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Why is travelling tiring when the train or car does all the actual work?

Everyone feels tired after a run or long walk and that makes sense: you’ve done work and exerted yourself to get from A to B. But why is a journey by car or train tiring when the machine does the hard work for us? What about travelling by plane? Staying away in different timezones is exhausting but even if you fly north-south it can be tiring too. Why is this?

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18 Responses to “Why is travelling tiring when the train or car does all the actual work?”

  1. Bob said :

    Outwith / travelling between your normal time zone

  2. Mandeep said :

    respected sir/madam,
    there is a article describing the same in brief,

    i hope it will help a little bit.

  3. ♥Alexऊँ said :

    We have a hard time stilling our minds of extraneous thoughts. The more we come back to the present moment and are able to observe the thoughts as they happen the more we don’t waste energy. Concentrating/ overthinking takes a lot of energy and causes a lot of stress. Practicing mindfulness will help.

    Peace 😉

  4. oldprof said :

    Let’s differentiate between sleepy and tired, shall we?

    By tired, I mean exhausted. By sleepy, I mean wanting to fall asleep.

    When I hop off a plane, train, car (any mode) after a long trip, I do not feel tired. But often I will sleep during travels because I grow sleepy during the trip.

    On the other hand, my wife frequently expresses exhaustion after a long trip, no matter what the mode of transportation. The difference between us two is that I am totally relaxed during the travel and she is tense. She tenses against all the turns, all the stops and starts, and all the prevailing traffic that threaten our safety.

    Being tense will exhaust anyone; there is even a form of exercise called isometric exercise, where one simply pushes against a wall and tenses the muscles. It was all the rage in the 1960s. Unfortunately, while it could buiild up muscle tone, it was not aerobic and did little for the cardio vascular system.

    As a retired Naval Aviator, I was trained and learned through experience that traveling relaxed is far less tiring than traveling all tensed up at the controls. I transferred that skill and expertise to all modes of transportation; so I rarely end a trip tired.

    But, on the flip side, by remaining relaxed, I am more prone to becoming sleepy during the ride. That sleep is induced in part by boredom; sleep is a form of escapism from the tedium of the trip. To this day, I find it easy to fall asleep in an airplane while my tense wife cannot.

  5. Thomas said :

    So true?, but I have no idea, except, could it be that your brain is not so busy?…

  6. The Patriot said :

    Because you are not relaxing. Often, you are still keeping an eye out taking in the environment around you.

    The only way to relax when travelling properly really is to sleep.

  7. Backoftheclass said :

    During our normal regular daily lives our minds become seasoned into taking-in the same old familiar sights and sounds to which only differences be noticeable. To go on holiday its all about stimulating our minds to new sights and sounds. To travel is also about new sights and sounds for mental storage and later processing!. What tires me the most is walking into an unfamiliar SUPERMARKET as my mind “begins logging” where things BE should I return to the same supermarket. Intolerance and frustration is about returning to the same supermarket only to find everything moved around at which point I retrace my footsteps back to the entrance and shop elsewhere.

  8. LAZMUM said :

    Travel by car train or bus makes you feel tired because of resisting the movement of the vehicle you are in.Mandeeps Site was very informative on this.

    Jet lag tiredness is caused by crossing zones the worse being east rather than west & crossing south to north & north to south is a lot easier.But it still could be to do with vehicle resistance.

  9. Pj said :

    probably because your tired of sitting in a car or plane i usually stop and stretch and walk around when im travelling.

  10. ALEX said :

    Well, it’s tiring to be in a plane, taxi and other modes of public transport.

    Aside from the physical fatigue, travel also tires the mind because you always have to be alert. Everything around you is new, so you always have to be on your toes.

    But I love this kind of fatigue :):)

    Here’s some examples: If you are the driver of the vehicle you have to concentrate with the operations you are performing and that can be tiring.Long journeys can be very tiring.If you are a passenger,it can be quite boring on the journey if you don’t occupy yourself and you are just waiting to arrive at your destination.It can also be tiring navigating maps,listening to others trivial converstaion (sometimes) or kids arguing with each other.In a plane there are differences in altitude and perhaps time zone changes which could be tiring.Finally there may be pollutants when travelling like fumes etc which could make your head fuzzy and contribute to tiredness

  11. Damien said :

    when you travel you are waiting and thats whats tiring .its the same feeling as being in a long slow que

  12. Mohanbir Singh said :

    The cramped conditions play havoc with the body and limbs. On a long journey, one can only lie down or sit, restricted movements of the limbs. The movement of the train, does not allow us restful sleep.

  13. Chelseaaa said :

    When travelling by plane, it could be tiring because of all the things you have to do in the airport before boarding the plane, and it takes hours to do this. And by car and train i only get tired coming back from where i’ve been, and that’s because of all the things i’ve done after taking the train or car like a normal tiring day. Hope this helps 🙂

  14. saxon trix said :

    because we are inactive, our bloodcirculation is slowing down, our bodies are not made to sit for hours and hours. Even if we are able to move in the restricted area of a train or plane we are still curtailed to do anything physical. Our brain is just resigned to the fact that we really can’t do anything until we get to the end of our journey. So the body is relaxing, going into sleep mode.

  15. (。◕‿◕。) Wally x Bluerose (。◕‿◕。) said :

    its called mental fatigue, we get really bored, and when your bored you usually go to sleep…well sometimes you cant go to sleep and the travel time drags on for hours, and your always sitting in an uncomfortable position, and you haven’t adapted to sitting down for hours and waiting, your used to doing whatever you want on your schedule…it’s just a matter of adapting to surroundings.

    I hope this helps


  16. manoj said :

    our body also works or in motion while we travel so as the vehicle moves our body too moves and when the vehicle came to rest our body too came to rest. as fast the vehicle moves our body too moves at that speed.

    so we usually tried while travelling………….

  17. anonymous user said :

    It’s from trying to stay on whatever you’re riding, zigzagging on a road crooked as a dogs hind leg and dodging all kinds of obstacles. Not to mention the mental energy exerted keeping a look out for strangers.
    You would take a full load of lumber if you were going into town on a lumber wagon, come back with a couple rolls of fence wire, a keg of nails, and maybe load up with as many big rocks as you can to make for a smoother ride, and six months supply of groceries so you wouldn’t have to make that long rough ride as often.
    No jet lag but I don’t believe those were really the good ole days.

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