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Showing posts with label healthy truckers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy truckers. Show all posts

Friday, April 28, 2017

From MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge Tips

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We had a great time at MATS, the Mid-American Trucking Show, in March, but now it’s time to get our rears in gear for GATS, the Great American Trucking Show! Why exactly do our rears need to be in gear? Because it’s time for the MATS 2 GATS weight loss challenge and we have the fitness tips to help you win.

From MATS to GATS Fitness Tips


GATS takes place in Dallas Texas from August 24th - 27th, and if you thought MATS was fun you’ll be in for a whole new trucking experience at GATS. However, are you up for the weight loss challenge?

Will you join forces with your fellow members of the trucking industry to lose a combined weight loss goal of over 2,000 pounds as a team by August 25th in the MATS 2 GATS challenge? Do you think you’re up to the task? Well then sign up here by May 31st! You will even get a t-shirt and a wristband for joining the challenge and we don’t have to tell you how cool trucking related shirts are. Plus, ToughTested will even be providing prizes! 

However, how exactly does a member of the trucking industry lose weight? By spending hours on the road and at work without much time to exercise this task might sound difficult. However, there are a lot of small changes to your schedule that you can make to shed some extra pounds.

We understand that the idea of losing weight can be totally unexciting because you know that you will have to diet and give up awesome foods, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Strict diets and cutting out some foods completely often results in rebounding hard and regaining all of your lost weight.

Instead of totally cutting out carbs and sugar learn how to eat healthily and in moderation. Limit your calories and replace bad snacks like chips and candy bars with fruit or nuts. Plan your meals in advance. If you have a big breakfast then go for a light lunch. Also, healthier options like salads with grilled chicken will fill you up more than you think.

Planning ahead and taking healthier options with you in your truck or to your office will help you stick to your healthier meal plan. Instead of dealing with the hassle to pull over for a snack or go out and buy lunch your healthier option will conveniently already be waiting for you.

Put down the soda cup. Instead of drinking insanely sugary sodas to stay awake go for sugar-free options like black coffee or green tea. These options even come iced and will keep you awake longer because you won’t have a sugar crash.

Also, you don’t need to join a gym or adopt some crazy time-consuming workout routine to lose weight, even though they help. You will be surprised by the results you will see simply from moving around a little more.

Try to get in some extra steps by walking around the truck stop or office. It really doesn’t take that much time to hit the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps per day by taking a few extra steps here and there. Some truckers just circle their rigs a few times.
 
Every time you use the bathroom or a tv commercial comes on do some planks or pushups. These are exercises that can be done anywhere, even with limited space. You can use a pair of resistance straps in your rig with some free weights to work out after you park.

The next step is easy. Get enough sleep! It’s hard to lose weight when you’re stressed, and when you’re tired your body craves more sugary items for energy. By relaxing with a good night’s sleep your body will be ready to drop some pounds and won’t give you as many cravings for foods you shouldn’t be eating.

Join the MATS 2 GATS Challenge


Trucker health is extremely important. It’s time to join forces with your trucking industry family to shed pounds and help prevent the health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep deprivation, and more that come with being overweight. Step up and join the MATS 2 GATS challenge!

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your weight loss tips in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We're Revealing 8 Secrets About Average Owner Operators

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If you’re thinking about finally taking the leap to become an owner operator in most cases the risk is worth the reward, if done properly. However, if done improperly you could go under pretty quickly and build up a lot of debt. In order to see if the owner operator or independent trucker lifestyle is right for you, we’ve put together a list of common traits found in successful owner operators.

Secrets About The Average Owner Operator


1. Owner operators are financially smart. When the bigger paychecks finally start to roll in they don’t blow it all on a new pool table or jet ski. They set money aside until they can afford that cool stuff later in order to plan for accidents like major truck repairs or for when business is slow. Engine repairs or accidents can set you back quite a ways, so it’s best to be prepared.

2. They’re older guys. I guess some truckers just need to grow up a little first before making the transition to becoming an independent driver instead of a corporate jockey. The average age of truckers for both men and women is about 37 when they become owner operators and the average age of owner operators out there on the road right now is 55.

3. Most are patient and persistent creatures of habit. They’ve lived and driven around the same area for years, and realize that success doesn’t come overnight. You could spend years building your personal business before it really takes off.

