The 25-Minute Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do AnywhereYes, the longer workout burned more overall calories. But the big takeaway here is that something is always better than nothing, especially when you hit it with enough intensity. The 25-Minute Fat-Burning Workout You Can Do Anywhere – Men’s Health

thumbnail courtesy of menshealth.com

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

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Truckers are faced with the daily dilemma of stopping at a rest stop or fast food chain for a quick bite to eat or preparing a meal themselves. Oftentimes truckers don’t have a full kitchen or much time to prepare extensive meals so cooking can be challenging. To help, we put together a list of 6 easy microwavable recipes for truck drivers to quickly prepare on a break.

omelet-in-mug

Image courteous of Dashing Dish

1. Omelet

This mug omelet is perfect for truckers looking for a filling breakfast that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Add vegetables, cheese, and meat and enjoy the omelet straight from the mug or throw it into a tortilla for a breakfast burrito. Get the recipe →

 

 

sweet-potato-chips

Image courteous of The Bitten Word

2. Sweet Potato Chips

These are a great, healthy alternative to regular potato chips and actually taste just as good.

Add salt and rosemary to the sliced potatoes, pop them in the microwave, and enjoy a delicious sweet and salty snack. Get the recipe →

 

 

blueberry-muffin-mug

Image courtesy of The Gingham Apron

3. Blueberry Muffin

Craving something sweet? This is perfect for meeting the craving with a healthier alternative that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Not in the mood for a blueberry muffin? Swap out the blueberries for chocolate chips, raisins, or another fruit. Get the recipe →

 

 

microwave-mushroom-risotto

Image courtesy of The Food Network

4. Mushroom Risotto

Ever made risotto on the stove and stirred the pot for 30 minutes? Get the same delicious taste with half the work.

Stir together the ingredients in a microwave-safe dish and get ready for the perfect side dish. Get the recipe →

 

 

microwave-potato-soup

Image courtesy of Bigger Bolder Baking

5. Potato Soup

This soup is loaded with cheese, bacon, potato, and scallions and only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Top the soup off with a spoonful of sour cream and enjoy on a cold, winter day. Get the recipe →

 

 

microwave-Parmesan-spaghetti-squash

Image courtesy of Joyful Healthy Eats

6. Parmesan Herb Spaghetti Squash

This quick dish trumps Easy Mac any day. Not only is this a healthier alternative to microwave pasta, but it’s also filling and delicious.

Prepare the recipe in 5 minutes, throw in the microwave for 15 minutes, and enjoy. Top with grilled chicken for extra protein. Get the recipe →

 

 

These easy microwavable recipes for truck drivers should save time and money spent stopping at a drive-through and also provide truckers with quick, delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Tips for Truck Drivers to Improve Focus on the Road

This time of year many people make resolutions to improve their overall health and well-being. Making positive changes to make sure you’re getting enough exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep are certainly important. But what about your brain’s health? What are you doing to keep your mind sharp and improve focus on the road?

A recent article on American Trucker’s website spoke with Brian Ryder, a business creativity consultant.  He points out 7 key ways to train your brain and improve mental focus while driving.

As we age, our brain also needs stay in shape. “It’s really not hard to sharpen your thinking and improve your mind power,” Ryder contends. “A lot of people don’t try it because they think that mentally, they ‘are where they are.’ It’s not so. You have a lot of room for improvement.”

It’s all about taking care of yourself and creating new ways to keep your mind sharp. Sometimes the simplest changes to your daily routines are the most beneficial. Add a few of these to your other resolutions for a great 2019!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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Truck drivers often struggle with maintaining healthy habits over the road because they often lead a sedentary lifestyle when driving long distances. Extended hours spent in the truck can often lead to higher levels of stress, dependence on stimulants to stay alert, less activity throughout the day, and lack of access to healthy food options. This tends to take a toll on drivers as they have a hard time overcoming these obstacles.

In order to provide drivers with access to healthy habits and tips for easily maintaining them, we put together this ultimate guide.

1. Exercise

easy-exercises-workout-truck-driversTruck drivers can work up to 11 hours per day, and this oftentimes leaves little room for breaks or exercise. When trying to find the time for exercising, drivers need activities that can be completed virtually anywhere, don’t take a lot of time, and are effective.

The list of exercises below is an easy way to incorporate activity into a truck driver’s day. Drivers can either choose a routine that doesn’t require any equipment or weights, or they can choose a routine that involves using a pair of free weights.

