The challenge for owner-operators to stay healthy is everywhere, from selecting healthy food on the road to getting enough exercise and sleep.
Sleep: The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults 26 to 64 years old get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and adults 65 years and older get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Too little sleep effects daytime alertness and performance. Sleep apnea also affects performance. The disorder disrupts breathing during sleep and can cause low blood oxygen levels, which can lead to hypertension, heart disease, as well as mood and memory problems, and increases the risk of drowsy driving. Anyone who snores loudly, has a hard time staying awake and is tired even after they think they got a full night’s sleep should consider consulting a doctor.
Diet: Unhealthy eating habits can impact an owner-operator’s overall health in a negative way. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion eating healthy foods with appropriate calorie levels and maintaining a healthy weight will dramatically reduce risk of chronic disease. Consuming foods that are low in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium helps keep your diet on track and reduce your risk for disease. Because it’s more challenging to make healthy choices on the road, consider planning ahead and cooking healthy meals ahead to take with you on the road or cook in the truck so you’re not be faced with high calorie and high fat choices often found at truck stops.
Exercise: Research done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that people who are physically active live longer and have lower risks for a variety of diseases and conditions. Fitting exercise into your schedule regularly is important and can help overall health. The CDC recommends adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get at least 2 and a half hours of moderate to intense aerobic activity every week.
According to the CDC, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help:
- Control your weight
- Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Reduce your risk of some cancers
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve your mental health and mood
- Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult
- Increase your chances of living longer
Learn more about these benefits at CDC.gov
*Check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.
Health and Fitness are this month’s Safety Thursday topics. Join us on the Safety Thursday Conference Call: dial 877-717-5921 August 18, 2016. The call starts at 12 p.m. EST.