Tips for Staying Healthy as a Truck Driver

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, trucking is the eighth most dangerous job in the United States. Drivers are constantly driving long distances, harsh environments, and dealing with mental fatigue. Here are some tips to consider for keeping up with your health as a truck driver.

  • Pass medical exams – In order to become a truck driver, you must be able to obtain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate). The document will recognize that the driver is stated at good health and is capable of driving.
  • Sleep – Long distances can lead to fatigue and driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as being under the influence. In order to combat drowsiness, one should sleep for at least 7 hours and develop good sleeping habits. This will help drivers to stay awake and concentrate on the road.
  • Take breaks – Similar to sleep, a driver should take frequent breaks in order to clear the mind and destress. Take 10 to 20 minute naps and stretch your body so you can refresh and get back on the road.
  • Exercise – Even though truck drivers have a strict deadline, there is always time to perform a quick workout. By doing simple exercises like pushups and squats, 1) you’re keeping your body fit 2) as your heart rate rises, so will your energy level and 3) you’re maintaining overall good health mentally and physically.
  • Consume nutritious snacks – Treat your body like it’s your truck. If you fill it up with bad fuel, you can damage the truck as the same goes for if you eat bad food, then your body won’t preform at the level it needs to be. Snacks like peanuts, yogurt and fruits is great for acquiring the vitamins your body needs.
  • Avoid energy drinks – Energy drinks do provide a quick boost but it can lead to some long term effects. Consuming too many energy drinks can lead to a high intake of sugar, high blood pressure, and heart problems. A better alternative to energy drinks is water. Water helps maintain body temperature, weight, and gets rid of waste.
  • Constant contact with loved ones – This may sound obvious, but truck drivers are spending countless of hours driving alone to reach their destination. According to The New York Times “loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation.” In order to avoid this state, it is important or drivers to contact their family members or loved ones every opportunity they have.

Trucking is a dangerous occupation but can be rewarding as it provides many benefits and great pay. However, health is the number priority for any occupation and as for truck drivers, implementing these tips while on the road should serve well.

 

Written by Julien Gonzalez

Why Working Out Before Work is Beneficial

Waking up early and getting ready for work is a hassle. So why should you wake up even earlier to get a thirty minute to an hour workout? The answer is simple; it’s to improve your overall health, but there are many other benefits aside from health that will improve. Here are some of the pros of why you should start working out before clocking in.

For starters, it wakes you up

Exercising early in the morning can help jump start your brain and increase dopamine levels. Dopamine is one of the main neurotransmitters in the brain and is often referred to as the “feel good” hormone. By working out, you can increase the level of dopamine which will then allow you to feel motivated and awake. By achieving this, you are prepared to start the workday with a clear mind and high energy.

Sets a routine

The morning would be a great time to establish a routine. Usually there aren’t many distractions before work compared to after work, so this will allow you to have some free time to prepare and concentrate on the schedule ahead of you. Once you finish your exercise routine, you can then move on to eating a healthy breakfast and make your way to your job. Once you’re off, you can focus on dinner and getting ready for bed to start the day all over again.

Eliminates stress

According to HelpGuide, excessive stress can interfere with productivity and performance in the work place. It can also affect life outside of work such as friends and family. Starting off the day with a workout will contribute to decreasing stress and an improve work productivity. One can achieve this by going to the gym or running around in the neighborhood. No matter what the workout is, any physical engagement for thirty minutes to an hour will successfully reduce stress.

Positive mentality

The feeling of enduring an exhausting workout can lead to a brighter day. By completing rigorous trainings, you’ll gain more confidence which will then reflect your work. This can also lead to creating or maintaining relationships among the work place. Better relationships leads to constructive teamwork and a healthy work environment. Exercising also helps eliminate the sluggish attitude that is typical in the morning. Eliminating any type of negative energy is guaranteed to elevate work efficiency.

Even though it’s tough to wake up even earlier to work out, it has many perks that will positively affect your lifestyle. Exercising before work can lead to both health and work improvement. For those who are looking to get back into shape or change their lifestyle, this would be a great step to doing so.

