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Heart Healthy Tips for Truckers

American Heart Month is the perfect time to focus on getting your heart healthy. For truck drivers, heart health is especially important. In a study posted by the CDC, 26% of truck drivers said they had hypertension versus the 24% totaling the rest of the U.S. working population. Living life with cardiovascular disease is a financial and physical pain, so circumvent that pain by modifying your lifestyle to include these heart-healthy tips today!

1. Quit Smoking

Smoking is terrible for your heart and causes one out of every three deaths contributed to heart disease, according to a report by the Surgeon General on Smoking and Health. Smoking is known to cause buildup (or plaque) in the arteries, which raises your blood pressure and can cause blood clots. In fact, you should make a real effort to stop smoking immediately because your heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation begin to improve in as little as 20 minutes to an hour after you stop smoking. While quitting cold turkey may seem impossible, it’s not impossible to start cutting back slowly. Begin with cutting out just one cigarette a day, and slowly build up to quitting altogether. Slap a nicotine patch on for extra help if you need it.

2. Move More

While it may seem difficult to add movement to your day when you’re driving for hours and hours on end, you can still achieve your exercise goals if you make a genuine effort to move. The trick here is to carve out time for exercise and stick to it. Set a goal that every time you stop for gas, you do 10 minutes of bodyweight exercises, or before you hit the road for the day, make it your morning routine to do some light calisthenics. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you’re working in roughly 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week.

3. Eat Healthy

Eating healthy can sometimes seem like an overwhelming goal when it’s so much easier to grab a hot dog and a fountain drink before climbing back into your cab to tackle the day, but you can eat healthy foods as a truck driver. The secret to sticking to a heart-healthy diet is to be prepared. Pack healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, and chopped vegetables for portable, tasty snacks, and utilize your Crockpot for a healthy, home-cooked meal that does all the work while you drive.

4. Get More Sleep

Catching more ZZZZs is critical to your heart health. In fact, during normal sleep, your blood pressure goes down. Not getting the proper amount of sleep means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time. Ensure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night by making your space a cozy, relaxing one. Use foam earplugs to block out noise, park in a safe area, eliminate all outside light with blackout curtains, and avoid caffeine right before bedtime for a good night’s sleep.

5. Manage Your Stress Levels

Managing stress is good for your overall health and well-being, but it’s especially good for your heart. Negative mental health is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, so it’s important to manage your stress in healthy ways. It’s important to have a few stress-relieving tactics in your toolbox when you need them most. Meditation can help lower stress levels and so can engaging in a new and mentally stimulating hobby (like coloring, reading, or crocheting). It’s also a great stress reliever to chat with your family and friends, so work some time in for a video call when you’re not driving to put your mind in a happy place.

Think of your heart as the engine of your truck. It takes preventative maintenance to keep your truck’s engine going just like it takes preventative maintenance to keep your heart going. Now that you have a few heart-healthy tips on your side, you can begin to implement them and take control of your body’s engine. For more info about ways to live your best life on the road and beyond, click here today!

 


 

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