It is a well known fact that commercial truck drivers live much shorter lives than the general population. Major reasons for this is a lifestyle of unhealthy food choices and insufficient exercise. It can certainly be a challenge for truck drivers to keep a regular fitness routine and to choose healthy foods but it must be done to improve their overall health and increase their lifespans. Health is your most important asset and if your health is in an unhealthy state you must make efforts to restore your body to a healthy state and maintain it.
Trucking Companies are scrambling to find ways to improve the health of truck drivers. This includes helping their employees lose weight and even providing personal trainers to their employees at no cost. The trucking industry has taken many steps to improve the health of truck drivers. Trucking companies have participated in weight loss competitions in which participants have lost weight and won prizes. Many truckstop restaurants have adjusted their menus and offer a variety of healthy food options. Many truckstops also have fitness facilities free of charge available to drivers and more of these facilities are being planned. However, far too few drivers take advantage of these amenities.
Despite these efforts truck drivers continue to have poor eating habits. Truck drivers offer many excuses for their poor eating habits. One of the main ones is that they eat in a rush trying to keep delivery schedules. Another one is that they must eat the food available at truckstop restaurants. These are excuses, nothing more. You don’t have to eat the food available at truckstop restaurants or you can select the healthier foods. You could also keep a cooler or refrigerator in the truck and shop at supermarkets. You are in total control of the food you put into your mouth. One thing you definitely should do is to cut down on the saturated fats in your diet. You should eliminate cakes, cookies, fattening meats, ice cream, puddings, potato chips, etc.
Like everything else in life, healthy eating is a matter of consciously making wise food choices. It is what one must do to keep the body healthy and to keep the body’s weight consistent in what is normal weight for their height. Truck drivers like so much of the general population are overfed and undernourished. A trucker’s diet should consist of healthy foods. Oftentimes, drivers will simply choose foods that their taste buds are addicted to. This usually includes empty calorie foods high in salt, sugar, refined flour and saturated fat. Drivers often choose supersized portions of food and beverages sold at truckstop restaurants and then fail to exercise. This is why the number of overweight and obese truck drivers are at an all time high. A large percentage of truck drivers are 50, 75, 100 or more pounds overweight. Many illnesses and diseases are directly related to diet and weight. This includes hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and sleep apnea to name a few.
The good news is that this scenario can be reversed. You didn’t have any control over your genetics. You may have had limited control of foods you ate growing up and the lifestyle your family lived. However, you have control over of the lifestyle you live as an adult. These are things that you have total control over in your quest for health and wellness.
Food is fuel for your body and you have control as to what foods in put into your mouth. It is important to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet because they are rich in Antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to the cells in our bodies. Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” and prevent and repair damage done by free radicals. Without a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables, free radicals can spread and eventually lead to various illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis, stroke, heart attack, vision problems, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants may also enhance immune defense and thereby lower the risk of infections and diseases.
In addition to adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet you should include healthy whole foods like grains, beans, nuts, seeds and lean cuts of meat. Avoid saturated fat in your diet. Also, avoid diet foods and beverages. These are filled with MSG and Aspartame which are dangerous to your health.
Exercise is an important component of health and wellness. It is important to take time to exercise each day. Even just 15 minutes of exercise is better than none. Exercise helps increase metabolism and build a strong immune system. can also reduce anxiety. Regular exercise strengthens your bones, joints and muscles. Your heart and lungs will function more efficiently. It will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some types of cancers. It is important to begin exercising slowly and gradually increase the amount of exercise you do. Exercise will also improve mental health, help with weight control and increase your chances of living longer. It is wise to keep some portable exercise equipment in the truck for convenience and when you can’t get to a fitness center.