Demand for final mile has increased exponentially the past few years. Working in a business that is growing quickly, under the pressure of shortened delivery windows can cause stress in anyone’s life. Stress, combined with the natural sedentary habits that working in an office or being a delivery driver may require, can result in health issues.
Long periods of sitting, like one is required to do at work or driving, may result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.
Here are a few ways to stay healthy, whether you’re on the road making final mile deliveries or in an office.
Conscious Food Choices
Your “health” is typically affected 20% by activity level and 80% by diet. Making more conscious choices with your food can have a drastic impact on your health.
When you’re on the road or it’s a busy day at the office, it’s tempting to stop at the nearest fast food joint for a hamburger and fries. Many fast food options are high in cholesterol and calories that you won’t be working off when you get back to work.
- Bringing food from home: When you cook at home, you can select higher quality and healthier ingredients than a restaurant would. You can also substitute items for healthier choices, like a side salad instead of fries, or an apple instead of chips.
- Grocery stores: Many grocery stores have a salad bar or a section of premade items that you can drop-in and pickup for lunch. These items are typically prepared day of with fresh ingredients and you can swing by the produce section to grab some snacks for later, such as bananas, apples, oranges.
If you can’t help but run by the nearest fast food place, check for healthier options on the menu. Try to select a grilled protein, greens and other non-fried options if possible.
Move Your Body
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. That’s just 30 minutes a day for 5 out of 7 days.
When your days are already full, how do you fit in one more thing? Here are a few proven strategies:
- Find a way to move that you enjoy. Many don’t believe that exercise can be enjoyable, preventing them from pursuing it as a part of their daily routine. With options from Zumba to Crossfit, there’s plenty of options for you to choose from.
- Set a goal. Working towards a goal not only provides you with a finish line, but can help motivate you on days where being active doesn’t sound appealing.
- Make it non-negotiable. Set a standard window that is “your time” to move in a way that you enjoy. For example, from 6:00 to 6:30 a.m. everyday is your pilates time, appointments and other items should not be booked during that time.
Don’t forget to stretch!
Stretching, especially when sitting for long periods of time during the day, can help alleviate some of the negative side effects.
Make time throughout the day to move from the sitting position and stretch your muscles. Find a method that’s feasible to your routine. For example, after every delivery, do 2 minutes of stretches for various muscle groups before you get in the car. Then, at lunch, get out of the car to eat in a location that allows for walking and more comprehensive stretching.
If you’re in an office, try to get up from your desk at least once an hour. Maybe use this time to refill your water bottle so you can stay hydrated.
In a world that’s pushing for more and faster, the importance of rest has been downplayed or forgotten. There are many ways to allow your body to rest. Here are a few that you can add into your day:
Sleep is likely what you think of when you think of “rest.” Sleep, or lack of sleep, affects every part of your daily life, including your cognitive abilities and metabolism.
As a commercial driver, you’re more likely to experience drowsy driving and more likely to cause or be in an accident because of it.
When possible, maintain a consistent sleep schedule that allows for eight hours of sleep per night. This amount of sleep will also help you avoid stimulants, that can alter your body’s cycles and throw-off your sleep patterns.
You’ve likely heard “A change is as good as a rest” and we concur, in some situations. Taking a break from your routes or your computer screen to take a brisk walk, sit in the sunshine or enjoy the fresh air can allow your body the rejuvenation it needs to return to work refreshed.
It’s also important to allow your eyes and necks to take breaks from computers, phones, and tablets. Tech-neck and other poor postures surrounding technology can have long term negative effects on your body.
You are Important
You’re worth the time and energy it takes to improve your health! Start today with a subtle change, and add to it over time — as you see results it’s easier to improve!