Where were you on January 2, 2023? Whether you were one of the millions of people watching ESPN’s Monday Night Football or not, you probably heard about Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsing and going into cardiac arrest during the game. Thankfully, Damar was able to get the medical help he needed and is alive today. In the United States, a person suffers a heart attack every 40 seconds according to the CDC. What makes this statistic even more startling is that the American Heart Association says that approximately 80% of cardiovascular disease, which includes stroke, is preventable. February is American Heart Month, and like many companies across the country, we want to do our part to help save lives. That’s why we’re devoting this blog to sharing heart-healthy tips to reduce your risk.
Why LYNC Cares About Heart Health
Before we go any further, you may be wondering why a logistics company is talking about heart health. Well, it’s because heart issues are a serious concern for the people we serve. Take truck drivers for example. The CDC says long-haul truck drivers are at a greater risk of experiencing heart issues than people in other industries. LYNC Logistics is also a female-owned company, so it alarms us to know that heart disease and stroke is the number one killer of women. We believe that it’s our duty to help educate our logistics and trucking community so that we can help people live longer, healthier lives..
Start With What You Eat
Several years ago, the CDC conducted a study on the health of long-haul truck drivers. Their findings were rather shocking yet not surprising. They found that truck drivers were twice as likely to be obese when compared to people in other professions. Obesity is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. We know that eating healthy and exercising is not an easy task for people who live their lives on the road. However, it is important that drivers make an effort to make healthier options for their well-being when possible. Truck stops still have a long way to go, but thankfully, you can sometimes find healthy snacks like whole-grain pretzels, fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, and nuts at a number of them. We’ve found that the best way truck drivers can ensure they’re eating healthily is to pack snacks for the road. Before you go out on your next trip, put together a snack pack to take with you that includes items like low-sodium vegetable juice, dried fruit, low-fat granola bars, whole grain crackers and peanut butter, or pita chips with hummus. There are many other options, but these are just to help get you started.
Make Time to Work Out
Exercise is a big part of maintaining a healthy weight and heart. Out of all the truck drivers the CDC surveyed, 3 out of 4 said that they do not get the recommended 2.5 hours of physical activity per week. Although you may not have access to a gym full of equipment, there are tons of exercises you can do without any equipment. Examples include lunges, squats, sit-ups, and going on walks. Thanks to technology, there are many online exercise programs you can do from anywhere too. Of course, you can always join a gym that has locations spread throughout a specific region or even the entire nation. Some of these gyms will even have shower access available, which we know is a huge plus.
Quit Smoking… For Good
If you’ve been thinking about quitting smoking, then this may just be the push you need to kick the habit. John Hopkins Medicine says people who smoke cigarettes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers. During the CDC’s study of truck drivers, researchers found that truck drivers are twice as likely to be smokers than people in other professions. On top of that, female drivers are three times as likely to smoke than women in other industries. Some truck drivers smoke due to stress, while others use cigarettes to help fight off fatigue. Thankfully, there are better ways to deal with both of these issues. Instead of smoking, aim to get plenty of sleep, drink more water, exercise, and see a mental health professional.
One Last Word
Our LYNC Logistics team cares about your health. Please make an effort to see your doctor annually to talk about any health concerns. If you find yourself dealing with chest discomfort, upper body discomfort, or shortness of breath, seek medical help immediately. You could be experiencing a heart attack. To learn more about heart health and healthy habits, visit the American Heart Association’s website. Please stay healthy, take care, and remember that we’re here to help with any of your logistics needs.