Time Per Exercise Using Only Your Body Weight Or Using Free Weights
1 minute Squats Single Arm Row
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Push-Ups Double Chest Press
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Lunges Split Squat
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Tricep Dips Bicep Curls
REST FOR 30 SECONDS
1 minute Jumping Jacks Lunges with Weights
REPEAT CYCLE THREE TIMES TO COMPLETE WORKOUT

When running through these exercises, it’s recommended to do each exercise as many times as possible for 1 full minute, rest for 30 seconds in between each exercise, and then repeat the entire cycle of exercises 3 times. This will produce a high-intensity, full-body workout in 20 minutes, which can be repeated easily a few times per week.

Freightliner In-Cab Training System

Some truck drivers have even taken working out to the next level and have discovered a way to incorporate a complete gym in their truck by using the FIT System (Freightliner In-Cab Training System).

This exercise and flexibility system is designed to allow the driver to do an upper body, lower body, and cardiovascular workout in the comfort and safety of the cab of their truck. The system is easy to install and use in the truck and can also be brought inside to a home or hotel room.

healthy-food-options-recipes-truck-drivers2. Healthy Food Options

We’ve all heard that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. But truckers often face difficulty when trying to access healthy food options, especially fresh produce. Planning ahead and packing food for the road is the best way to not settle for fast food when it comes time for the next meal.

Most drivers who bring food in their truck prepare ahead and pack meals that can be kept in a small cooler. Below are a few ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are easy for truck drivers to grab from their cooler, heat up in their microwave, and enjoy quickly on a break.

Breakfast Ideas Lunch Ideas Dinner Ideas
Protein Smoothie or Protein Bar Pasta Salad with Veggies Chicken and Veggie Quesadillas
Oatmeal with Berries and Nuts Turkey Burger Grilled Chicken with a Potato Side
Toast with Peanut Butter Grilled Chicken Salad Chili

In between meals, many truck drivers also look for snacks that will keep them full and alert while driving. Making good snacking choices can help drivers maintain energy longer and avoid consuming empty calories.

Before reaching for that next snack, be sure to check out the good and bad lists below:

The Good Snack List The Bad Snack List
Apple, Celery, or Banana with Peanut Butter Candy
Pita and Hummus Rice Cakes/Crackers
Protein Energy Balls Pretzels
Yogurt Veggie Straws
Overnight Oats Potato Chips
Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds, Dried Fruit Cereal
Hardboiled Egg Brownie or other sweet treats

Truckers Who Pack Also Save Money

In addition to having quick, easy access to healthier food options, drivers who pack their meals often also see increased financial savings from month to month. Research shows that the number one expense for drivers is food. By packing snacks and meals ahead of a drive, truckers be less inclined to stop at a fast-food restaurant, and will in turn, save cash and calories.

sleep-relax-meditate-truck-drivers3. Sleep and Relax

After a long day spent driving, a good night’s sleep is exactly what most truck drivers need. Not only does resting allow drivers to regain strength for the next day, but it also helps them unwind physically and mentally. However, being able to fully unwind after driving all day may sound easier than it is.

To help drivers change gears after a shift and start to relax, it’s recommended to avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime, turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before sleeping, and even try meditating. These activities will allow the body to start melatonin production for a restful night’s sleep.

When preparing for bedtime, consider the do and don’t lists below:

The Do List The Don’t List
Listen to relaxing music Watch TV or videos
Meditate Talk to others on the phone
Drink a glass of water or warm tea Enjoy one last snack of the day
Read a book or magazine Scroll through Facebook or other social apps
Dim the lights Have bright lights on in the truck

Benefits of Meditation for Truck Drivers

Meditation is proven to help drivers refocus after a long day and ensure a better night’s sleep. Drivers can meditate easily by downloading an app such as Headspace or Calm, or they can practice the same meditation techniques without needing any technology. In order to get started, drivers can sit in a chair or in their truck, and place their feet flat on the floor. They can then place their palms face down on their lap, closing their eyes. Then, they can breathe slowly and deeply for 10-15 minutes, trying to keep their mind blank.

Taking an extra 10 minutes each morning or evening to unwind can be extremely beneficial for a driver’s mental and emotional well-being, especially after a long day on the road.

We hope this ultimate guide will help truck drivers learn and maintain these three healthy habits over the road!

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Ditch the chips! We’ve got some of the yummiest potato recipes that are sure to keep drivers full and focused.

