When driving past a semi-truck, do you expect to see someone at the peak of health and fitness sitting behind the wheel?? You will, of course, see a tough and hardworking individual doing a very important job. However, truckers and other people in drive-heavy professions are not always in the greatest shape.
A dashboard littered with fast-food wrappers is almost a tradition for some big-rig operators. In fact, 65% of truckers say it’s hard to eat right in their profession, while 35% say it’s hard to exercise. With the average trucker age at 55 years and most food on the road coming either fried or deep-fried, habits are deeply ingrained in many drivers. So, why try to change something that has become so rooted in the daily life of many truckers?
First, your life can depend on it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the CDC. Nutrition and exercise are by far the best way to keep your ticker ticking, yet 70% of truckers are overweight or obese. Second, even if health problems don’t kill you, they can force you out of work, preventing you from providing for yourself or your family. One in five truckers are forced to leave their job due to health-related problems. Finally, taking care of drivers’ well-being is good for fleet and transportation companies too, as healthy drivers have lower absenteeism and longer careers; those are huge benefits for an industry experiencing a driver-shortage.
We’ve settled that health is of life-saving and industry-saving importance, but how do we go about improving our health and well-being?? In a recent article, TheBalance.com provides 5 healthy habits for over-the-road truckers:
- Stock up on healthy food to bring with you, from pre-washed veggies and fruit to lean meat like chicken that you can easily cook on a portable grill.
- Folding bicycles and running/walking shoes are simple to stow and provide an easy way to exercise at any rest-stop or parking lot.
- Sleep is indispensable to good health, so get as much as possible. Figure out how you can achieve the ideal temperature and noise levels for your rest.
- Stimulating your mind with audio books or the radio keeps you more alert and fresh than being bored or obsessively dwelling on any single thought.
- Settle your soul by staying in touch with family and friends as much as you can. Find fun ways to connect and keep loved ones updated on your travels.
Your physical and psychological health are intimately connected, so attending to your mind and your heart, as well as your food, exercise, and sleep, is a great way to improve your overall health and well-being.
You can read the full article on healthy habits for drivers here. We also recommend checking out DrivingHealthy.org, which has great information on Eating & Living Healthy and Prevention & Screening, as well as a helpful Resource Center.
What do you think?? How hard is it to stay healthy on the road?? What do you do to eat right and keep in shape?? Let us know in the comments below!!