Would you want to spend 7 hours behind the wheel to get to work every day?

That’s exactly what one California man we read about does. Every day for over a decade, he’s commuted 3-and-a-half hours each way to work. Experts say he’s an “extreme commuter." But he’s not alone. In fact, new statistics show that more than 3 million North Americans are “extreme commuters," traveling an hour or more to the office each way.

Experts say the number of extreme commuters is skyrocketing mostly because of the economy. Because these days, a lot of workers will go just about anywhere for a job. And if they have families, they say they’d rather power through a long commute than uproot their kids from their school, and community.

But doctors warn that a long commute can crush your health. For example, after 40 minutes in rush hour traffic, your heart rate jumps by about 15 beats per minute and your breathing shoots up by 45% and the higher your stress level and blood pressure goes.

Also, experts say a long daily commute could kill your relationships. A new Swedish study found that commuting 45 minutes or more raises your risk for divorce by 40%.

So, how can you make commuting less stressful?
First: Try to take the scenic route. Studies show that seeing nature out the window will make you feel calmer.

And second: Turn on the tunes. Experts say that listening to soothing music, or even a book on tape will help keep your breathing rate and stress levels normal.