Governor Jim Douglas and the Vermont Lake Monsters baseball team join the Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in urging Vermont residents and visitors to make frequent stops during long drives, taking time to stretch legs, straighten backs and rejuvenate muscles and minds.
Recommended stretches for motorists are pictured on new permanent displays at Vermont Information Centers at Williston Northbound on I-89 and the Guilford Welcome Center on I-91. Titled “Park Bench Yoga,” the stretches can be done at rest stops using park benches, picnic tables, trees and walls. Visitors can take away brochures illustrating these exercises and describing the benefits of exercise for drivers.
“Getting out of your car to walk, take deep breaths and stretch your muscles will help keep you alert, relaxed and pain-free. This will prevent motor vehicle accidents and give you another way to incorporate exercise into your day,” Douglas said.
The Council encourages adults to exercise at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week to improve health and reduce the risks of chronic disease. Even when spending long periods seated behind the driver’s wheel, people should take a few moments periodically for stretching, deep breathing and brisk walking to stay mentally alert and physically fit.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, drivers who spend more than four hours behind the wheel without a break are likely to suffer from mental fatigue, eye strain and lower back stiffness, all of which can lead to motor vehicle accidents. For more information on safe driving, visit www.vthighwaysafety.com.
Additional Park Bench Yoga displays will be installed at sites along Vermont roadways, thanks to support from sponsors including Cooperative Insurance Companies.