America depends on trucking to haul our goods. The delivery of our food, medicine, and nearly every product you can name depends on trucking. Trucking depends on drivers—healthy drivers. Not only to deliver the goods on time but to stay on the job. The American economy depends on it. The trucking industry is currently short, by most estimates, more than 30,000 drivers and part of the reason is the unhealthy, living on the road, lifestyle is not attractive. It doesn’t have to be unattractive; it takes planning, hard work, and discipline, but a truck driver can lead a healthy a lifestyle.
How Unhealty is the Average Truck Driver?
“A 2014 survey of long-haul truck drivers by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that 69 percent were obese, 17 percent morbidly so…Considering the ramifications (heart attack, stroke, fatigue. . .), the 2.5 million trucks on U.S. roads just might be our biggest national safety threat.” Men’s Health Magazine
Top Ten Ways to a healthy Lifestyle on the Road
Bring your lunch – At times it’s difficult to find healthy dietary choices on the road. Carrying healthy snacks and meals on board isn’t only nutritious, but can be tasty and cost saving as well. Livestong.com–Healthy Eating Choices for Truckers
Get enough sleep – Although it varies by individual the average adult needs eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, which can be difficult on the road, sleeping in a cab, while adhering to HOS regulations. The Mayo Clinic has a few suggestions 7 Sleep Tips
Get some exercise – Follow a flexible routine you can take on the road. Here’s an example from Healthy Trucker Magazine Video: Easy Mobility Exercises for Truckers
Quit Smoking – Yes it’s lonely, monotonous and easy to fall prey to the stimulant nicotine while on the road, but there are programs to help. Check with your health care provider.
Get away – Take a vacation. There’s an unhealthy trend in America of folks foregoing vacation time. Take it—you need it. Find a beach, stay at home, spend time with family, work on your hobby, but get away.
Retain a health coach – Yes, and your health care provider or employer may help defray the cost. Regardless, if a coach helps you to a more active healthy lifestyle…can you put a price on that?
Reduce Stress – OK, this is going to sound new age, touchy-feely, but it works. Take a few minutes every day and blank your mind, concentrate on breathing, mediate. Take a yoga class, laugh, and relax. Stress kills.
Drink lots of water. Not coffee, cola, or other caffeinated drinks—limit those and drink good ole H2O. It’s recommended adults to consume about 90 ounces per day.
Set Goals– Set goals for results such as a weight loss goal, but also set activity goals, for example, an exercise daily minimum or healthy eating goals.
Go to the Doctor – Get complete checkups. Follow preventive care initiatives, get vaccinated, and follow through with dental and vision exams.
Are you on the road? What healthy habits have you embraced? Please share them in comments. You never know who you might be helping.