As I mentioned in my article “One of the Best Health Tips of All-Time”, changing your environment plays a key role in your health and it only makes sense to change the environment of places you spend the most time in health-conducive environments to improve your health. One of those places many of us spend time in is our vehicle be it a car, van, or truck. This is especially true if you have a long commute to and from work. Now, allow me to share with you some ways to make your car, truck, or van a healthier environment.
Don’t Smoke in It
Stop smoking in your vehicle, especially cigarettes. You’re already inhaling toxins from whatever you’re smoking most likely just to blow some of it back out in the air surrounding you to breathe in again when you’re breathing. It’s like double dipping.
Wind the Window Down
Wind your window down and let some fresh air into your car. A great time to do this would be in less populated areas with tons of trees. Trees are nature’s air filters. It would be best to do this if you don’t have some type of allergy issue. Be mindful when doing this near commercial farms, especially when they’re spraying something on their crops. If someone has to wear a mask or entire outfit to spray something, that should be a sign.
Keep your Windows Up
If you’re driving in the city or around other vehicles smelling all types of fumes and smells, it’s probably best that you keep your windows rolled up or roll them up if you have them down. That’s not something you want to trap inside the car with you to breathe in. Most likely pollutants will be heaviest in your more populated areas like cities. I suggest winding them up before you get to an area heavily populated and use that recirculation button until back in cleaner air.
Use Natural Air Fresheners
Instead of using some chemical-laden air freshener, use some natural air fresheners making use of essential oils. There are sprays, scented sticks, and oil diffusers to clip to your air vents available. The use of botanicals has been around for centuries to help with congestion, stress, headaches, anxiety, and more. Considering many are coming home from a stressful job and working all day, clary sage is one to try, it’s considered a stress buster (1). Perhaps lemon oil is more down your lane, it’s been known as a mood lifter (1).
Keep Healthy Snacks Around
I’ve had several clients who would eat in their car on the way home or to work but they didn’t choose the best option when stopping. So if you have that problem, store some healthier foods in your car, van, or truck in a nice insulated bag or container. You could stash all-natural fruit bars like That’s It fruit bars, nuts, seeds, Noka fruit pouches, or plain fruit and vegetables. Have something in there to hold you over and stop you from entering a fast-food drive-thru.
Keep Water Your Vehicle
Keep water in your car to drink instead of soft drinks and alcohol. Keep yourself hydrated, abiding by the law. Drinking the water may help to keep you from stopping to get something unhealthy to consume. Also, in the case of an emergency, you may need water. I do suggest if you keep water in your car, truck, or van; keep it glass or non-plastic container. If you only have plastic water bottles, keep them out of the light, especially if it’s hot outside, and pour and store them in a cool area of your car, van, or truck. The plastic may start to degrade if constantly in heat and light.
Personally, I keep my water in an insulated stainless steel Stanley Thermos, it’ll stay cold or hot depending on what I have in it. Also, they are built to last. You may also want to consider having a mini fridge or refrigerator cooler and/or electric lunch box if you’re constantly having to eat out. The fridges will store your food and drink, and the electric lunch will heat your food up.
Get an Air Purifier
Place an air purifier inside your vehicle if want an extra layer of protection since your vehicle should already have a filter but sometime, we don’t always get around to switching or cleaning that filter. There are portable air filters you can buy on Amazon. Since they’re portable why not take it into your office at work or wherever you may go if you sense you need it?
Park in the Shade
Park in the shade when possible. The ultraviolet rays from the sun may cause materials to off-gas in your vehicle (2). It’s kind of hard to avoid unless you rather walk or ride a bike everywhere but why not try to minimize it when you can? A good windshield sun shade protector could help to lessen the off-gassing by blocking the sunlight from hitting so many things inside your vehicle.
Play Podcast or Audio Books
Stimulate your mind while sitting in traffic with something positive, funny, uplifting, educational, or thought-provoking with a podcast or audiobook. Being in a good mental space is great for our health and well-being. There will be times when we could really use it. Amazon Audible is a great place to look or just listen to books and podcasts on YouTube for free. I’ve learned quite a few things driving to and from work through the years.
Don’t Just Let Anyone in Your Vehicle
You read that correctly. For your mental health and sanity, don’t just let anybody in your car and if you must, set some healthy boundaries and rules. Once they are in your vehicle, they have become part of the environment. Of course, you’re not going to let strangers into your car but we all have some people in our lives that just get on our nerves or must love or like from a distance because you’re kind of stuck with them. For some, their car, truck, or van is a place of solitude, brainstorming, and/or peace; and that may be the case for you. Keep and protect your peace of mind.
That is how to make your car, van, or truck a healthy environment to help you become healthier. Check out how to make other environments healthy below:
Before you head out, explore more articles in my blog and my healthy lifestyle resource page for some great companies to improve your health. If you need more assistance with your nutrition, visit my services page.