Winter is coming — and that means potential delays due to road conditions, detention time and other factors. Plan ahead to make sure you don’t reach for the junk food while you’re sitting and waiting. As I’ve said before, when there’s not a snack or meal choice handy, most people reach for unhealthy snacks or fast food.
In addition, keeping your body hydrated can help. Dehydration can cause fatigue, an inability to focus and hunger. Just like your truck’s engine, your body needs fluid. Always have extra water with you. You never know what may happen.
Here are a few tips to help you stay happy and hydrated.
Try to replace water for high-sugar drinks such as sodas, sports drinks, juices and energy drinks. This doesn’t mean you can’t have these beverages; just control your intake of them. Did you know that each 20-ounce bottle of soda contains more than 16 teaspoons of processed sugar? That’s more than a third of a cup of sugar! If you replace water for just one soda each day, calorically it adds up to 25 pounds in a year!
How much water do we need? Many experts tout eight glasses a day, but considering various body sizes, why do we all need the same amount? Here’s an easy way to determine how much water your body needs: Divide your body weight by two; the result is a rough estimate of the number of ounces you need daily. If you sweat profusely, then you may need more. Try dropping a flavored tea bag or some fruit pieces or peel to a bottle of water for a bit of extra zing.
In addition, you’ll want to stock the fridge in your rig so you can easily prepare meals if you get stuck or if restaurant choices are limited.
Try to include fiber with every meal. This will slow down the rate at which sugar enters your bloodstream, causing less spiking. You’ll feel full longer, and it will reduce your risk for diabetes. Plus, fiber cleans the digestive tract.
Here are a few other rules of thumb:
- Avoid high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils.
- Avoid saturated fat.
- Control your sodium intake by avoiding processed, prepackaged, fast food
Keep in mind that every little bit of exercise helps. Walk and move with extra effort and purpose, and you can throw in some push-ups, lunges, or squats anytime. It’s not about the calories you burn through exercise — it’s more about the increased blood flow, the muscle stimulation, lowering stress and reducing blood pressure.
Speaking of lowering stress, exercise has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce stress and improve depression more than any prescription medicine. Deep breathing helps, too. Inhale slowly for 8 seconds, hold for eight seconds and then exhale through pursed lips for 10 seconds.
Most importantly: Listen to your body. Our bodies speak to us. Pay attention, and take care of any issues immediately; ignoring them can lead to more serious problems. Your body is your own personal vehicle that carries you through life, so treat it well.
Known as The Trucker Trainer, Bob Perry has played a critical role in the paradigm shift of regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers to understand the driver health challenge. Perry can be reached at [email protected].
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.