High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer because it usually doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms. You will simply go on with life as normal until the damage it does to your blood vessels and organs starts affecting your health. What kind of damage is this?
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Eye damage
- Kidney disease
- Brain damage
The reason for this extensive damage is that your blood flows throughout your entire body. When its pressure is too high, it stresses all of your organs and tissues. This damages them over time. Anyone with the above listed medical conditions could have a heart attack, a stroke, or a broken aneurysm happen to them while driving their rig on the road. Such a person endangers the public safety. This is why truck drivers are disqualified from driving when their blood pressure is at or above 180/110. High blood pressure threatens both the life and career of the commercial or owner operator truck driver.
How to Lower Your Blood Pressure
- Exercise. The sedentary nature of the commercial or owner operator truck driver’s typical day is one reason high blood pressure is common among them. You should engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise for at least 5 days a week. The best way of fitting this into your schedule is setting aside time for it like you would for eating. The best way of ensuring consistent exercise is to get it out of the way in the morning so that fatigue that occurs later in the day won’t cause you to skip your workout. A good form of moderate exercise is jogging or walking.
- Diet. Stay away from fast food joints and truck stop diners. Instead, bring your own food and get a portable stove for cooking. Eat potassium rich fruits and vegetables such as bananas, dried apricots, tomatoes, oranges, raisins, spinach, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and lima beans. Reduce your intake of red meats, fats, salt, and sugar. Drink water instead of soft drinks. Talk to your doctor to get a complete dietary recommendation.
- Stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake. Any amount of smoking will elevate your blood pressure. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks daily while women should have no more than one drink. Of course, you shouldn’t drink any amount of alcohol during your work day.
Additional steps for lowering your blood pressure are getting adequate sleep and managing your stress. There are many stress reduction techniques which happen to include exercise. If you have control over your schedule as an owner operator truck driver would, being more organized allows you to consistently meet your commitments on time without undo stress.
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