Image via Pixabay

Deciding what food to take on your route can be a hard choice. Perhaps you’re trying to stick with your diet or cut down on carbs. Or, maybe you struggle just to remember to pack anything at all. Regardless of where your appetite is, celebrate National Potato Day (Aug. 19) by giving you some easy-peasy potato recipes that are sure to please.

Taters: A History

Potatoes have been a popular food for centuries. The fourth most largely farmed crop today, they were originally cultivated by the Inca Indians of Peru. When the Spanish conquered Peru, it was only a matter of time before they brought potatoes back to Europe. Because they’re so easy to grow, they soon caught on as a staple across the continent. After the famous potato blight in the 1840’s, famine forced many families, notably the Irish, to immigrate elsewhere, such as Canada and America. Their migration effectively brought this wonderful starch into our lives. And so, the potato can now be found on the shelves of virtually every home in the U.S.

One of the most versatile foods, any potato — mashed, smashed, chipped, or covered in cheese — can be eaten as a snack or meal. Additionally, the vitamins in potatoes, like iron, potassium, and vitamin C, make spuds the ideal ingredient to bring on the road. Read on to find the perfect recipe for your route.

The Easiest

Image via Getty Images

Baked potatoes are about as basic as you can get in terms of food-prep. It’s a sure fire way of guaranteeing yourself a delicious, edible meal every single time. If you’re planning on cooking them ahead of time, simply pick out your favorite tater (we recommend Russets for this method), and rub it down with some oil, salt, and pepper. Throw the potato on a baking sheet and let it roast in the oven for about an hour on 425°F. The result? A crispy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside baked potato.

Can’t make it ahead of time? Many grocery stores supply potatoes pre-wrapped. Throw that sucker in the microwave, per package instructions, of course, and you’ll have the same delicious outcome.

Looking to amp up your tater-game? Add toppings! Some simple, nutritious combinations include adding broccoli and cheddar cheese, or even just the usual sour cream, bacon, and chives. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try using sweet potatoes, and topping them off with some BBQ chicken? Plain or decked out, you’re looking at an easy, satisfying meal.

The Snackiest

Image via Getty Images

Ever wish you had an equally crunchy, perfectly salted substitute for your favorite potato chips? Well, now you do. Enter baked potato chips. By making your own, you can control exactly how much oil and salt you add, cutting down on some serious calories. You can find a recipe for your own chips anywhere, but we recommend this one by Kimberly Eggleston. She’s a registered dietitian who has been cooking up her own recipes for decades. The trick to her recipe is to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible for that extra crunch.

No time to make your own? Not a problem. Many brands are now offering their chips in a baked form, including the ever-popular Lays. Even buying a bag of baked chips over fried cuts down on cholesterol and trans fat, and you’ll feel less weighed down, too!

The Healthiest

Image via Garlic & Zest

Time to hop on the cauliflower bandwagon. Though this recipe isn’t actually made of potatoes, it’s perfect for the more health-conscious trucker. Cauliflower mashed potatoes has become something of a fad in recent months. Doctors everywhere are recommending low-carb diets, and beaming about the health benefits that come with them. One of the main substitutes that they recommend is using cauliflower as a replacement for more carb-heavy recipes, such as pizza crust, buffalo wings, and, now, even mashed potatoes.

Simply prepare a head of cauliflower by trimming any excess leaves, and chop the whole head into bigger chunks. Add to a boiling pot of water until soft, and drain. In batches, add the cauliflower to a food processor with a tablespoon of butter, a couple cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and pulse until smooth.

No time to make your own? Birds Eye offers an exceptional frozen version of their cauliflower mash. Simply throw their dish in the microwave per box instructions, and you’ve got a perfect, creamy mash to indulge in.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

ketogenic diet for truck driversThe health benefits of a ketogenic diet for truck drivers are not just solely physical. They’re also mental. What truck drivers eat affects a lot more than just their weight. It affects their mood, their overall well being, and even their relationships.

A lot of health problems could be solved simply by reducing sugar and grain in your daily diet and eating more ketogenic foods, which are low in carbs and high in healthy fats. The ketogenic diet works especially well on certain ailments. Here are three common health problems and how a ketogenic diet can alleviate them, as explained by truck driver and nutritionist, John Reed.

1. Type 2 Diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, the body fails to create enough insulin to lower blood sugar after a meal. That’s why, for type 2 diabetics, blood sugar levels continue to rise. A ketogenic diet can help you avoid the most dangerous impacts of type 2 diabetes. By consuming foods high in healthy fats (such as avocado and olive oil) and reducing your intake of carbohydrates, you can change the body’s energy source, so it uses stored fats for energy.

