Avoiding Traffic… For Your Health

Our usual (and usually traffic-jammed) route home from school was crippled by road work. Again. Only one more month of this drive for the sake of school, then I can freely visit this lovely beach town as 75% of the other cars on the road with me every day- as a tourist! 

We decided to take a different way home today, climbing up through streets wide enough for only one car. A dozen other drivers and I were mighty glad we didn’t meet anyone traveling the opposite direction. We really enjoyed our drive. One of the breaks between houses hugging the side of the hill opened up to the most SPECTACULAR view of this part of So. Cal. that I have ever been treated to. Even The Boy remarked how glad he was that we discovered this detour, though by the time we hooked back up to a more familiar (traffic free!) artery, he was declaring that only nut-jobs could live in such precariously perched houses. It was a beautiful detour.

This week I overheard a news clip about the effects of traffic on the frail, human carcass.  A little on-line research uncovered a couple of the lengthier articles that the talking heads on the news were sound-bite summarizing: one from WomensHealth.com (where I found and borrowed the only photo in the post), and another, more in-depth spread over at The Wall Street Journal.

Some of the effects include, but are not limited to the following:

From Women’s Health Magazine-

  • Your blood sugar rises
  • Your cholesterol is higher
  • Your depression rist rises
  • Your anxiety increases
  • Your happiness and life satisfaction decline
  • Your blood pressure temporarily spikes
  • Your blood pressure rises over time, as well
  • Your cardiovascular fitness drops
  • Your sleep suffers
  • Your back aches

These info bits come from a slew of studies, not just one, spread out over the course of several years, and for me, are a generous serving of Food for Thought.

Photo from The Women's Health online article "Ten Things Your Commute Does to Your Body"
Photo from The Women’s Health online article “Ten Things Your Commute Does to Your Body”

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DJones BranchingOut

Pushing 50 and it's time to try a few (maybe... 365?) new things. This blog is not about reinventing oneself or one's life, but about how much fun one can have while going out on a limb and branching out. Kicking anxiety's butt one day at a time, yeah!

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