At Status Transportation, we realize owner operators play a vital role in the transportation industry. Therefore, being healthy will help you to keep up with this fast-paced environment, increase owner operator pay and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Keeping your body in-tune while on the road requires you to make a conscious effort.
Recent studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) demonstrate that long-haul truck drivers tend to have twice the tendency of developing health issues compared to the national working population. Over 65% of surveyed truck drivers reported having two or more risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, sleep deprivation and lack of physical activity.
Over the Road owner operators at Status Transportation tend to stay out on the road for 3 to 4 weeks at a time before going back home. We understand there are some restraints as far as food or physical activity, but like the saying goes when there is a will there is a way. So just like taking care of your rig reduces the risk of a breakdown following these six tips on how to stay healthy while on the road will help you to stay healthy and in shape.
Development of Healthy Eating Habits is Essential in Trucking
Developing healthy eating habits does not only relate to what type of food you eat but also setting healthy limits. A healthy diet should include 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 35% good fats like olive oil, fish, and nuts. It’s not about depriving yourself but eating balanced meals while controlling your portions.
Try to stay away as much as possible from anything artificial like junk food, soft drinks or sweets. Yes, that includes the Krispy Kremes.
Depending on your size you should consume an average of 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day. If after starting a balanced diet you start to feel tired try eating a little more. The idea is to develop a sustainable habit not just start another temporary diet. Stop eating if/when you are satisfied, not when you have finished your meal. You don’t need to unbutton your pants after a meal to know you are exceeding the limit.
Meal preparation can benefit both your health and your wallet. At the beginning, like any other habit, you will need to make an extra effort to get used to storing, preparing, and having supplies to clean after a meal, but the benefits in increased health and not to mention savings will be worth your while.
Ready to Review Smoking in Your Rig?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is the number one cause of heart disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. You will require determination and self-control to quit smoking, but there are several methods available to help you kick the habit once and for all.
According to the American Lung Association, the average smoker spends close to $7,000 per year in cigarettes. Quitting this habit will be beneficial both to your health and your wallet.
The majority of the crew members at Status Transportation reviews their lifestyle all the time. Many of them became non-smokers, thus setting an example for the rest of the organization to live healthier.
Stay Hydrated On The Road
Energy drinks, sodas or coffee, will never be a replacement for water. Recommended daily water intake for adults is roughly about 2.7 to 3 liters a day. So next time you’re at the truck stop, trade that 32 oz. Big Gulp for good ol’ water. According to the American Heart Association staying hydrated helps your heart to pump blood through vessels to muscles with less effort than when you are dehydrated. Hydration is necessary for muscles to operate efficiently. The amount of water you need will depend on the climate conditions, physical activity and type of clothes you wear. Traditionally owner operators tend to drink less water because they do not want to have to stop for a restroom break, and instead, they prefer to drink coffee when in reality it is best to avoid caffeinated drinks because of their diuretic properties that can cause you to dehydrate faster.
Get Enough Sleep (in addition to HOS)
There are many benefits to having a good rest. Adequate sleep can help you to build and maintain a healthy immune system. Proper sleep also contributes to improving memory, sharpen concentration, lower stress levels. As an owner operator having enough rest will keep you healthy and help you to avoid sleep-deprived driving. Statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show sleepiness is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the United States. Sleepiness affects how fast you can react and make decisions, so stay safe out there and reap the benefits of having a well-deserved rest. Status Transportation safety department strictly encourages all owner operators to carefully review Hours of Service regulations and spend enough time resting.
Exercise on your Breaks
Last but not least find a way to increase your physical activity while at a truck stop. There are plenty of trucker workouts on YouTube designed to keep you active while on the road to help you improve your metabolism and burn fat.
Find one of these workouts and watch the weight come off! No matter what your health status is at the moment, developing healthy habits is crucial in the transportation industry. You will feel energized, more alert and increase your productivity.
Train Your Mind
What does training your mind have to do with staying healthy while on the road you might ask? Well, if what we are is the result of what we have thought, then it is very important to train your mind to have the thoughts that will take you to where you want to be in life. Be it professional goals, relationships, personal growth you can start by reading books that will help you learn and improve in those areas. Drivers tend to have lots of time to think while on the road. As an owner operator, pay close attention to what type of thoughts you are having. Are these positive or negative thoughts? Plato once said “Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.” Make sure you are having the right conversation.
At Status Transportation, we care about the well-being of our owner operators both as entrepreneurs and individuals. Status Transportation reviews the living standard and the well-being of all people involved constantly and therefore proposes our partners, contractors, and employees to review their health status and lifestyle along with us. We believe a healthy life will allow you to enjoy your job and put you on the right path to pursue your professional goals.
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