According to the American Heart Association, more than 17.3 million deaths occur each year from a form of cardiovascular disease. At Melton, we are committed to influencing the lifestyles of our employees for the better and encourage positive changes in eating habits, activity, and health screenings. With wellness being a top priority embedded within our company culture, Melton hopes to cultivate change not only in the trucking industry’s lifestyle, but as a measure for other companies to implement similar wellness values.
Here are a few tips to improve and sustain good heart health:
- Get an adequate amount of sleep.
A consistent sleep schedule of approximately 7 hours of good sleep is ideal for proper heart health. According to a WebMD study, those who sleep less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours were found to have less healthy hearts than those who consistently got around 7 hours of proper sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep or aren’t feeling properly rested, talk to your doctor for options in getting a better sleep regiment.
- Exercise regularly.
Just as your heart depends upon a good night’s rest, it also warrants sufficient exercise. You should aim for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week of moderate exercise.
Working in flatbed trucking, most of our drivers get sufficient movement the days that they are securing. However, on days that do not require a lot of movement, it should be a priority to work out and keep your heart health in check. Long periods of sitting should include breaks with lots of walking and stretching.
- Monitor your blood pressure.
Blood pressure is a large determinant of heart health, as it affects the amount of energy your heart must exert to pump blood through your arteries. Your heart can be strained if you have high blood pressure because of the extra force required to move blood throughout your body.
If your blood pressure is too high, cut back on your salt, make sure your diet includes plenty of whole grains and vegetables, manage your stress properly, and work out regularly.
- Be mindful of your beverage intake.
Many are guilty of drinking far too many sugar-filled beverages and not enough water to keep them properly hydrated. This common habit can take a toll on your heart health quickly. Remember that consuming your calories through beverages is normally a bad sign for your heart. Keep your calories loaded with nutritional benefits and keep away from unnecessary, unhealthy beverages.
- Stay away from cigarettes, both real and electronic.
The facts are simple and hopefully well-communicated: Smoking is extremely harmful to your health and to others who are around you when you smoke. E-cigarettes have recently gained popularity, but have also been found to sustain nicotine addiction among smokers and should be replaced with a more non-toxic option.