 

 

Written by Julien Gonzalez

Allergies

An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees an unfamiliar substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The symptoms that appear as a result are an allergic reaction. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies each year.

Now that spring is approaching, we have cooler weather, which means that allergy season is among us. Along with cooler weather and changing vegetation, plants are releasing pollen into the air and outdoor molds are growing under fallen leaves, both of which can trigger allergies.

Allergy symptoms can vary, depending on the severity:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling/redness
  • Cough
  • Hives (swollen red bumps on the skin)

Here are some tips for allergy relief.

  • Clean the air filters in your home. The things you come into contact with every day are the ones most likely to trigger your allergies. Clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where dust can collect as well.
  • Vacuum your home on a regular basis.
  • Consider buying a humidifier. By having a well-balanced level of humidity in the air, you can help your nasal pathways be free of mucus.
  • Take your medication as prescribed.
  • If you’ve been outside, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes. This will help so that you don’t bring allergens into your home. Take your shoes off at the door.
  • Wash everyday items, such as your bedsheets and pillowcases, at least once a week.
  • Keep your doors/windows closed during the spring months, to keep allergens out.
  • Eat healthy foods. Make sure you’re eating fruits and vegetables, and make sure you are drinking enough water as well.

Allergy season is unavoidable, but you can still utilize these tips so that you can feel your best and stay healthy. Remember to see a doctor if over-the-counter medications aren’t providing much relief, or if your symptoms become more severe.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Hand Injury and Typing

A majority of jobs require you to use a computer for numerous hours a day, but as more people type on a computer, hand injuries due to improper keyboard use become more common. It starts with tingling or numbness in the hand, and become increasingly painful. One of the most common injuries is Repetitive Strain Injury.

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is an injury which is caused by overusing the hands to perform repetitive tasks – typing, writing, or using a mouse. The pain felt in muscles, nerves, and tendons is caused by repetitive movement and overuse. The condition affects parts of the upper body, such as forearms/elbows, risks/hands, and necks/shoulders.  The first symptoms of RSI may include swelling, tenderness, pain, and stiffness.

Here are some risk factors associated with RSI:

  • Poor posture
  • Don’t take frequent breaks
  • Don’t exercise regularly
  • Work in a high-pressure environment
  • Use a computer for more than 2-4 hours a day

Here are some ways you can relieve hand pain.

  • Take frequent breaks every 30 minutes, if possible. Utilize techniques to stretch your hands and wrists.
  • Improve your posture. Sit tall in a comfortable position.
  • Don’t press too hard with your fingers on the keyboard. This could cause unnecessary strain.
  • Bring your keyboard and mouse close to the edge of the desk.
  • Make sure your chair is raised to the appropriate height so that your elbows are at 45 degrees.
  • Pay attention to the position of your hands.
  • Keep your fingernails short! Long fingernails make it more difficult to main a good typing position. Your typing position should be wrists straight, fingers down and slightly curved.
  • Avoid sitting cross-legged.

Even if you don’t work a desk job, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you too. Other occupations such as drivers, musicians, and dental hygienists are also at risk since those occupations require repetitive movements as well.

When you are in front of a computer for eight hours a day, preventative measures are important in order to prevent hand injuries. If you take the appropriate steps and your symptoms are still persistent, it is important to see a doctor immediately.

 

Written my Dami Falade

Preventing Hearing Loss and Damage

Every day, we hear normal sounds such as car horns and household appliances, but when are loud noises too much? Sounds can be harmful when they are too loud, even if it’s for a short period of time. Years of continued exposure to loud sounds can cause hearing loss or damage. Noise may damage hair cells, membranes, nerves, or other parts of your ear. Noise can be damaging to your ears if you have to shout in order to be heard, your ears are ringing, or if you are having a hard time hearing for a couple of hours after the initial exposure.  Areas where hearing loss could occur could be from the workplace, such as shooting ranges or construction zones with loud machinery.

Exposure to loud noise can happen at any age, and hearing loss is a common, every day hazard – recreational activities such as concerts with loud music, or even events where balloons are popping can also cause significant hearing damage. Here are some tips on how you can prevent permanent damage to your ears.

