America’s truck drivers are essential not only to their families but to the American economy. Long hours on the road and being away from home can cramp your lifestyle as a driver. How can your lifestyle be improved so that you find more enjoyment in your life?
Sometimes it can be easier to ignore areas of change when we need to make a change in our lifestyle. However, we need our over the road drivers to be healthy and happy. We appreciate the job you do and want you to be around for a long time. So we are asking all our beloved drivers to ask yourself some sobering questions.
- Am I part of the 51% of commercial drivers that smoke?
- Am I one of the 92% of drivers that do not exercise?
- Am I one of the 69% of drivers that are considered obese?
- Am I one of the more than 50% of drivers that have diabetes?
- Am I one of the 87% of drivers that have Hypertension?
If you answered yes to any one of those questions, please take heed and remember that your life and health are essential to your family and America. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “the average life expectancy for a commercial truck driver is 61 years, which is 16 years lower than the national average.” It is time to turn that number around. How can that be done?
Drive the Highway to Better Health
Making changes is often easier said than done. So let us work together and come up with some practical, realistic solutions to gaining better health. Hypertension, diabetes, and obesity often stems from the same root cause, which is poor dietary choices. In the life of a trucker, it can be very challenging to make good food choices at truck stops and fast food places that are convenient. It is also very lonely being an over the road driver, so comfort food calls out your name right before it is time to fuel up again. So let us discuss some useful methods of overcoming loneliness and making better food choices at truck stops and fast food.
It has proven over and over that over the road drivers tend to have bouts of loneliness. There is no cure for loneliness, but there are positive steps that can be taken to help rid our mind and heart of the feeling.
- Make a plan to fight loneliness. Think about and make a list of the following statement, “When I feel lonely I am going to___________________________”
- Focus on the needs and feelings of others, and that will lessen your thoughts of being alone. What can I do to help my family? Can I read my child a story every night before bed? Can I talk with my family each morning before school and work to keep us connected? Can I have a video dinner with my family every day?
- Kindness and thankfulness help to combat loneliness. Think of ways you can show kindness to others and start a list of all the things you are thankful for in your life.
- Create events and times in the future to look forward to. Hope conquers loneliness.
Our emotional state can have much to do with our food choices. But frankly, it is not all emotion as to why we choose the quick, easy salty, sweet, fatty foods. Sometimes it is our schedule and the food that is available. Other times it is just an unhealthy food pattern that we repeat over and over. No matter what the reason, there are simple steps to break the habit no matter what our lifestyle.
Healthy Food Choices Are the Next Stop
Making healthy food choices does not happen by accident. It takes determination and self-discipline to stay on the road to good health. As an over the road driver, you are very familiar with roads, road conditions, and avoiding obstacles. Now you have to take your skill and knowledge and apply it to your life and your health. You can do it, and we have confidence in you.
Let us get started on the road with a list of healthy foods that can be found at most trucker stops.
- Baby carrots or carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Fresh whole fruit
- Fresh fruit cups
- Whole grain Cereal cups
- Trail Mix
- Whole-grain granola bars
- Beef, turkey or salmon jerky
- Fig bars
- 100% Fruit Juice
- 100% Vegetable Juice
- Sunflower Seeds
- Raw cashews, pistachios or almonds
- Fresh sandwich hold the mayo use mustard instead
- Fresh salad
That is a pretty long list, and I am sure some items can be found in truck stops all over America that are missing from the list. There are other places that better food choices can be made and cost less.
Your health is worth planning. There are so many premade healthy choices at grocery stores all over America. Stop at the grocery store and stock up. This will not only help you stay on the road to good health but will keep more cash in your pocket. Buying a meal here and there at the truck stop is expensive and will tempt you to get off the road to health. The healthier you are, and more cash in your pocket means the more fun things you can do with your family when you get home in a few short days. Many truckers have found great success in shedding excess weight with a high protein and low carb food program and then burn the fat with exercise.
Exercise a Necessary Stop on the Highway to Better Health
Exercise is not only good for the body; it is excellent for the mind. Exercise releases chemicals in our body that we need to combat depression and loneliness. So instead of sitting around the truck stop when you have delays. Fill your time with productivity. Give your body a dose of encouragement and exercise. There are apps available made, especially for busy truckers. Some of them have short programs designed for the lifestyle of a trucker. Take a look and find an app.
Some Drivers have found that using a kettlebell or dumbells to exercise has worked wonders for their health. Both pieces of equipment are small so that they can fit in your truck easily. Schedule a time to use them maybe after you wake up for 15 minutes before you hit the road. Then use them anytime you have an unexpected delay. Cardiovascular exercise is excellent for the heart and reduces Hypertension.
Looking Down the Road
Professional drivers know the importance of focus and looking down the road. Everyday skilled drivers successfully maneuver America’s roadways. You can probably think of several accidents you have avoided by looking down the road. The same principle and discipline are needed in driving down the highway to better health. Look ahead at the obstacles and challenges you will face if you do not make the required lifestyle changes.
Improving the lifestyle of America’s truck drivers is essential not only for America but for all the people that love them. All truck drivers, please get yourself on the highway to health where you will be safe and sound for a long time.