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The No. 1 pain for people with CDL driver jobsIf your CDL driver job gives you aches and pains, you aren’t alone. Sitting in a cab for about 10 hours a day will definitely impact your body. And it turns out the vibration that truck drivers experience at the wheel does more than hurt. As a recent article in Go By Truck explores, if you have a CDL driver job, the vibration might affect your job performance.

“Whole body vibration” (WBV) results from a truck traveling over a rough surface, the article says.

It can cause sore lower backs, as well as pain in the neck, arms and legs. If the pain is bad enough, it can limit or cut short a driver’s career,” the article states.

A study presented at the 2014 American Conference on Human Vibration examined how whole body vibration affected drivers’ performance. The study featured the Bose Ride active suspension seating system, which uses sensors and electromagnetic motors to greatly reduce vibration.

The limited study concluded, “it appears whole body vibration exposures and the magnitude of them may adversely affect the vigilance of truck drivers and potentially contribute to cognitive fatigue. A 2015 RAND Corp. review of 24 studies found that 18 of them reported “a significant association” between WBV and driver fatigue and sleepiness.

The article also states that CDL truck drivers who used Bose Ride experienced less WBV than those with air-ride seats. After three months, the Bose Ride group reported a 30 percent reduction in lower back pain. A number of carriers are retrofitting their fleets with Bose Ride systems, including R+L Carriers of Wilmington, Ohio.

“The feedback has been great,” said R+L CEO Roby Roberts.

Read the rest of the Go By Truck story here.

CDL driver jobs are just a click away!

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

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For people with CDL truck driving jobs, who spend several hours at a time sitting behind the wheel of their semis, back problems can become a pain over time (for real).

Slouching negatively impacts one’s body and state of mind, studies have shown. But there is hope. With solid effort, and by doing certain exercises, muscular imbalances can be corrected, a recent New York Times article found.

“Poor posture can have ill effects that radiate throughout the body, causing back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, arthritic joints, digestive problems and mood disturbances,” the article stated. “It can also create a bad impression when applying for a job, starting a relationship or making new friends.”

The article explores the long-term impact of bad posture, especially after hours of slouching day after day. For CDL drivers who sit for long periods every day, rectifying posture problems can pay off a lot in the long run.

“Any repetitive or prolonged position ‘trains’ the body’s muscles and tendons to shorten or lengthen and places stress on bones and joints that can reshape them more or less permanently,” the article states. “Slouching while sitting hour after hour can result in a persistent slouch, while standing and walking while slouched can lead to permanently rounded shoulders and upper back.”

Want to find a high paying truck driving job to start the new year? Visit Drive My Way today. Registration is free!

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

Want to add seven years to your lifespan? Just set aside 20 to 25 minutes for a daily walk, a recent study found. According to the research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress, walking triggers an anti-aging process and helps repair old DNA.

The study followed 69 people between ages 30 and 60. Those who engaged in daily moderate exercise, such as a brisk walk or jog, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and strength training experienced anti-aging benefits that could add an additional three to seven years to your life.

The article states that sitting for more than eight hours a day brings a 90 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as increased risks of heart disease and cancer. The average American, it goes on to say, spends about nine to 10 hours a day sitting.

For many years, exercise was promoted as the solution to this largely sedentary lifestyle, but research suggests it can’t counteract the effects of too much sitting. The more you move around and get up out of your chair, the better, and walking is part of this. Research even shows getting up and walking around for two minutes out of every hour can increase your lifespan by 33 percent, compared to those who do not.

Walking daily also has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke in men over age 60, and it improves mood in people of all ages.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

With their new Drive2Wellness app, driver Terry Martin and his family are putting better health at drivers’ fingertips.

The emotion shines in Terry Martin’s eyes as he talks about his friend, the driver who had a heart attack at the wheel three years ago.

“53 years old, died,” Martin says curtly. “That shook me to the core.”

Martin is a second-generation driver. Now an owner operator, he’s been driving big rigs since he graduated from high school. In that time, he’s logged nearly 4 million miles.fast-track health

But for the tough Nebraskan, a husband and father, the loss of his friend was the catalyst for change.

“One night, I was driving my truck through Wyoming, and I felt there had to be more to life than just this,” he says. “I asked God, what do you want me to do?”

After some soul searching (and some shooting stars telling him he was on the right path), Martin knew just where to go for help—his family. Because in the Martin family, there are mostly two types of professionals—truck drivers and registered nurses.

Drive2Wellness is born

Martin turned to his son T.J. and the five nurses in the family for help. Together, they came up with Drive2Wellness, a mobile monitoring kit and corresponding app that enables truck drivers to gauge their health anywhere, anytime.

The kit features tools that measure key health indicators such as weight, body mass index, blood pressure and oxygen level. For those with diabetes, there’s also a unit that measures glucose levels.

