Good sleep habits are crucial for heart health at any age. Adults who sleep less than seven hours each night, are more at risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. To sleep better, park your truck in a safe and quiet area. Blocking out as much light as possible with curtains or truck shades and blocking noise by using earplugs or a “white noise” app on your phone help as well.
Here’s a list of largely preventable factors that increase your risk of heart disease:
• Having high blood pressure
• Having high cholesterol
• Smoking or drinking alcohol
• Being overweight or obese
• Having a waist measurement greater than 40 inches (for men) or 35 inches (for women)
• Having an inactive lifestyle
• Having Type 2 diabetes
• Keeping a poor diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol
• Experiencing excess stress
If you don’t have the time or opportunity to pack a lunch or snack, opt for the healthiest options you can find.
• Granola bars (with low sugar)
• Nuts (lightly salted almonds)
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Hummus and veggies or crackers
Healthy fast food options include salads with light dressing options and chicken wraps! Read our Best Grab-n-Go Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers blog post here.
Feeling high amounts of stress and anxiety lead to a surge of adrenaline, which increases your heartbeat and breathing rate (another risk of heart disease).
• Listening to calming music or a podcast
• Visualizing something you enjoy (a “happy place”)
• Relaxing your muscles and stretching
Use these tips to take control of your risks:
• Do not smoke or use drugs.
• Drink alcohol in moderation.
• Maintain a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
• Follow a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
• Limit your sodium intake to between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams per day.
• Keep your stress levels under control.
• Schedule regular medical checkups with your primary care physician.
• Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.
Try to understand what symptoms may arise if you’re at risk for heart disease. Some common heart symptoms are fatigue, shortness of breath, swollen feet or ankles and heart palpitations. But there are also some lesser-known symptoms of heart disease like erectile dysfunction.
Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, effective stress management and avoidance of tobacco slashes your risk of heart disease and premature death dramatically. By following this guidance, you can do your part to keep your heart healthy for years to come!
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