Are you a truck driver who will be taking your DOT physical examination soon? If so, you might be nervous about the results if you have not been making healthy decisions. It is common for truck drivers to make poor eating choices due to their hectic schedules. If you make these choices on a regular basis, you could put yourself at risk for health conditions such as high blood pressure. Other things such as a family history of high blood pressure or other cardiovascular conditions can also increase the risk.
Perhaps this is not your first exam, and you have been told that you need to get your blood pressure lowered. There are lifestyle choices that you can make, which could help you to lower your blood pressure without medication. However, some individuals have to take medication if behavioral changes do not help and they want to continue driving. The following points identify a few lifestyle changes that you can make to get your blood pressure in a healthy range.
Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Many truck drivers consume caffeine to help them stay awake. Coffee and sodas are common sources, but caffeine can also be found as an ingredient in chocolate and energy supplements. Aim to become an avid "label reader." There are many other foods and drinks that could have caffeine in them. The best way to find out is to read labels. There are safe and natural stimulants you can alternatively try for energy boosts.
You might lose weight by exercising. This would be good for your blood pressure, and you might get the added benefit of having more energy. You might feel as though you do not have time to exercise. Try to walk around at your stops to get a few minutes of exercise completed. If you have layovers, a visit to a shopping center could allow you to get some walking done. When you are back at home, you can aim for more structured exercise options.
Address Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can both elevate blood pressure. Aim to drink in moderation or stop altogether. Smoking cessation is a good decision for many reasons. It can improve your cardiovascular health even if you have been a smoker for many years.
Reduce Sodium and Sugar Intake
High consumption of sodium and sugar can cause blood pressure spikes. Experiment with natural sweeteners such as agave or stevia. You can also opt to switch to diet sodas. They are available in caffeine-free and sugar-free combinations.
The doctor who administers your DOT physical examination can be used as a resource to understand more about high blood pressure. They can offer additional tips and discuss medication options. Do not make temporary changes to lower your blood pressure. If you return to unhealthy habits, you could put your safety and others on the roadway at risk.
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