Commercial Trucking, with its 3 million plus drivers, is unfortunately among the top occupations for poor health and obesity prevalence. Add in the inherent exposures of traffic accidents it is no surprise that our client group has a lower than average life expectancy than those with differing careers.
As we begin a new year, why not use 2021 as the year you personally improve your trucker health and fitness? You can make vast health improvements to your body and mind by incorporating the 4 following items into your daily trucking regime:
Eating Three Meals
Don’t skip meals, this will cause binge-eating later in the day making it harder to keep undesired weight off. By eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’ll keep your hunger cravings down and snacking to a minimum. Try to ease up on the junk food, such as potato chips, chocolate bars, fries, burgers etc. fatty, fast foods are a big reason for poor truck driver health. Snacking can help curb hunger cravings, some healthy alternatives are walnuts, almonds, apples, whole grain crackers and cheese.
15 Minutes, No Matter What
Living life on the road can make it difficult to fit in time for any physical fitness, however it is important that no matter the circumstance, try to fit in 15 minutes of exercise every day. It could be as simple as walking, push-ups, crunches on the ground etc. Just walking around a trucking rest area can easily accomplish this activity. Walking has benefits for both your physical and mental health, it’s also an activity that most people can do.
Incorporate stretching into your 15-minute activity (which can be done inside or outside your vehicle). Stretching will improve your flexibility and driving posture and will help mitigate other common trucking injuries such as back and hip injuries. Like many physical activities, stretching also comes with mental health benefits like stress relief helping to calm your mind and release tension before you get back on the road. Whatever you decide to do, your body will appreciate it and you will be able to tell the difference.
Drinks lots of Water
Our bodies are about 60% water, staying hydrated and drinking water regularly is essential for staying healthy. Avoid stimulants like coffee or sugary drinks as they dehydrate your body. Don’t know how much water to drink? The common formula says to consume 1/2 your body weight in ounces (weight 170 lb. = 85 ounces which means drinking approx. 10.5 cups of water each day).
Get Adequate Rest
In order for your new 2021 health routine to benefit your mind and body, it must be accompanied with a sufficient amount of sleep. Purchasing a sleep measuring device is highly recommended to make sure you are achieving this important health restoring activity. During sleep your body recovers, conserves energy and builds up the muscles you have been working on during your new exercise routine. Beyond fitness, sleeping a proper amount will also benefit your mind. When you are able to get 7-8 hours of sleep, your attention and concentration while driving will also greatly improve impacting the safety of yours and others.
Incorporating these 4 steps into your workday will put you on the road to making 2021 a great year!
Written By: Tony McIntosh
Tony has 20 plus years of experience in insurance carrier and MGA underwriting and marketing experience. While Tony is not underwriting, he enjoys exercising, working out, coaching youth sports and spending time with family and friends.