Transport Topics recently ran an article we found pretty relevant and we wanted to share with you today…
Large truckload carrier Prime, Inc has made truck driver health and wellness a priority over the last few years. It’s such an important topic for them, that they actually hired a former driver to help interested fleet members with their health and fitness on the road.
Hiring a Health Coach
Siphiwe Baleka offers a 13-week course for drivers that he says often results in about a 7% weight drop. You may remember that we recently reported findings from the CDC that stated 70% of long haul drivers are obese, 50% smoke, and 14% have diabetes.
Baleka offers a different perspective of trucker health — he used to be a driver, so he knows all about the trials and tribulations of leading a healthy life on the road. In fact, Baleke himself saw a 10% weight increase during his first two weeks as a truck driver.
Baleka discusses how truck driving itself is the antithesis of a healthy lifestyle so truck drivers have to be proactive about their health on the road, perhaps more so than the average person. He goes on to say that poor sleep patterns, job stress, and a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to hormonal changes that produce fatigue, slowed metabolism, and weight gain on the road.
A notable aspect of Baleka’s program is that he doesn’t insist drivers go do an hour of strenuous workout every night. He recommends 15 minutes of exercise a day with four of those minutes being vigorous activity. This intense burst of working out doesn’t necessarily burn a whole bunch of calories, but it allows a driver’s metabolism to work at a higher rate for several hours after.
As for eating on the road, Baleka recommends drivers focus on a high-protein, low carb diet consisting of foods like low-fat cheeses, Greek yogurt, eggs, tuna, and almonds.
Baleka’s main point is this — it’s not going to happen immediately. He encourages drivers to make incremental changes rather than a complete dietary/fitness overhaul. This way, getting healthy doesn’t seem so overwhelming and drivers have a better chance of staying motivated on their goal.
Learn more about Baleka’s program at FitForTrucking.com.