By Diane Alavie, Pharmacist
If you think washing your dirty car is just a weekend chore, you could be missing out! Soaping up your ride could have hidden health benefits for your body and mind!
Scrubbing your car can be a mundane task or an opportunity to get some fun, engaging exercise. All it takes is a little mindfulness. Think about scrubbing in long, circular motions, pushing to engage your triceps and pulling for biceps. It will also help strengthen your wrist and forearm. Try a clockwise direction on one side of the car, counterclockwise on the other, and up-down or side-to-side for windows (remember Karate Kid?). Instead of bending at the waist, squat to engage your glutes, hamstrings, and quads and to help build support around your knees. Squat exercises can help you navigate stairs better.
Work, home, or car, a cluttered personal space causes most of us to feel anxious or stressed. A 2009 study revealed that dirt and clutter can increase our cortisol production (the stress hormone), putting us at risk for depression and long-term health problems. Cleaning (your car, for example) reduces cortisol, elevating mood. According to a 2023 LG study, 78% of Canadians feel calmer after cleaning.
Research done in 2008 shows that just getting outside will help strengthen your immune system, and exposure to sunlight will encourage the release of those good-mood endorphins that keep you calm and happy. Sunlight also regulates melatonin and serotonin, essential in mood, digestion, sleep, bone health, and libido. That alone should have you scrambling for your bucket and sponge!
Remember, a clean car is a healthier you, so lather, rinse, and repeat!