I had the opportunity to talk with members of the Rolling Strong team at the Mid America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville last week.  It was a great experience talking with subject matter experts who truly care about our industry and our health.  I listened as they talked to other drivers about their lifestyles on the road.  I was truly impressed with some of the drivers who already had exercise programs in place.  I used to be more active and a lot lighter I’m sad to admit.  Believe it or not, I used to be a vegetarian for about 2 years back in the late 90s before our children were born.  During my wife’s first pregnancy, she was craving hamburgers because of a lack of protein in her diet and from that point, we both slipped back into the Standard American Diet (SAD).

I also learned from Freightliner’s business seminar at MATS that one of the three leading causes of owner-operators failing in the industry is because of health problems.  Bob Perry, President and founder of Rolling Strong told us that obesity isn’t a problem that only affects the trucking industry; it’s a problem for our entire country.  The problem is magnified within trucking because we have fewer choices then almost all other industries.  I do know that our overall health has much to do with what we put into our bodies.  Our bodies build new cells everyday based on the nutrients that we feed them.  If we want healthier bodies, we must feed our cells with healthier foods.

The Team Run Smart community knows the challenges to eating healthy on the road and has developed a very helpful video on our website.  Bob Perry of Rolling Strong and Carissa Berres of ATBS actually enter a Denver area truck stop and go through the aisles showing the healthiest choices available to us.  This approach is exactly what our industry needs as it demonstrates that there are healthier choices in the places we frequent.  You can watch the video below.  This technique, along with preparing healthy food and snacks before a trip will go a long way in helping us obtain better health and therefore increase our chances of staying successful.


Finally, I want to bring attention to a few other internet resources where we can find like-minded friends in the industry to exchange ideas and recommendations regarding staying healthy on the road.  On Facebook, I go to Trucking Fitness where I can always be motivated and encouraged by the posts.  My fellow Team Run Smart Pro Jeff Clark is active on an open Facebook group called “Truckin’ Runners.”  Of course, check out Rolling Strong and the Health Smart articles on the Team Run Smart website.  If you have other recommendations, please share them below.  Ever Forward!

Comments (6)

Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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Yeah Jeff, thanks for letting me know about that group, "truckin runners". What an encouragement that group is to each other.

March 31, 2013 6:23:09 AM

Alot of social media for truckers-of course truckin' runners is my fave for runners and walkers who truck-it is a nice exchange of knowledge and encouragement. glad to have you as a member Joey.

March 30, 2013 20:41:07 PM

I've heard something like that before when my wife was pregnant. She was told about needing to complete her protein. How exactly does that work? Are there foods that we can easily get at truck stops that will work? Thanks.

March 30, 2013 10:57:44 AM

Learning to combine foods such as beans and rice, chick peas and sesame seeds, ect will supply all amino acids for complete protein.

March 30, 2013 10:30:47 AM

That sounds like good advice Craig. I'm definitely not an expert on the subject but one who needs to improve in this area. I've taken my own advice and did much better on the road this week. I packed along some almonds in ziploc bags to have as snacks. They really fill you up since they're high in protein.

I know what you mean about it being hard to find qualified people to do physically demanding jobs. It's a problem everywhere in our country. Thanks for the comment!

March 30, 2013 9:25:05 AM

Joey, I don't have any great suggestion other than what my doctor told me. Losing weight is nothing more than calories in versus calories burned. He said to try using smaller plates because you can't get as much food on them. Go through the salad bar five days for every day you eat a hamburger or other unhealthy food. And finally get up and move. Fortunately I don't have a weight problem but I certainly don't get as much exercise as I should.
Every spring we are required to pass a physical test before we are allowed to work the fires. Engine crews are required to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes carrying a 45 pound pack. Tender drivers are required to required to walk 1 mile in 16 minutes without carrying anything. Sadly I have had to turn good drivers away because they couldn't pass the tender operators walk test. For people that don't get exercise those tests are harder than they sound.
Thanks for putting this article together, I hope you receive a lot of good feedback and ideas.

March 30, 2013 8:06:17 AM