Truck driver health issues are a primary concern in the trucking industry today. Illnesses and diseases severely impact our nation’s truck drivers. Truck driver’s health could be improved immensely by incorporating exercise in their lives on a daily basis. Obesity is a terrible problem in the trucking industry. Far too many truck drivers are overweight or obese. Truck drivers are more prone to obesity than non-truckers because they sit behind the wheel for a large part of each day. Additionally, only a small percentage of them exercise regularly.
Trucking companies are urging their drivers to exercise and improve their diets because they are beset with rising insurance costs. Furthermore, they need them to pass the Deptartment of Transportation (D.0.T.) medical exam. Truck drivers that have conditions which prevent them from obtaining the required D.O.T. clearance can’t continue working as truck drivers. Trucker’s diets should include far less fat laden foods and more healthy food choices. Trucking companies and other leaders in the trucking industry are working to bring the importance of health and fitness to truck drivers. Some truckstops have installed fitness centers and walking trails to encourage drivers to exercise. Walking trails allow for safe walking and jogging at truckstops away from trucks.
For the third consecutive year, The MATS Health Awareness Walk took place on May 23, 2012. This was a 1.5 mile non-competitive walk in which participants chose to walk all or part of it. Participants received T-shirts, goodie bags, free blood pressure checks and great information on health and fitness. This walk was sponsored by the Trucking Solutions Group along with Travel Centers of America. Travel Centers of America and Pilot Travel Centers have excellent fitness centers at many of their U.S. locations and are adding new gyms.
Aerobic exercise is the primary type of exercise that should be incorporated into a fitness plan. Aerobic exercise aids in weight reduction, stress levels and helps to keep hearts healthier. Aerobic exercise also helps to increase energy levels. Doing regular aerobic exercise will help you to be healthier and leaner as you age. Truck drivers should strive to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days per week. Aerobic exercise includes activities such as fitness walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and dancing, etc.
Study after study confirms the benefits of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise increases the amount of oxygen in the body and thereby also increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. This helps to improve brain health in addition to overall body health. Exercise improves circulation throughout the body. Aerobic exercise increases sweating which aids in eliminating toxins from the body. Many truck drivers suffer with constipation and hemorrhoids. Exercise helps to prevent constipation and the development of hemorrhoids.
Keeping workout attire and a few pieces of exercise equipment in the trucks is a good plan which may motivate drivers to exercise regularly, especially if the truckstops they frequent don’t have exercise facilities. They can use various types of equipment to get a good aerobic workout. For starters, invest in a good pair of running shoes. They should fit well and be very comfortable. Use them to walk or jog around the truckstop. Buy a pedometer which counts your steps if you want to cover a specified distance each day. Rebounders are small trampolines which are excellent for aerobic exercise. You can buy a folding rebounder and use it outside the truck to bounce or jog in place. The rebounder absorbs 7/8% of the impact to the skeletal system so exercising on it puts very little stress on the joints. Folding bicycles can easily fit in a truck and enable you to be able to ride around various areas as you are on the road. Alternating your exercise routines provides increased variety and interest.
Exercise provides both psychological and physical benefits for participants. So all you truck drivers please take the time to incorporate exercise into your schedule. You may be rewarded with a longer, healthier life.