Research indicates that as many as 53% of truck drivers are overweight, with up to 70% being classified as obese. Carrying excess weight increases your risk of developing major health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Studies have also connected obesity with an increased risk of a crash for drivers, along with sustaining more serious injuries and an elevated risk of death should a crash occur.
This makes losing weight especially important for those who earn a living by driving truck, improving both your health and safety while on the road. If you’re a truck driver interested in losing a few excess pounds, here are a few tips that can help.
Start your day with movement
Driving truck is a fairly sedentary job. To help combat the amount of time you spend sitting behind the wheel, do some type of physical activity at the beginning of your day. This might involve getting on the treadmill for a couple of minutes after you wake up, doing a few jumping jacks or sit-ups while waiting for your coffee to brew or walking in place while you watch the morning news.
Starting your day with movement raises your metabolism a bit, making it easier to lose weight. It also provides a feeling of accomplishment, which can propel you to continue to make healthier choices as you go about your day.
Find little ways to get more active
It isn’t always easy to stick to a dedicated exercise program. It can be even harder if you don’t enjoy working out. One way around this is to find ways to be more physically active throughout the day instead of focusing on a 30 or 60-minute exercise session that you never seem to find the time (or the energy) to complete.
Incorporate three 10-minute activity sessions into your day and you will have exercised 30 minutes by the time your day is done. You can do this by taking short walks on your breaks or lunch stop. Alternatively, do some type of movement 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night if you struggle to find time during your workday.
Pack your lunch
It is incredibly easy to take in a lot of fat and calories if your main food source during the day is fast food restaurants or other quick-eating food joints. You can avoid the temptation of these types of meals by packing your lunch and taking it with you. This provides maximum control over your diet while also including the foods that you enjoy most.
Healthy lunch and snack ideas include:
- Turkey sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mustard
- Lettuce and spinach salad with grilled chicken, cucumbers, carrots and low-cal Italian dressing
- Shredded chicken mixed with low-fat mayo and relish, served on whole-wheat bread or a bed of lettuce
- Fresh veggies and hummus
- Fresh fruit
- Apple and a tablespoon of nut butter
- A handful of unsalted almonds
Make your takeout healthier
If packing your lunch is great in theory but you know upfront that you won’t do it, you can at least minimize the damage to your waistline by setting a few guidelines when eating out. For instance, while it may be tempting to supersize your meal, stick with regular serving sizes to save yourself the additional fat and calories.
Also, look for ways to increase the veggies in your meal, such as substituting fries for a side salad or loading your sandwich with more vegetables than meat or cheese. This helps increase the volume of the meal, which helps improve satiety while also providing a good dose of fiber, which contributes to a healthier digestive tract and can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Losing weight in a largely sedentary job isn’t always easy but it is possible. And it provides a lot of benefits for truck drivers particularly, from better health to potentially reducing your crash risk.
Want more lifestyle tips? Check out our content library for drivers here.
About the AuthorVisit Website More Content by Christina DeBusk