  • Use hearing protectors such as earplugs and/or earmuffs.
  • Don’t stick anything into your ear canal. If you do need to use cotton swabs to clean your ears, do it slowly and carefully. If the cotton swab or other device is stuck too far into your ear canal, it can create an uncomfortable build-up of wax by pushing the waste further into your ear canal, and can also damage your hearing.
  • The closer you are to the sound, the louder it gets. If you are not the person who is using the loud device, try to move away from the noise, if possible.
  • Keep the loud device away from small children. If it must be used in their presence, protect their ears.
  • If you are not able to move away from the noise, try to cover your ears with your hands.
  • When you are listening to music, whether it is in your car or even using headphones, volume it down. Listening to music at the highest capacity can cause long-term damage to your ears as well.

Hearing damage or loss can be prevented in some cases. Make sure to seek medical attention to get your ears checked if you suspect that you are suffering from hearing loss.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Heart Health: Preventing Heart Disease

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. Unfortunately, some people don’t take care of it the way that they should, which is where heart diseases come into play. According to Dr. Eugenia Gianos, Director of Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, 50% of heart disease is genetic.  There are so many factors that go into cardiovascular health, but heart disease is preventable. Here are the steps you can take to ensure you will have a healthy heart and a healthy life!

  • Reduce or stop smoking entirely. People who smoke are twice as likely to have a heart attack as opposed to those who don’t. The carbon dioxide found in tobacco decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood. Smoking also causes blood clots and increases your blood pressure. If you do smoke, try to cut down significantly. The earlier you stop smoking, the better.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. Physical activity helps lower your blood pressure and being active improves blood flow. Try to incorporate physical activity into your daily or weekly routine, if you don’t work out already. Start slow – take a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week, if possible.
  • Monitor your weight. The more fat a person has in their midsection, the more at risk they are for heart disease. Instead of eating outside food, cook meals at home more often. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate – meals like whole-grain pasta with marinara sauce or grilled chicken breasts with vegetables on the side shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete. Not only is it cheaper, but you have control over what ingredients are put in your food. However, if you don’t have time to cook, make smarter choices in the case that you do want to eat outside.
  • Maintain your stress. Chronic, repeated stress triggers your body’s fight-or-flight mode and high blood pressure. Deep breathing, yoga, and even meditation can help manage this.
  • Problems with sleep or lack of sleep can have a huge impact on your heart health. Things that may seem minor, like drinking alcohol or eating a big meal right before bed, can put you more at risk for heart disease. If you feel hungry before going to sleep, try to have a light snack to curb your cravings. Drinking alcohol before bed drastically affects the quality of your sleep. If you do want to drink, do it a few hours before so that it has time to get filtered out of your system through excretion and perspiration.

Heart disease prevention is solely based on what kind of lifestyle you are living. A report from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that heart disease killed around 415,000 Americans in 2016. It may be difficult at first, but you can start by making small changes one at a time. Taking a few simple steps will have a big impact on your heart and overall health.

 

Written by Dami Falade

Benefits of Encouraging Employees to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle

The New Year is a great opportunity to advance individually and as a company. One of the best ways the company can grow is health-wise. Healthy employees improve the company’s culture and core values, therefore helping get the company to where it needs to be. Here are the benefits of supporting employees’ health:

Overall awareness. Employees will want to be more aware and have more of an incentive to pay attention to their health. Once they know your numbers – crucial indicators of health such as BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol – they will have the knowledge to take the necessary steps needed to make lifestyle changes.

It’s cost-effective. According to a study done by the CDC, employers may accumulate costs – upwards of $2 billion annually, per condition – relating to absenteeism for employees with common risk factors such as obesity, smoking, or living a sedentary lifestyle.

Absenteeism. Healthy employees get don’t get sick as much, which means that they are less likely to miss work. Absenteeism decreases as much as 27% for those who have a healthier diet and exercise on a regular basis.

Productivity – When employees decide to take action in regards to their health, one of the ways they can make adjustments to their lifestyle is by exercise. Being active will, in turn, improve employee attitude, energy, and focus.

