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11. Practice good automobile ergonomics

11. Practice good automobile ergonomics
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That means more than just buckling up.

Before you head out of the garage, make sure your headrest is set directly behind your head, aligned with the top of your ears.

Adjust your seat and steering wheel for maximum comfort.

Check each mirror to make sure you don’t need to lean or crane your neck for best vision. Now you can strap up.

12. Leave 30 minutes earlier than normal

12. Leave 30 minutes earlier than normal
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Do this both coming and going.

Studies find that the less sense of “time urgency,” or worry about being late, you have, the less stressed out you’ll feel during your commute.

13. Lift your legs up and stretch for 30 seconds

13. Lift your legs up and stretch for 30 seconds
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Now, obviously, we only want you to do this when you’re stopped in traffic.

But this movement is important, because it reduces the risk of blood clots from sitting too long in one position. Also put one arm behind your neck and stretch it by holding on to the elbow with the opposite arm. Switch sides. Do one of these stretches every time traffic comes to a halt.

14. Equip your car

14. Equip your car
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Make sure you have the following with you: A spill-proof coffee cup filled with your favorite brew.

A bag of nonperish-able snacks (try protein bars, dried fruit, juice boxes or bottled water, and pretzels) in case you get caught in traffic just as your blood sugar plummets.

Something to read in the event traffic comes to a complete halt, and a fully charged cell phone with headset.

15. Use your dashboard as a bulletin board

15. Use your dashboard as a bulletin board
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Tape up a family photo, or a favorite motivational passage, or a list of reasons you like being in your car, or something to remind you of your next vacation. Look at it frequently when traffic slows.

16. Develop five alternative routes for your commute

16. Develop five alternative routes for your commute
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Again, this gets back to the control issue.

If you know you can go a different way, you have automatically given yourself more control over the situation.

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17. Prepare for your commute the evening before

17. Prepare for your commute the evening before
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Check the weather report and national, state, and local web sites for information on highway construction.

Listen to the local radio traffic report for warnings and updates.

Again, this puts the control back into your hands.

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