Getting heart healthy can be an intimidating commitment, especially if you aren’t really sure where to start. While it does require discipline, taking care of your heart and your body can be simple if you are willing to make a few changes. Not only will it improve your quality of life, but it will also make your job easier and more sustainable. Stay tuned to learn what steps you can take to make better choices.
Be Smoke Free:
The Heart Foundation published an article about how to best nurture your heart, saying that one of the best ways to maintain it is to be smoke free. “Smoking affects the vessels that supply blood to your heart and other parts of your body. It reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and damages blood vessels walls.” It's easy to smoke to fill the time between customer loads. Try munching on carrots, chewing sugar free gum or sucking on some peppermints instead to keep your hands and mouth busy.
Manage Your Blood Cholesterol
While your body needs cholesterol to function properly, too much of it is harmful to your heart. Heavy amounts of cholesterol build up in your arteries, restricting blood flow. While high cholesterol can be caused by a variety of factors, food is a common contributor. Thankfully, you can take control over it today! According to the Mayo Clinic, foods packed with trans fat and saturated fat will spike cholesterol. Think fried foods, margarine, baked goods, processed snacks and meat (most things you find at a gas station).
One way you can keep these delicious foods in your life, minus the bad stuff, is to invest in an air fryer! When the need for yummy fried food hits, pop a chicken thigh in the air fryer with some seasoning and let the magic of the technology work! Less calories, less cholesterol and the same great, fried taste!
Eat A Variety Of Nutritious Food
Along with eating less trans and saturated fat, try to keep salt to a minimum (think pizza, burgers, boxed breakfast food, most things at fast food restaurants.) Smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of healthy foods into one sitting. Get a Magic Bullet Blender for the truck, freeze your favorite fruits and pulse them into a treat that resembles more of a sorbet than a smoothie. Nutritious and delicious and super heart healthy. For other healthy options, check our other food blog below.
Be Physically Active
“Regular activity makes you less likely to have a heart attack or develop heart disease. It also helps control other heart disease risk factors, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight,” the Heart Foundation article states. Getting in some exercise while you are on the road isn’t hard. Take a brisk walk in the morning before you head out on the road or get some resistance bands to keep up muscle strength without having to leave the comfort of your cab. Here are three easy band exercises.
If you want more ideas for various exercises you can do while you are on the road, check out one of our previous articles about trucker fitness
For more information about how to stay heart healthy, make sure to check out the Heart Foundation's website for more tips and tricks. A healthy heart is a happy heart!