You’ve just driven 11 hours straight, and it’s your 60th hour in the last 7 days. You’ve snacked on truck stop counter candy, coffee, and donuts, slept fitfully in the cab of your truck, and eaten fast food at 3am. It’s not a very healthy lifestyle is it?
17% of Americans who die on the job are truckers, 54% of male truckers smoke, 92% don’t exercise and the majority are overweight. How can this be changed?
What’s the Double-E Road to Recovery?
Eat — It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this one out, but it takes a ton of fortitude to avoid unhealthy choices. Drivers are inundated with temptation. It’s difficult to turn down those well-displayed sweet treats when stopping for fuel and coffee. Instead, carry your own treats — fruit, nuts, yogurt, and other snacks are a healthy alternative to a 550-calorie fat-laden muffin. Another problem is the convenience of unhealthy fast food. Most fast food chains have healthy choices on their menu; take the time to research what the healthiest options are. Preparing your own meals is another alternative. With today’s modern conveniences such as a Burton stove, 12-volt mini-fridges, and microwaves designed for trucks, it’s possible and practical to prepare your own meals.
Exercise — Instead of 11 stagnant hours of sitting behind the wheel, why not exercise while you drive? Simply maintaining good posture with a straight, upright back and tightening and holding your abdominals periodically throughout the day will strengthen your core — an especially weak area for most people. Take a break and go for a 15 minute walk or jog, carry small portable weights, or use resistance equipment such as hand grips, flex bars, resistance bands, or exercise balls. You could carry a portable folding bicycle or work with an exercise program. The bottom line is, find an exercise you enjoy and stick with it.
Many factors affect one’s health — sleep, stress, and excesses. Family, mental state, and habits also have a part in it. But the two EE’s are big and they’re the easiest place to start. Easy huh? Well, OK… it’s not easy, but the plan is. It’s not that complicated. Having the discipline, will power, and maintaining the desire to follow the plan after the mood has worn off – is hard. It’s a hard road to follow, but the rewards are tangible. Here’s to your health and good driving.