World Health Day: Healthy Living
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Posted by: Taylor Pettis
Falling Into a Healthy Routine –
Written by Taylor Pettis
As winter has officially passed and our new spring routine has begun, it is important to remember health as a daily priority. As a truck driver, your health is something to take seriously. There’s a big lifestyle change that comes along with becoming a truck driver and many times personal health can be overlooked. Keeping up with exercising and eating well rounded meals can be difficult while out on the road. Below are some tips with information to live a healthier life on the road.
Food, one of the basic needs of life, plays a challenging part to our well-being. In order to stay sharp and professional on the road, you need to be fueled by the right meals. The food you eat on the road will serve as your traveling repair kit. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices for your body and mind:
- Healthy eating starts where you stop. It is often so easy and convenient stop at a fast food joint. However, then good choices can be limited. But if you stop at a grocery store that offers whole or healthy foods (fruits, bagged carrots, nuts, hummus, grocery stores with salad bars) you expand your choices.
- Eat frequently, and in smaller amounts. Eating small amounts of healthy foods during the day sends a signal to your brain that the food supply is abundant. Eating too many calories in one meal sends your brain the message that leaner times must be around the corner, in which case those calories will get stored as fat. Eating more often, in smaller amounts will give you more energy!
- Protein, protein, protein. Eating the right amount of protein for your weight and activity level stabilizes blood sugar enhances concentration, and keeps you lean and strong. Reach for: chicken, lean turkey and other options for each meal.
- Reach for fruit. Delicious fruit, and nature’s candy, should be consumed 5 times a day! Most convenient stations fruits like bananas, apples and oranges!
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will flush your body of toxins, reduce risk of cancer, and help you eat less. It will also help you avoid travel lag, boosts energy levels and junk-food cravings. Always keep water close!
- Track Your Calories. A great way to make sure you are meeting your nutritional goals is to track you food. A great app available online, iPhones or Galaxy phones is My Fitness Pal. This allows you to customize your lifestyle, height and weight with your diet goal.
Don’t let hours of consistent driving become a pain in the neck. Driving for hours on end can be rough on a truck driver’s back, shoulders and especially neck. Don’t let muscle tightness affect your wellbeing. Make sure to get out and walk around your truck a few times a day. Warm up your muscles and stretch! Below are 9 of the best stretches for truck drivers to do on a daily basis!
- Hamstrings - Cross your right foot over your left. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the waist and reach to your toes. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides.
- Quads - Grab your right ankle with your right hand and pull your foot toward your butt until you feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold for 15-30 seconds and switch sides.
- Hips - Lunge forward with your weight on your right foot. Put both hands on your hips and hold. Switch sides.
- Forearms - Cross your wrists with the thumbs pointed downward. Clasp hands together. Straighten your arms and rotate shoulders by your back. Hold.
- Wrists - Put palms together like you’re praying. Tilt your fingertips toward your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds.
- Shoulders - Put one arm over your head and grasp the elbow with your other hand. Pull the elbow toward your head and back. Hold and switch arms.
- Upper Back - Stand with your feet hip distance apart on a mat. Hinge forward at the waist and plant your hands on the mat. Step feet back until you’re in a push-up position. Lift your hips to the ceiling until your body makes an inverted “V” shape. Press your chest toward your knees. Hold stretch.
- Lower Back - Stand with your arms extended vertically overhead. Lift your chest up and arch your back. Bring the arms back as far as possible.
- Glutes - Lie on a mat and bend your knees. Cross one lower leg over the thigh of the other leg. Grab the back of the thigh with both hands. Pull your leg towards your torso. Hold and repeat on the other leg.
Don’t let your busy schedules get in the way of staying fit. In order to stay sharp on the road, you need to keep your body healthy as well. There are so many ways to stay fit with no special equipment. Give yourself 20-30 minutes at least a day to get your body moving and stay fit. Make sure to start out slow, and don’t overdo it.
Truckers in sleeper can perform this exercise while on break. Planks strengthen your back, arm, leg, and core muscles. Start off the exercise by getting on your hands and knees; place your forearms and hands onto the ground with your palms facing downward. Kick back your legs so that you are placing your weight on your toes. Keep your body straight and hold for 30 seconds.
Strengthen your abs while you’re on the go! Squeeze your abs muscles and hold it for the entire length of your favorite songs or news report. If you are unable to squeeze your abs muscles for long, then aim to squeeze them for at least one to two minutes. Repeat for every favorite song that comes on the radio.
Jogging in Intervals
Another simple and free exercise you can do any day, almost anywhere! Keep jogging interesting by doing it in intervals: jog for 2 minutes, sprint 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds repeat. Create your own custom intervals.
Your health is something to take seriously! By simply eating smarter, stretching and getting enough exercise; you can enhance your skill on the road. Remember, your health is your wealth! Make the best lifestyle decisions you can make every day.