The latest research, according to The Mayo Clinic shows that sitting may be more harmful to your health than smoking. Ouch. That’s not good news for professional drivers, right? Given the high percentage of drivers that smoke — and their job is sitting behind the wheel of a truck all day — this is a double hit on driver health.
So, how can you protect themselves when you already have two strikes against you if you’re both a smoker and a driver?
First of all, let me say that I’m pleased to see, after many years working in the field of driver health and fitness, more drivers are physically active than, say, just five years ago. I only wish I could say the same about a decrease in smokers.
Protecting your health comes with dedication and discipline in committing to a routine. The routine can as be simple as walking, which doesn’t require special equipment (although I do highly recommend investing in a decent pair of walking shoes). Constant movement for just 10 to 15 minutes at a time will make a difference not only in controlling your blood pressure, but also help with depression and diabetes, and help strengthen your heart.
Now, how to we conquer smoking?
After spending many years in the health and fitness industry, I’ve seen and witnessed individuals who were smokers and, once they incorporated fitness into their lives, kicked the habit. And now, new research has confirmed that exercise can help smokers finally kick the habit.
Experts at St. George’s University of London have examined the mechanism underlining exercise’s way of protecting the body against nicotine dependence and withdrawal. The study reveals that even moderate-intensity exercise markedly reduces the severity of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
To a professional driver, this may seem too tough a task to tackle, but the outcome is your reward — protecting your livelihood, your family and, most, importantly yourself. Thanks to all the drivers who have proven there IS time to exercise in the “day in the life” of a driver, there are many resources available to help you stay healthy on the road.
Editor’s note: Materials from the University of St. George’s London were used for this column, but have been edited for style and length.