Upon obtaining all these measurements, drivers can upload their data via smartphone, tablet or computer to the Drive2Wellness app, which graphs the results according to Department of Transportation recommended health guidelines.

The app is completely confidential, too. Only the driver has access to the results. And if drivers have any questions, they can consult a nurse through the app for advice.

Saved one life so far

That feature may very well have saved the life of one driver just a few months ago. He was using the app as part of a free promotion for early users, and it was lucky for him.

“He thought he had the flu,” says T.J Martin, the company’s vice president who was instrumental in helping his dad launch Drive2Wellness. “His oxygen level was 80, which is just horrible, so our nurses made sure he was using the device correctly. He was using it correctly, so they started asking him questions.”

The nurses advised the driver to go to the emergency room immediately. Turns out he had a pulmonary embolism. Had he not gone to the hospital, he likely would have died. “Thank God we caught it in time,” T.J. Martin says.

Drivers’ lifestyle contributes to health problems

The elder Martin compares human health to that of a truck, naturally. “You don’t check your tires, you don’t check the oil, you just get up and drive your truck, eventually stuff’s going to go wrong,” he says. “You got a red light going on? Guess what, you’ve got a problem. Well, your body’s the same way. If you ignore your health, something’s going to go wrong.”

While the Drive2Wellness package isn’t cheap ($160-$180), it is important in an industry where drivers are plagued by disproportionately high levels of obesity, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

“We are so busy out on the road from A to B, B to A, we are not thinking about anything else but picking up this load, delivering this load,” Terry Martin says. “You do not think about your health. But the app makes you think. Because with it, you see your health. And when you see your health, you know your health.”

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

 

stress eating

When you make your living behind the wheel, stress often is difficult to avoid. Traffic jams, crazy drivers and long stretches on the road all have a tendency to add to a day’s aggravations. Fortunately, you can better control your stress levels simply by eating (or avoiding) certain foods.

So the next time you’re in a jam (the traffic kind or otherwise), reach for these five snacks and feel your stress ease:

1. Nuts – In particular almonds, walnuts, and pistachios contain valuable stress busting nutrients like vitamins E, B, magnesium, essential fatty acids and fiber.

2. Avocado – Vitamin B5, B6, folate, vitamin E, fiber and copper.

3. Dark green veggies – Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Asparagus, Chard, Collards – rich in B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K.

4. Dark chocolate – Contains magnesium and supports healthy mood, cognition, and may benefit anxiety.

5. Oatmeal – Can help boost serotonin levels, providing whole grain carbohydrate, magnesium, fiber, chromium, and B vitamins.

Honorable mention: Blueberries – contain antioxidant vitamins and phytonutrients.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

For 20-year truck driver Bobby Andersen, it was either pay out the wazoo for a sleep apnea test issued by the Department of Transportation, or start eating a plant-fueled diet. He chose the latter route.

One year later, he’s inspiring other truck drivers by his healthy example.

It would have cost me a fortune being off work with no pay and having to pay for that test. I had to do something,” he says.

For  years, Andersen, 45, turned to fast food when he was hungry on the road.  The Booneville, Miss., native ingested everything from biscuits to burgers. After a while, it took a toll on his health.

“Any truck stop you walk into has just fast food places. It’s quick and easy: You can get in there, you can get your food and you can get out and eat while you’re driving down the highway,” says Andersen.

Then he saw the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and decided to immerse himself right away in a plant-based diet. It didn’t last long. Andersen consumed salad upon salad, but, oblivious to all his options, he found he could not sate his hunger.

A few months later, he tried again with more success. This summer, Andersen is celebrating one year on a plant-based diet. He’s lost 65 pounds and counting.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

 

The next time you’re inclined to dump an artificial sweetner into your cup of joe, you might want to wait before you rip. That’s because natural sugars still tend to be the healthier choice, stresses one dietician.

Artificial sweeteners have been on the market for a long time, but there are still not enough long-term studies to determine safety and side effects of continued use.

So writes Emily DeLacey, M.S., R.D. for Fitday.com. The “top 4 most dangerous,” DeLacey writes, include some of the most common sweeteners on the market.

Flaws in the initial testing of acesuflame potassium (sold under the brand names Sweet One and Sunett) have been challenged by scientists in the Journal of the Environmental Health Perspectives, and they call for additional studies to be done to properly evaluate the safety of this sweetener.

DeLacey also discouraged excessive intake of aspartame, which the article stated is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, as well as saccharin (up to 700 times sweeter than table sugar) and  neotame (up to 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar).

 Choosing artificial sweeteners over plant-sourced sweeteners, like honey, has not actually been linked to long-term weight-loss and even in some cases there is more evidence that they are associated with increased weight gain. Sweeteners of any type should be always used in moderation. Eating whole foods with lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients will help you better manage blood glucose levels and weight management goals. 

