Life gets busy and as a professional driver or office associate, it can be easy to lose track of living a healthy lifestyle. However, living a healthy lifestyle isn’t impossible when on the road or at a desk. Ali J., Werner Enterprises Wellness Manager, provided five health tips for professional drivers and transportation associates on how to live a healthier lifestyle every day.
1. Eat the Rainbow
A colorful meal will tend to be more nutrient-dense, fiber-loaded, and promote weight management. Foods to eat less often include white sugar, white rice, white potatoes, and foods made with white flour. This includes baked goods and most fried, processed foods.
For most people, this can be a difficult change to make but here are some simple tips to help you improve your current eating habits and “eat the rainbow”:
- Vary your fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help you have a well-rounded diet full of all the essential nutrients. The more variety that you have, the less likely you are to get bored with your intake.
- Make food exciting by trying new recipes. Trying one new recipe a week that is full of vegetables is a great way to diversify the weekly menu and experience new food. Say goodbye to grilled chicken and steamed broccoli as your only healthy choice. As a start, put ingredients that you already have on-hand and would like to try, or those that are on sale, into a search engine to find new recipes.
- Small changes make a difference. Making small adjustments to your habits can lead to changes in your waistline. Sharing an entrée, swapping fries for a fresh side, and decreasing portion sizes are easy and small swaps that make a difference.
2. Move When You Can
The life of a professional driver and transportation associate is not always conducive to traditional exercise routines. Physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little determination, motivation, and use of technology, you can reach all your fitness goals.
Make time when you have it to move more than the day before. Using body weight can be as challenging as having a full set of dumbbells. When you are not feeling motivated, initiating the help of your smartphone or tablet with apps such as the 7-minute Workout or Nike+ App can help get you sweating without lots of equipment or time.
Before you start an exercise routine, be sure to have approval from your physician and good comfortable shoes.
3. Stop Sipping Your Calories
Did you know that just one 12-ounce can of regular soda at each meal can add up to a pound in weight gain per week? It can also increase your risk of getting diabetes by over 20 percent.
By switching from high sugar beverages to no-sugar, low-calorie beverages and ensuring that you get half of your body weight in ounces of water per day, you can see benefits including weight management, increased energy and improved overall health.
4. Be Rested and Rejuvenated
Sleep is important for our brains, bodies and even our waists.
According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, studies have linked insufficient sleep with an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and obesity as well as a shortened lifespan. Still not convinced that getting enough z’s is crucial for your health? Sleep deprivation can decrease your ability to fight off infections like the common cold or flu.
Research shows that the quality of sleep is also important. Somewhere between seven and nine hours of quality sleep is ideal for physical performance.
Here are a few small steps that you can take to help get the best night’s sleep:
- Unplug your device 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Our bodies respond to light from devices like phones, tablets, and television. This light can disrupt sleep patterns and make it harder to fall asleep, which can decrease total restful hours. Silencing devices, turning them upside down, and putting them down within 30 minutes of rest can improve sleep patterns.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment. The temperature, light and other sleep distractions can all affect the well-being of your sleep. A cooler space is ideal for a better night’s rest and the less light allowed into that space, the better the sleep. Sleep distractions from technology, noise and other pollutants prevent us from maximizing our sleep. Wearing an eye mask and earplugs can help when our sleep environment cannot be controlled.
- Avoid eating large meals an hour before going to sleep. Heavy meals before bed can lead to acid reflux, discomfort and disrupted sleep. If you know that you are eating close to bedtime, choose a smaller meal that has lean meat and vegetables.
5. Know your Numbers
They say that knowledge is power, and this cannot be truer than when it comes to knowing your numbers. Whether you are beginning your health journey, looking to maintain your current health, or experiencing health problems; having a relationship with your physician and knowing your numbers are excellent tools for success. Numbers, such as your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and waist measurement are all important for understanding your overall health.
A lot of companies like Werner Enterprises will offer wellness programs that reward you for having a relationship with your physician and for monitoring your health. Make sure to get connected with your company’s wellness manager. They are a great resource and can offer many helpful tips.