The result: Blood sugar and insulin decline. Having a ketogenic diet is a great way to manage, and even reverse, type 2 diabetes.

2. High Blood Pressure

ReedHaving high blood pressure is a significant risk factor for several diseases, such as heart disease, kidney failure and stroke. While high blood pressure has many causes, salty foods, clogged arteries and stress are common causes of it.

A ketogenic diet low in carbohydrates can be an important tool in reducing blood pressure. It also ups your intake of healthy fats and the “good” cholesterol your body needs.

The bottom line:ketogenic diet can cause a significant reduction in blood pressure.

3. Inflammation

ReedIf you are getting ready for bed in the evening and notice swelling around your ankles and calves, it’s actually a sign of inflammation. A certain amount of inflammation is good to a point, because it helps heal problematic areas of your body.

However, too much inflammation is not good. It causes pain, fatigue and stiff joints and makes it hard for people to move freely. Limiting carbohydrates and sugar allows the body to keep inflammation low, therefore reducing joint pain and muscle soreness, write Jimmy Moore and Eric C. Westman, M.D. in their book Keto Clarity. So if you want to reduce inflammation, try reducing the amount of carbohydrates in your daily diet and replacing them with healthy fats such as walnuts, almonds and salmon.

The three health conditions above could result from too much sugar and grain in your diet.

Begin by taking small, concrete steps to reduce your intake of sugar and grains, and when you achieve minimum sugar and carbohydrates below 40 grams a day you will see real results.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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A CDL truck driver and his dog are alive and well after narrowly escaping from a crash.

Tractor trailer crash.

Photo via WWNY TV

As reported by WWNY, the unnamed driver was traveling down New York Route 37 outside Theresa, when a deer ran into the road. The driver swerved, overturning his cab and trailer. And then, both the driver and his dog were trapped for nearly 45 minutes before rescue teams could get to the crash.

Theresa Fire Chief Mark Savage told WWNYC he was surprised that both the driver and the dog sustained minor injuries. Also, he said the driver seemed to be in good spirits as he walked away from the truck. “Lots of cuts and bruises, a little sore,” Savage told the station, “…but other than that, [the driver] is alive and doing well.”

Both the driver and his dog were taken to a local hospital and animal clinic respectively.

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Walmart truck driver Carol Nixon shares a special story of determination and generosity. Her story inspires us entering into 2018 and helps us set goals for the year.

Carol Nixon, 48, of St. James, Mo., drove since 1990. Over the past five years, she has worked as an over-the-road driver for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In February of 2015 she met Deb Pollard, a fellow truck driver for Walmart. Fate brought together again in September of that year as roommates at the first annual Accelerate Conference sponsored by the Women in Trucking Association.

In addition, Deb shared that her husband Craig suffered from kidney failure and dialysis. The couple searched tirelessly for a donor, but unfortunately failed to receive a result. Then, Carol offered her kidney without a moment’s hesitation. “I didn’t even think about it,” Carol said. “I told her, ‘please, take it!’”

While both seemed the perfect match for the transplant, their journey included challenges. Carol stopped driving for three months prior to the donation due to dizziness. Doctors initially thought heart problems caused this. However, they realized they were migraines, and she received permission to donate her kidney again. Meanwhile, doctors at the University of Alabama hospital found that Craig suffered from blockage that could have killed him.  Finally, after these hurdles, the transplant took place and completed successfully in November of 2016.

Despite the challenges they faced, Carol never wavered in her decision to donate her kidney.

Even if she failed to match for Craig, she agreed to still donate her kidney to another recipient through the Kidney Paired Donation Pilot Program. The program matches medically compatible pairs of potential living kidney donors with transplant candidates. In cases where the potential donor doesn’t match with his or her original intended recipient.

When asked what drove her to donate despite all the challenges she replied “Perseverance.  When you’re told no, just keep pushing.”

With the transplant behind them, both Carol and Craig are doing well.  Craig immediately came off dialysis after the surgery and remained diligent about following his post-surgery protocol. Carol took six weeks off of work to recover. However, drives again now and stays healthy on the road by preparing meals for the road. She also walks three miles daily, whether at home or on the road.  When she’s home she and her husband spend time restoring their vintage cars and hanging out with her grandson.

