. They tend to driver faster than other drivers – even 10 to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. They’re also more likely to switch lanes more rapidly, tailgate other drivers, and run red lights.

The Anger Progression

Compared to other drivers, it doesn’t take much to provoke an angry driver. On average, angry drivers experience more episodes of anger in their daily lives. Whereas normal drivers felt angry less than once per day on average, angry drivers experienced anger more than two times a day.

Experience More Accidents

It’s not much of a surprise that angry drivers get in more accidents. They are also involved in more near-accidents and off-road crashes. Additionally, they receive more speeding tickets than average drivers.

More Likely to Engage in Hostile Thinking

Angry drivers are more likely to have hostile and retaliatory thoughts compared to their average counterparts. This type of thinking leads them to make assumptions about other motorists. They are also more judgmental about the ways others drive.

Tips for Sending Your Anger to the Curb

Car accidents are a fact of life, but drivers who engage in road rage make the highways unsafe for everyone – including motorists who act out their aggression on the road. If you feel hot-tempered behind the wheel, there are several things you can do to reduce your rage from a boil to a simmer.

Tips for keeping calm on the road include:

  • Getting enough rest – The National Sleep Foundation says 45 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep. Read more about this here.
  • Planning your route ahead of time – Getting lost during your drive can raise your stress levels, making you more prone to anger. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination without speeding; also, map your route before you pull out of the driveway.
  • Thinking of your car as a tool, not as an extension of yourself – Americans have a long history of loving their cars. For many people – especially those who routinely drive long commutes – the car becomes part of them while they’re driving. When someone cuts them off or follows too closely, they are more likely to view it as a personal attack.
  • Practicing deep breathing – Breathing exercises aren’t just for yoga class. Taking in more oxygen and focusing on your breaths can slow your heart rate and clear your mind.

Learning to curb your anger can not only save yourself—and others—from accidents, but it can halso be more beneficial to your mental health. Get some rest and get in the right frame of mind before getting behind the wheel.

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