Health problems are inevitable, but good health begins with proper preventive care. When employees feel cared for and supported health-wise, they make work possible and help the company to succeed.

Preparing for Flu Season – Helpful tips to keep from spreading the flu

With fall just around the corner, now is the time to start preparing for flu season. 10% of the population contracts the flu yearly. Though it may not seem like a high percentage, more people are affected than you think. Interacting with people who have been exposed to the flu is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean we can’t better prepare ourselves. Below are 5 tips to help you fight the flu:

 

  1. Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations are the best way to help the prevention of spreading the flu. Nova Medical Centers proudly offers onsite vaccinations. It is important to know the benefits of receiving flu vaccines.

 

  1. Sanitizers are your best friends

During flu season, sanitizing commonly used surfaces such as computer equipment, doorknobs, desks and telephones can help keep from spreading the flu. Use cleaning products and disinfectants to kill germs on surfaces.

 

  1. Wash your hands

Washing your hands several times a day prevents spreading flu germs. Germs can live on anything someone who is infected has touched for over two hours. It is advised to wash your hands several times a day. You soap and water to thoroughly wash hands. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

 

  1. Stay home when you’re sick

If you have the flu, the best thing you can do for yourself and others is to stay home. Staying home prevents the spreading of the flu.

 

  1. Exercise and eat healthy

Feeding your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and exercising regularly is proven to help you fight viruses. The healthier you are, the less prone to illnesses you become. Work-out regularly, eat your veggies and get plenty of sleep. Your body will thank you once flu season arrives.

 

Nova Medical Centers specializes in Occupational Health. We want to help you and your employees combat against the flu. Our Onsite Flu Shot Clinics provide flu shots without leaving the office or making appointments. Contact Nova Medical Centers for more information about scheduling an Onsite Flu Shot Clinic.

 

Written By: Nayda Sanchez

Self-Care Awareness Month: 4 Tips to Better Yourself

According to U.S Stress statistics , 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress and 73% experience psychological symptoms caused by stress. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. You can train your body to handle stress more efficiently by practicing self-care. Any activity you deliberately do in order to take care of your mental, emotional and physical health is considered self-care. Here is a list of ways you can practice self-care:

 

  • Exercise

 

Physical activity produces endorphins, chemicals that reduce pain and naturally induce the feelings of pleasure, improves ability to sleep, reduces stress, wards off anxiety, and boosts self-esteem. Exercising moderately for 30-minutes five times a week allows you to reap all of the physical and mental health benefits. You don’t have to be a pro, just stay active. Dancing, running, biking, walking, playing sports, and hiking are all great ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

 

  • Surround yourself with supportive people

 

Healthy relationships are a critical part of self-care. Invest your energy in those who encourage you and inspire you to become better. Drift away from anyone who drains your energy. This goes for your relationships both inside and outside of your workplace. A balance between give and take is essential for any healthy relationship.

 

  • Clean your workspace

 

Maintaining a neat work area is a good way to practice self-care at work. Your environment can have a significant impact on productivity . Only keep things you frequently use on your desk to avoid clutter. Hang pictures, artwork, or images that inspire you or make you feel good as small reminders of your values. Your work area is a representation of yourself and it shouldn’t cause you unnecessary stress, it should give you clarity and enable you to do your best at work.

 

  • Reward yourself

 

It’s important to recognize your own accomplishments. Naturally, we complete task after task and it becomes a vicious cycle of to-do lists. Take a moment to reflect what you and your team have accomplished at work or what you have accomplished outside of work; think of ways that you can treat yourself. Buying an outfit for yourself, getting a message or having a potluck at work are some of the ways you can compensate your hard work.

 

Self-care is vital and ultimately leads to overall better health. By being the best version of yourself, you will fill more confident helping those around you and want to strive to do well in all areas of your life. This short list can help jumpstart your journey to self-care.

 

At Nova Medical Centers we specialize in Occupational Health. Attending to your health and safety needs is our number one priority. We proudly offer onsite Health Fairs. Contact us for more information about our Health Fairs.

 

Written By Nayda Sanchez

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