Carol now adds raising awareness for organ donation to her growing list of charities that she supports.  At the November 2017 Accelerate Conference, she met the aunt of a young girl whose tissue donation gave two people the gift of sight. She also met the mother of a young girl in her community whose organ donations helped save the lives of five people.

Both of these girls received a floragraph on the Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade on January 1, 2018.

The Donate Life float honors millions of people touched by organ, eye and tissue donation. These include living donors, donor families, transplant recipients and transplant candidates.  The stories of these young girls further inspired Carol to share her own story. Her hope is her story raises awareness for organ donation.

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As a truck driver, you spend most of your time on the road, making it a challenge to stay fit.  Your time is limited and access to equipment is a problem.  Here are 5 quick exercises you can easily perform on the road without any equipment:

Hand Stretch

Hand stretches can help relieve some of the stiffness or pain related to steering all day.  When you stop to refuel or take a break, rotate your wrist left and right or in a circle. Stretch your wrist by placing the fingertips of one hand on top of the steering wheel. Gently press your weight into your hand and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other hand.

Abdominal Crunch

Strengthen your abs while you’re on the road. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and hold it for the entire length of your favorite song, podcast or news report. If you are unable to squeeze your abdominal muscles for that long, then aim to squeeze them for at least one to two minutes. Repeat at every red light or for every favorite song that comes on the radio.

Planks

Plank exercises help strengthen your back, arm and leg muscles, as well as your core. Find a spot where there is room to stretch out, start off the exercise by getting on your hands and knees. Place your forearms and hands onto the ground with your palms facing downward. Kick back your legs so that you are placing your weight on your toes. Your entire body should maintain a straight line. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Shoulder Shrugs

Help relieve the stress and tension from your shoulder area with shoulder shrugs. Try this exercise while stopped at a red light, waiting on a shipper or taking a break.  Lift your shoulders up to your ears as if you’re saying “I don’t know.” Hold the position for a few seconds then release. Perform 10 to 15 reps throughout the day whenever you are feeling tensed or stressed.

Push-Ups

Strengthen your arms and chest with some push-ups.  You can do regular push-ups keeping your legs extended behind you and your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.  Mix things up with a diamond push-up where your hands are placed in a diamond shape directly under your chest.  Or, increase the degree of difficulty by propping your feet up on the bumper of your truck.

Photo courtesy of Men’s Health.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

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truck driver heat exhaustionSummer means everything from beautiful drives to unbearable heat exhaustion for truck drivers. To usher in the new season, we’ve gathered a little information on healthy eating and exercise tips for the summer.

Taking care of yourself in the heat is not just a matter of health, but a matter of safety. Consider these tips from The Healthy Trucker:

Exercise in the morning or evenings if possible, avoid the hottest part of the day.

  1. Get acclimated. If you are used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather take it easy at first, give your body time to adapt to the weather change.
  2. Know your fitness level. If you are just beginning a workout regime you may have a lower tolerance to the heat.
  3. Drink plenty of fluids! Dehydration is a key factor in heat related illnesses. Keeping well hydrated helps your body sweat & cool down.
  4. Dress appropriately. Wear light weight, light colored clothing.
  5. If possible, always consider moving your workout indoors to avoid the heat, especially in extreme temperatures.

Keep an eye out this summer for problems like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  • Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions.
  • Heat exhaustion occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees F. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache and cold, clammy skin.
  • Heatstroke can be life threatening. Symptoms include confusion, irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, nausea, visual problems and fatigue.

When you’re done exercising or when you’re on the road, here are a few snacks that can keep your energy up even under the summer sun as Trucker News shared:

  1. Pumpkin seeds
    Lightly roast them before a trip and keep them stored in a plastic storage bag or other container, and you’ll have a high protein snack at hand for your trip.
  2. Roasted chickpeas
    Chickpeas are a great source for protein, with just one cup of chickpeas offering 39 grams of protein, according to the USDA.
  3. Greek yogurt and granola
    Add granola to Greek yogurt, which has about 10 grams of protein for every 100 grams, and you’ve got a delicious high protein snack.
  4. Hummus dippers in a jar
    In a Mason jar or similar container, add hummus to the bottom and then add cut-up carrot sticks and celery sticks. Put the lid on and store it inside your cooler or your truck’s refrigerator. Depending on the amount of space in your cooler, you could make a few of these up before a trip to have on hand.
  5. Mixed nuts
    Toss some of your favorite types of nuts in a plastic food storage bag and you’ve got your own personalized trail mix for the road.

How to Protect Yourself from the Sun Over the Road as a Truck Driver 

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