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Should Truck Drivers be Concerned of Health and Fitness?

A friend of mine was diagnosed with “trucker’s disease” by a surgeon. The diagnosis came about one year and three operations before his lower leg was amputated just below the knee.

What was the “disease”? Blood clots in the back of his leg caused by sitting 11 to 14 hours per day had cut off circulation to his foot ultimately resulting in gangrene in his foot. The earlier surgeries had tried to save his foot, then the lower leg. All failed. He now wears a prosthesis.

Eric’s situation was completely preventable by one simple action: getting out of the truck every couple of hours and stretching and walking for 10 minutes. Want to bet that he wished he had done some regular exercise like walking followed by stretching?

As you and I both know, it is very tempting to gather windshield time without stopping because that is how most truck drivers are paid. If the wheels aren’t turning, we aren’t earning.

People are a lot like the trucks we drive: both need regular exercise and a healthy diet. A truck driver healthy diet does not consist of 128 ounce soft drinks and truck stop corn dogs.

Driving Healthy website has useful tools to track your food and drink consumption. Tracking foods and drinks is like having a map or a budget. Without a map, how do you get to your destination? The same logic applies to our diet.

Supersizing your meals will pack on the pounds. Check the calorie charts now found in most truck stop fast food restaurants. It is very easy to get 2,000 calories in a single meal. That number of calories can be equal to an entire day’s worth of calories. A truck driver healthy diet will satisfy your hunger without leaving you with that stuffed feeling.

Start charting your daily intake. At the end of a week, tally your caloric intake. Remember that you have to aggressively walk one mile to burn 1500 calories. That supersized meal means 48 laps around your rig.

A healthy truck driver exercise regimen is more than walking from the fuel island to the counter to retrieve your fuel ticket.

Regular exercises for drivers are actually simple. According to www.thetruckersplace.com, 32 laps around your truck and trailer is about one mile. Walking those 32 laps can be done in fifteen to 20 minutes. Anther simple regular exercises for truck driver include a stair stepper built into our trucks: step up onto and down off of your first step getting into your cab. If you do this simple step up, step down process 20 times each time you enter your cab, you can build leg strength and improve peripheral circulation.

Another regular exercises for truck driver I use is to do sit-ups every day in my bunk. Doing 3 sets of 10 sit ups every morning when you wake up will help hold that gut away from the steering wheel. Recently reputed Science Magazine published study findings that severely obese truck drivers are more likely to crash than drivers of normal weight in their first 2 years on the road.

If your company allows pets, attending to their potty needs is a great exercise motivator. While your dog is heading to the bushes, detour around your truck half a dozen times. Park in the far reaches of the truck stop so you walk farther to get your shower.

Bottom line: The secret to a truck driver healthy diet or regular exercise for truck drivers is discipline and honesty with oneself. Eric, the driver whose leg was amputated is now very honest about how he lost the leg and what he now has to do to keep himself healthy. He makes his health a priority because he has a daily reminder. When he gets up in the morning, he has to strap on his prosthesis. Then he starts his exercises and tallies up his food intake. Don’t wait until you lose an important part of your life to make changes.

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