Statistics show that, on average, truck drivers live shorter lives than people in other professions and experience more health issues. For CDL drivers, the issue of truck driver health doesn’t get enough attention and American Truck Training is making a point to do just that. On September 20, 2022, American Truck Training’s President and CEO, Jerome Redmond, sat down with Dr. Mark Manera on his Podcast, Trucking Fitness Radio. Dr. Mark’s mission is to make the trucking industry a healthier place!
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As Dr. Mark expresses in this episode, the stats are not pretty for truck driver health across America. The CDC conducted a survey that showed truck drivers are twice as likely of being obese compared to other US occupations. Obesity or being overweight can increase the risk of developing further health issues, including:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
In episode 24 of Trucking Fitness Radio, Dr. Mark and Jerome Redmond discuss the scope of truck drivers’ health today and how CDL schools and trucking companies are trying to combat the health problem. Listen below!
How CDL Schools Can Change the Trajectory of
Truck Driver Health w/ Jerome Redmond
Create Healthy Habits from the Start!
Start your CDL career off the healthy way by forming one new healthy habit at a time. Jerome Redmond’s one piece of advice from the podcast is to start small, start doing something, toward your health – to get the tires turning. For instance, Jerome likes to do some walking with his wife.
We’ve put together five recommendations for truck driver health that will help you in your career as a CDL driver!
1. Stay Hydrated
Many people are unaware that dehydration can lead to a variety of health problems. The body doesn’t indicate that it needs to “drink” until it is already “dehydrated.” In reality, you are already dehydrated when you feel thirsty.
Instead of only drinking when you are thirsty, try to take small sips of water throughout the day.
To make it easy, always keep a bottle of water close by so you can sip throughout the day.
2. Eat Less Junk Food
Reduce your intake of junk food, such as chocolate bars, fries, hamburgers, and potato chips. They’ll clog your arteries and lead to a host of additional issues. Poor nutrition is a major factor in the ill health of truck drivers. It helps to plan out what you’re eating each day and even the week if you’re up for the task.
Check out CDLjobs.com for more information on ways to eat healthy on the road!
3. Get Proper Sleep
Most of us don’t give sleep enough thought. CDL drivers need to make a concerted effort to sleep well every night. Although sometimes difficult for truck drivers, sleeping for 8 hours every night with consistent bedtimes and is an excellent start. It’s also important to cut down on caffeine, especially the hours before bedtime. And sleep in a dark area by using darkening curtains in your bunk or a sleep mask.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Good sleep improves your brain performance, mood, and health. Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders. These range from heart disease and stroke to obesity and dementia.”
4. Vitamin Supplements
Since maintaining a balanced diet while traveling can be difficult, think about taking a high-quality multivitamin every day.
“It’s possible to get all of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of healthy foods, so you don’t have to take one,” says Carol Haggans, a registered dietitian, and consultant to NIH. “But supplements can be useful for filling in gaps in your diet.” For more specific vitamins that are best for you, speak with your doctor or a nutritionist.
5. Start Moving – Regular Exercise is Important
To get your circulation going and get some fresh air, at the very least attempt to go outside for a brief, brisk walk of around 15 minutes. The key is to choose an activity you enjoy doing that works nicely into your daily schedule.
Obesity, diabetes, and chronic heart disease are just a few health problems that could result from inactivity. Nearly 69% of long-haul truckers are obese, according to a 2014 report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). So, be sure to include physical activity and exercise in your everyday routine.
Don’t try to accomplish multiple new habits all at once. Try to master one small and doable change at a time, such as increasing your water intake gradually over a period of weeks. Perhaps you could simply increase the amount of liquid you consume each day by one ounce until you reach your target.
We know you can adopt one of these healthy habits! It is indeed feasible for truck drivers to stay healthy, but you need to be open to change and proceed at your own pace.
Help us change the unhealthy trend of truck drivers, by making a change today!