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

Health Benefits
Determining if a specific food is healthy depends on interpretation. One thing that experts (including the USDA) are clear on is increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for good health. The Harvard School of Public Health concludes that you should acquire more of your daily protein needs from sourcesfruitNuts other than red meat, including nuts and seeds — which are often found in trail mix.

We know that trail mixes can be healthy but what are exactly the nutritional benefits? First we must say that not all mixes are created equal. Some mixes contain great amounts of sugar and fat. If you purchase them at the store you must read the nutrition labels on the package. Trail mix can be full of protein and vitamins and full of calories from fat, too.  The glycemic index is one way to determine if a food can metabolize — or be turned into energy — quickly. Some examples of these carbs are pineapples, bananas, and raisins, all of which are often used in a dehydrated form in trail mix. Nuts and seeds are the protein foundation for trail mix. Most commonly, you’ll find peanuts, almonds or cashews, as well as sunflower or pumpkin seeds in your mix.  Avoid trail mixes that are loaded with candy or sugar added dry fruits.  These choices offer empty calories that don’t really offer any nutritional benefits.  Some mixes use other foods — like crystallized ginger or shredded coconut — to satisfy the sweet tooth and add healthier nutrients than candy.

Trail mix can be very nutritional and healthy.  It all depends on what is in it.  Listed below are just a few of the many health benefits that can make up this perfect snack.

Sunflower Seeds

  • Cardiovascular Benefits
  • Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Bone Health

Almonds

  • Regulation of Cholesterol
  • Good for your heart
  • Immune System Strength
  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Good for pregnancy
  • Weight Loss
  • Boosts energy

Raisins

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • A natural antacid
  • Constipation
  • Mood Alleviator

We must also take into consideration the portion size. In some cases a small handful of trail mix can be about 500-700 calories!  This brings us to an important concept. Make the trail mix yourself!!!  In Part 3 of Trail Mix – The Ultimate Travel Snack we will discuss how to purchase, portion, and package your own trail mix.  We will also give you links to some great recipes.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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

 

 

Understanding what fatigue is and how to manage it – through rest, diet and other methods – is vital to fostering what Tom DiSalvi, vice president for safety and loss prevention at Schneider, calls the “safety payoff” in trucking operations.

“The biggest piece of truck transportation planning is how to insure drivers are well rested so they can stay alert,” DiSalvi told Fleet Owner magazine. “For us, that starts with education through driver training: gaining an understanding about the sleep cycle, sleep debt, sleep hygiene, and proper fatigue management,” he explained.

DiSalvi touted the importance of truckers finding safe overnight parking. He also suggested truckers do what they can to make their tractor interiors more comfortable for sleeping. Taking such small but important steps will help drivers stay more alert, DiSalvi reasoned.

“It’s about helping drivers be more prepared so they understand the warning signs of fatigue and also know how to counteract it,” DiSalvi said. “We then help tie that into our safety expectations. The whole idea is that the driver is the ‘captain of the ship’ and the need to have the right information to know if they are too tired to drive.”

Better managing fatigue at the wheel ultimately can have lasting benefits, such as improving a fleet’s safety profile and increasing driver retention.

“It develops a stronger and more [positive] relationship between drivers and front-line managers,” DiSalvi noted.

Some trucking companies are becoming proactive in combatting on-the-job fatigue. Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL), for instance, implemented a sleep apnea interdiction program designed by FusionHealth back in 2011. Learn about the positive results they saw and read more of the article here.
Image from www.fleetowner.com

What is trail mix?

Trail mix is a snack mix, which is usually a combination of dried fruit, nuts, whole grains and sometimes chocolate.  Nutritionists consider trail mix the ideal snack trail_mixfood for travelers, because it is lightweight, easy to store, and nutritious, providing a quick energy boost from the carbs in the dried fruit or grains, and the sustained energy from the fats in nuts.

Brief History

Trail mix has been around longer than most people think. Californians believe that trail mix was invented in 1968 by surfers who mixed together peanuts and raisins to keep their energy levels up during their big wave encounters. In reality trail mix has  actually been around for thousands of years. Ancient nomadic tribes mixed dried berries, fruits, nuts and meats together. Trail mix was (and is) high in energy, needs no specialized storage, and does not require cooking prior to eating.

European explorers continued the use of trail mixes, for the very same reasons, taking the high-energy food with them on their rough travels over oceans, mountains, and trails. Native Americans had a unique trail mix, which they shared with those explorers they had peaceful relationships with. Their mix was called pemmican, and made up of dried buffalo, moose or caribou, mixed with animal fat and berries, and it lasted for several months.

Modern day trail mix most often includes fruit, grain cereals, nuts, flavorings, chocolate or carob, coconut, pretzels, and spices like Cajun or crystallized ginger.

 

In Part 2 of Trail Mix – The Ultimate Travel Snack we will discuss the plethora of health benefits associated with trail mix.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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