I’m not a doctor or any type of trained health expert and I’m not writing this to give specific health advice.  I’m writing this in general terms to hopefully get you thinking about your life, your health and your family.  It’s my guess that you mean more to your family than you know.  Personally, I would like to live a long healthy life if possible.  I would like to be around for my kids and watch them grow, to see what path they take in their lives.  All drivers, company and owner-operators, spend a tremendous amount of every day sitting.  Yes, our brains are engaged and our arms move a little to keep the truck between the lines and grab a gear now and then unless you are driving a newer truck with an automatic transmission.  If the truth were told, we don’t get much exercise during the day and lifting your coffee cup doesn’t count.

By searching “health risk of sitting all day” followed by “health risk of sitting all day versus smoking” I found articles from CBS News, The Mayo Clinic, Runners World, NPR, Healthy Living, Forbes, Women’s Health and Men’s Health.  As one would expect, there are a range of opinions about how detrimental sitting is to your health.  In less than 20 minutes I read, “Sitting is the new smoking.” Now, I don’t smoke, but this sure caught my attention.  I read that sitting for over 6 hours a day can take several years off your life.  Prolonged sitting can contribute to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides (which are fats in our blood), back problems, poor posture, knee pain, muscle weakness, slowed metabolism, heart disease, diabetes, depression and deep vein thrombosis. The point is sitting all day is very unhealthy.

At this point you are probably saying, no kidding everyone knows that, but what can I do to reduce my potential problems when my job requires me to sit all day?  First, schedule an appointment with your doctor and have a frank discussion with him/her (that’s why you’re paying them).  They will most likely give you advice on eating healthier, eating smaller portions, and develop some type of exercise plan for you.  They may schedule a metabolic work up to determine what is happening under your skin, which I believe is a good idea.  I have taken those steps and am making a daily effort to follow my doctors’ advice including getting up and moving whenever possible.

You have to get your muscles moving to burn calories, keep your joints limber and your muscles toned, but that doesn’t mean you have to exercise yourself into a sweaty exhausted mess.  Park your truck as far from the restaurant and store as possible when pulling into the truck stop at night.  Eat healthier meals: think salad bar rather than hamburger and steak, think water and unsweetened iced tea rather than soda. 

imgMake an effort to walk every day even if it is going nowhere except around your truck.  Jeff Clark did a nice blog posted on 11/11/13 titled “My Morning Walk” and if you didn’t read it you should. He’s not crazy, he’s HealthSmart!  There have been blog posts about walking and running and forum posts about exercise, as well from several of the Pros and other contributors.

Henry Albert, Bob and Linda Caffee, and Jeff Clark have posted blogs about the FIT system, which is Freightliner’s In-cab Training System.  I have watched some nice videos from Carissa Berres and Bob Perry of Rolling Strong that show how to use this unique system. There is so much information available on Team Run Smart to help you…so what are you waiting for?  If you care about yourself and your loved ones, take the time to talk to your doctor and do a little research on your own to find out how to improve your health and hopefully prolong your life.  Your family depends on you and it is your duty to be there for them.

Comments (8)

Craig McCue

Business owner and part-time operator of a seasonal business.

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John,

What an amazing story and very inspiring! Thanks for sharing. It's certainly not easy to quit smoking and your grandson gave you the motivation to do so!

December 06, 2013 15:43:09 PM

John,
That is an excellent story, thank you for sharing with everyone. I'm very happy for you that you found the catalyst to stop smoking and lose weight. I don't have grandchildren yet but my daughters sure do keep things in perspective for me. You are living proof that we can all make improvements to our lives and make sure that we stick around for our loved ones.

Mark,
Under the health smart tab Carissa Barres has posted some very good articles and videos to help and encourage all of us. If you haven't seen them yet, please take a few moments to watch them.

Thank you for all the great discussion here, let's keep it going. I hope we can collectively help people improve their lives!

December 06, 2013 13:22:13 PM

How right you are. Wlaking has been proven to be one of the healthiest excercises you can do. The best part is it does not take a whole lot of effort. I quit smoking 20 years ago, on the night my grandson was born. I had just passed through the Banning scales in Ca and had just lit the last cigarette I had in my pack. My dauhgter was in labor and having difficulty with the labor. I wanted to stop and get a pack of smokes but I thought that it would delay my getting to her. So I decided to keep rolling. I made it to her just after she delivered. She was fine, my Grandson was fine and I was not even thinking about smoking at that point. The next day and from that point forward, while withdrawing from the effects of nicotine addiction, every time I had the urge to smoke, especially while I was driving, I pulled over and got out of my truckk and took off runnig. Running as hard as I could for as long as I could. I was also very overweight, around 250. Before long I was running and walking up to 5 miles. I lost about 60 pounds and got very fit. I still look back on that and every birthday my Grandson celebrates I thank him for coming into our lives and saving mine.

December 06, 2013 12:14:31 PM

Mark,
It will make a difference if you can find 15 minutes each day to walk. As far as meals go for me, the later in the day/evening, the less I'll eat. I'll eat more if I can have dinner in the 5 to 6 pm range but if I end up eating after 7 or 7:30 pm then I'll eat about 1/4 of the amount, just enough to make the hunger feeling go away but not enough to feel full. I also go for low fat when possible and I try to cut out as much processed sugar as possible. Our bodies convert any excess sugar (sugar not converted into energy) into fat and stores it for later conversion into energy. Since we don't have to worry about where or when we'll eat again, we really don't need to store excess fat. Try to find time for a walk each day and let us know after a few months if you feel any better!

December 06, 2013 8:47:22 AM

Yes, I have a very sedentary life style. I spend 12-14 hours a day in my truck. I get, maybe an hour outside at shippers or consignees. Some days I just drive all day. By the time I get done at night I'm so tired that all I want to do is eat something, which is usually a med-big meal, before I lie down for the night. So I get no exercise. I know I need to, I know it will make me feel better, but I get som wiped out by the end of the day. I am going to try to make an effort to walk and start with that

December 05, 2013 17:28:30 PM

I move around as much as possible. When I'm working at my desk I won't sit for more than an hour at a time before getting up and going for a walk. When I'm driving I won't go more than a couple hours without stopping, getting out and walking around. So many people ignore their health in pursuit of success but it doesn't matter how successful you are, when you lose your health you've lost everything.

December 04, 2013 8:07:32 AM

Craig very good insight! When I drive I tap my toes to music and I move my arms. Listening to active music keeps me from becoming hypnotized by the road and forgetting to move. When driving I am not good at stopping and in reality the half hour break is a good thing for me.

December 03, 2013 16:21:07 PM

It is so important to keep moving-Exercise does not have to be drudgery or torture.. nice blog Craig.

December 03, 2013 6:09:43 AM