February is Heart Month (cont.)
The last post was about American Heart Month and National Wear Red Day (read it here). This post, we are going to continue that discussion into the realm of transportation – specifically in the movement for more truck driver awareness and effort in reducing their own risks for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 85.6 million people in the U.S. live with cardiovascular diseases (think heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke). Truckers are especially susceptible to heart disease and other cardiovascular issues due to the nature of their jobs – long work days, mental and physical stress, difficulty in finding healthy food options on the road – all combined with little exercise and too much sitting.
Why American Heart Month Matters to Truckers
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a survey in 2014 with long-haul truckers and found that 88% of the drivers surveyed had at least one risk factor for chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and others.
Because truck drivers serve such vital roles for the U.S. economy and many different industries, collaboration between drivers and their organizations to get, and stay, healthy is extremely important.
TruckerNews.com shares “Life’s Simple 7” rules by AHA that can help carriers and their drivers begin to start controlling and improving their health and lives on the road.
- Manage blood pressure – Learning what your numbers are and where they should be can help protect yourself from damaging and weakening your arteries.
- Control cholesterol – Not all cholesterol is bad. Learn what is good and what is not and how you can get more of the kind you need and reduce the kind you don’t.
- Reduce blood sugar – Factors such as family history, race/ethnicity, and age can increase your risk, but you can help the odds by reducing blood sugar to help manage and prevent diabetes.
- Get active – You don’t need a gym to get your exercise. Check out these 7 Rules of On-The-Road Fitness or these Exercises That Truckers Can Do in Their Vehicle for some ideas on how to incorporate more exercise in your routine.
- Eat better – Eating healthy on the road can be tough, especially when you are loading or delivering to an area with limited/no options. Be prepared with a cooler of healthy snacks and learn more about choosing better food options at restaurants.
- Lose weight – Do you know your BMI? Do you know why it matters? Losing weight is more than just calories. It is a combination of understanding your body and its needs, proper diet, and exercise.
- Stop smoking – Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Check out the resources, make a plan, and kick smoking for good.
For more on truckers and health, check out other related stories and topics from TruckerNews.com.
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