Plus, they take care of their trucks with regular maintenance. By squeezing every penny possible out of their rig it will last longer and they won’t have to deal with the major expenses of getting a new one, so don’t skip out on those oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, and more.

4. The majority of owner operators are gone most of the time. They put in more hours and spend more nights away from home. More miles put on the road is simply a part of the job if you want to make it. To avoid putting stress on your family and relationships remember to call time or facetime them as much as possible. Hopefully, you won’t feel guilty about missing a few holidays or special occasions too.

5. Now this isn’t a plus, but it is a fact. Most owner operators are unhealthy. They’re obese, they’re smokers, and have issues like high blood pressure. In order to take your business further and have the energy to maintain it get a little healthier. Try to go for healthy snacks like a package of almonds or a heart healthy omelet for breakfast. Maybe see where you can fit in an extra walk around the truck stop or experiment with exercises you can do from your cab.

6. Owner operators tend to be experienced, drivers. They have some education like a high school degree and maybe a little college, but in most cases, they went to driving school and completed their courses. They were determined students who put at least 60 hours of driving training behind the wheel to learn how to drive like a boss. Plus, most owner operators don’t come from average desk jobs, they spend a few years out on the road trucking for companies first.

7. The average owner operator is a planner. They don’t spend down time twiddling their thumbs or checking facebook, they spend it planning their next move. When their freight is being unloaded they’re scheduling a new pick up. Also, they’re always thinking about who they need to call in order to build good relationships and gain repeat customers.

It’s important to check in with the people you regularly work with to show interest and keep spirits high. It’s also important to market yourself to new customers. Either from your office or your cab think about where to go and who to call next instead of going in blind.

8. They answer to almost no one. While owner operators still have to comply with DOT regulations and taxes like the 2290 and IFTA they don’t have managers constantly watching them to make sure they follow every little company policy. They only keep up with their own standards which do involve a high level of professionalism. The fact is they have a nice level of freedom on the open road.

Are You Ready To Become An Owner Operator?


The average owner operator is a hard working person who is financially smart. They’re planners and don’t mind putting in a little extra elbow grease. If you’re ready to take the leap make sure you have a good head on your shoulders for being your own boss and the persistence and patience to make your business successful.

More more trucking tips keep coming back to ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your facts about the average owner operator in the comment section below.
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Friday, December 16, 2016

Are You Healthy Enough To Keep On Trucking?

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One of the biggest concerns on the road is safety. Everyone passes accidents big and small, and we’re sure you have a good amount of stories of about the crazy things you’ve seen happen on the road, that caused traffic to back up for miles. We’re also sure that you don’t want to be the reason for or involved in one of those accidents.

Truckers need to know when to drop off their last load and hang up their keys, before their health declines and affects their driving. Know the health risks associated with aging truckers in order to be able to live a healthy lifestyle, and when to call it quits to spend the wonder years with your wife, children, and grandkids.

Health Risks Associated With Aging Truckers Include:

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation, which we know, eye roll, you’ve heard about how driving tired is dangerous your whole life, and they hammered that fact home in driving school, but it actually leads to a lot of issues behind the wheel.

Most truckers get 6 hours of sleep or less a night, which is fine for the young bucks who remain energized and alert, and you might say well coffee helps you stay awake, but with age comes exhaustion.

Driving while exhausted impairs judgment, visions, decision making, affects short-term memory, increases aggression, and more. If you’re too tired you don’t need to be filled with road rage, leaving skid marks all over the road. Make sure you get the rest you need to have the energy to safely keep driving.

Obesity

The next one, obesity sneaks up on you. One day you’re enjoying a super-sized meal as per usual, then the next day your jeans are too tight. Now it’s great to be fat and happy, we aren’t body shaming. Heck, it’s even healthier for some people to have meat on their bones. However, there’s a fine line between fat and happy and at risk.

Obesity takes years off of the life with all the pressure it puts on your heart and leads to heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and more. Now we aren’t saying do a 100% diet change and run 10 miles a day, simply make a few changes here and there.

Go for something healthy like fruit or nuts to snack on instead of chips and sweets. Don’t go for the burger and fries and steak every time, pick a salad, wrap, or grilled chicken option instead. Places like Denny’s and Waffle House do have smart heart options.

