Life on the road can be hard; it can be lonely, boring and weigh on a driver’s mentality. Although an equally important and ever-growing issue is the physical wear it has on many of their bodies. Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals are issued every so often to make sure drivers are staying healthy. In the past, most DOT cards were valid for about two years, but with a recent increase in health issues, many cards are now only valid for one year, six months, or in some cases, even three months. In an interview with The Journal Times, Dr. Lynn Biese-Carroll mentioned that about 90 percent of her clients are CDL drivers and that the typical driver is “over 40, overweight, and has two or more health conditions.” Thanks to truck stop dinners and sitting stationary all day, the DOT physical is becoming more and more difficult for drivers to pass. The trucking community can’t afford to lose anymore of their valued drivers, especially due to health reasons that can be controlled. Here are some easy to follow tips to help pass your next DOT physical.
Get Moving! Sitting more than 6-8 hours a day is becoming a huge health risk, and some experts believe it’s involved in a rise in heart disease. So, when you’re not on the road or catching some Z’s, make sure you’re moving, even if it’s just walking! Anything that can get your blood circulating is beneficial. Not to mention it’ll help lower your blood pressure and burn off that greasy burger you had for dinner.
Nix the Diner Diet! No one will deny that they are a sucker for that late night diner dive or quick truck stop food, but it needs to be limited. Lower the amount of red meat you are eating and substitute it with chicken instead (not fried). Most places will allow you to order your favorite burger and substitute it with grilled chicken as long as they carry it! Try to eliminate soda from your diet and get your caffeine fix from tea and coffee instead! These simple changes will help lower blood sugar and keep off that extra weight.
Say No to Drugs! (and alcohol) Sounds obvious right? Drinking and driving are like fire and gasoline. Stay away from the bottle in the days prior to the physical as well, because any signs of alcohol in your system may lead to suspension of your license along with mandatory counseling. And at the risk of sounding like mom and dad, don’t do drugs (unless they are prescribed to you).