Heart Health On The Road

July 24, 2022

Trucker's Corner

At Trucker’s Corner, you can navigate to topics regarding the trucking industry, lifestyle while on the road, and truck health. International Used Trucks has the information you need to keep you on the Road to Revenue

As it has been for decades, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America at 25%. The picture is even grimmer for truck drivers, who are at higher risk than the typical American worker due to job-related lifestyle factors like poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, irregular sleep, and high stress. 

So, what can drivers do to boost heart health? Simple exercises performed at rest stops—and even in the cabin—can go a long way toward strengthening the heart and improving circulation. Learning how to stay heart healthy also means knowing how to select foods that provide energy, yet are low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium.

Ready to boost heart health on the road? We’ve laid out everything you need to know about the best diet for a truck driver—and other tips for how to stay heart healthy.

What’s the Best Diet for a Truck Driver?

Becoming a truck driver gives you the freedom to experience new landscapes like no other line of work—but given the limited and often unhealthy selection at truck stops, eating well isn’t easy.

Therefore, the goal is to find the best diet for a truck driver that’s possible. The good news is that you can find heart-healthy options if you know what to look for:

  • Beef jerky, consumed in moderation, can be a healthy food choice for truckers. It’s high in protein, zinc, iron, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and folate—but it’s also high in sodium, which can cause weight gain and heart health issues when consumed in excess.
  • If you’ve maxed out your jerky quota, hummus is high-protein, low-fat food often found at truck stops. It makes a great dip for carrots and pretzels.
  • Nuts and seeds are easy to eat while driving. However, be sure to check the caloric content of these snacks, which tend to be high in both fat and protein. Candied nuts can be high in sugar, as well. 
  • Sunflower seeds with shells are a great healthy food for truckers. Having to crack the shells slows down the pace of eating them and can help you to stay more alert.
  • Last but absolutely not least, you can usually find fruits and vegetables like apples, oranges, and carrots at truck stops. Red, yellow, and orange vegetables contain vitamin K to protect your arteries, as well as carotenoids, and vitamins. Plus, the fiber helps to keep you satisfied for longer.

Looking for healthy drinks that still deliver a caffeine boost? Green tea is known for its heart health-boosting flavonoids that reduce inflammation, and may even improve heart health and reduce blood pressure.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is the primary cause of up to one-fifth of all heart-related deaths in the United States, so it should go without saying that if you smoke, learning how to stay heart healthy starts with quitting. However if you’ve ever tried to kick the habit cold turkey, you know how hard it can be—especially while you’re trying to drive.

Research shows that quitting cold turkey only works 5% of the time. Nicotine replacement gum and patches drastically boost success rates, and you can even get a prescription for medication that reduces cravings. Consult with your doctor to find the best method for your needs.

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep

Proper sleep doesn’t just help you focus on the road. It’s also crucial for heart health! You already know that getting a full night’s sleep isn’t easy for any driver, but insomnia and problems with waking up during the night can make for tough days on the road. That said, you may be able to correct some of the most common sleep issues with a few small adjustments.

  • Rather than getting wired so that you can drive longer, stop driving well before you’re on the brink of exhaustion. Consuming caffeine so that you can keep driving despite exhaustion will make it more difficult to sleep that night.
  • Whenever possible, stop driving at the same time each day. With a consistent sleep schedule to stabilize your internal clock, it’s often easier to fall asleep.
  • Invest in a quality mattress. This is one place when you don’t want to skimp! Your sleeper cab is your home away from home, and it should feel as comfortable as possible.

Explore Our Guides for Drivers 

Questions about how to stay heart healthy andmentally sharp on the road? Make a stop at the Driver’s Corner, where you’ll find helpful guides to every aspect of life as a big-rig driver. Contact the team at International Used Truck Center for more information about customizing your sleeper cab!

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