If we treated our tickers as well as our trucks, there would be less heart disease in our industry. Every year since 1963, Congress has required each President to proclaim February as American Heart Month. When you’re on the road, it’s not hard to spot the warning signs of heart disease, and it’s not just obesity that’s the problem. Smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, and a poor diet all combine to clogging a lot of arteries and vessels (and no, we’re not talking about rush hour traffic here).
What Kind of Fuel Are You Putting in Your Engine?
Your doctor or dietician can tell you what to do, but only you can make the choices each day that lead to good heart health.
Eat Colors: You know they have minerals and vitamins, but a good variety of fruits and vegetables can help control weight and actually lower your blood pressure.
Eat More Fish: Adding fish to your diet at least twice a week will boost your omega-3 fatty acids and help lower your risk of coronary artery disease.
Heart disease is America’s #1 Killer
- Are you at risk?
- High cholesterol level
- High blood pressure
- Family history of heart attack
- Lack of exercise
Exercise: Work in that work out. Regular exercise can help you maintain your weight, improve your blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. Keeping active can lower your risk for a lot of chronic diseases, including type 2-diabetes, depression, and cancer. Just because you can’t get to a gym doesn’t mean you can’t stay active. Walking, stretching, push-ups, and sit-ups are just a few of the things you can do to stay active. Follow the workout program in your handbook using your rig as your personal gym!
What Type of Fuel Are You Burning?
If you are overweight, eating protein instead of carbs can speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown people burn fat more quickly after eating high-protein meals than high-carb meals. You don’t drive your rig with lights off at night because you need to see the road ahead. Managing your health is the same, be sure to see what’s ahead on the road for your health. There are no big secrets to weight loss, and there are no “quick fixes.” It’s fairly straightforward and simple; to lose weight you have to eat less, exercise more, better yet, do a combination of the two.
Ever try to use cheap fuel? How’d that work out for you? The most common mistake when it comes to eating is waiting too long between meals. When our energy level drops, we instinctively reach for the closest thing available, which for over-the-road drivers is usually processed or fast food. Instead, plan ahead. When you’re on the go, pack nutritious snacks to keep your energy level stable. Then when you are ready to eat, make healthy choices. Simply avoid simple carbs: candy, sugary drinks, cake, and many more. Simple carbohydrates may leave a sweet taste in your mouth but, that’s where the fun stops.
Simple carbs are already broken down to their simplest form, and are quickly digested and enter in your bloodstream quickly. A spike in blood sugar releases the hormone insulin, which helps your body turn the sugar into energy. Your body uses this energy for: movement, growth, repair, etc. When blood sugar is elevated quickly and for extended periods of time, this causes an increased workload on your pancreas. In addition, this won’t help you if you’re trying to lose weight, as this extra sugar quickly turns to fat.
For you team drivers; it’s been proven that when one partner participates in a weight loss program the other is more likely to eat less calories too. Couples tend to support each other. You don’t drive your rig with lights off at night because you need to see the road ahead. Managing your health is the same, be sure to see what’s ahead on the road to your health.
For over-the-road workout programs reach out to me, Bob Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org. Meal suggestion, see me at www.CDLmeals.com.