Also, try to get your blood pumping a little. Take a 5 to 10-minute walk around the truck stop store every time you stop to use the restroom and look up ways to do light strength training in or around your rig.

Smoking

Do you smoke? Over half of truckers do, so there’s over a 50/50 shot that you do. We won’t bore you with the usual facts you’ve heard over the years about smoking causing cancer, ruining your skin, and taking years off your life, but there are a few things for smokers to consider.

Smoking ruins your sleep. On average smokers sleep even less than nonsmokers do, increasing levels of exhaustion and driving impairment. It also raises your blood pressure, leading to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. So, if you want more energy to add more years of safe driving under your belt, with a healthy heart consider kicking the habit.

Also, are you prepared for the ill effects of smoking? If you do get cancer or one of the other major health risks associated with smoking can you handle more time in the doctor’s office for treatments and less time on the road due to being sick? Will your insurance handle the bills and will your family be alright financially if something happens to you?

At the end of the day take a look at your pack of cigarettes and ask yourself if those death sticks or worth harming your quality of life or not.

Depression

You may not have realized it, but some truckers are sad. With long hours on the road that are often spent alone, they get disconnected from other people. Then with added factors like obesity, sleep deprivation, and a smoking addiction can lower self-esteem.

Can you handle the hours alone on the road, or are you ready to retire and spend quality time with your family? A few ways to entertain your mind and keep your spirits high include talking to your loved ones. Call your family daily and see what they’re up to. Develop good relationships with your dispatcher and fellow truckers.

Plus, to feel good about yourself you can listen to educational podcasts or add some reading material to your routine before bed to learn and entertain your mind. This way you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your brain with endless hours of boredom.

You can also eat a little healthier, take a walk in the sun, or add a little exercise to your day to naturally feel better with some nutrition and by getting your blood pumping a little. You’d be surprised by how much better you can feel by making a few minor change to your routine.

Keep on Trucking!

We know you aren’t ready to give up the freedom of the open road. Heck, trucking is in your blood, what would living be without it? However, your health and family are also things to consider. Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself to add more years on the road under your belt, and to have a long time enjoying quality time with your family during retirement.

Be sure to share with us your tips on staying healthy while on the road in the comment section below and learn more tips about trucking at ExpressTruckTax.com.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Consider The Facts of Becoming an Owner Operator

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Do you want to become an owner operator? You love trucking, and the call of the road runs through your blood, but are you ready to take the next step to further your trucking career? Becoming an owner operator is a serious choice that can’t be made overnight, but considering these following facts may help you weigh in to make your final decision.

You Have to Talk to the Suits

It isn’t as simple as gassing up the rig and hitting 70 on the highway when becoming an owner operator, you need a plan. You also need to get around all of the red tape with the proper licenses and meet the standard regulations.

Most likely you’ll have to put on a nice shirt and go visit the offices of financial planners, accountants, and professionals who know the business and can help you make a serious plan for your trucking business. Trust us, even if you want to be independent and hate the idea of sitting in a boring waiting room, you’ll be a lot better off with a plan and guidelines to follow.

There are way More Costs Than you Think

As an owner operator, you will have to be financially smart and set budgets for your personal paychecks and meals. Can you handle sticking to a certain budget for every meal or will you buy a filet mignon at the beginning of the trip and be down to a loaf of bread a jar of peanut butter by the end of it?

How much debt do you have? Are you close to unburying yourself? Can you add more to your credit cards to spruce up your rig and make necessary repairs? On and off the road, emergencies happen, do you have funds squirreled away to handle them, even if you can’t work for a month or more? Will anyone give you a loan? Hopefully, your credit is in good shape.

Are you prepared for the future? You’ll need a lot of insurance, including disability and life. If you become disabled and can’t work you’ll need the regular checks to keep coming in to help you out. Also, if you don’t make it in the event of an accident don’t you want money going to your wife and family to get your affairs in order?

It Takes More Time

Are you ready to put in the time it takes to be an owner operator? Can you handle driving longer hours with further routes? Will you mind driving all weekend? You have to be ready to put in a little overtime, or while getting started and establishing yourself, a lot of overtime.

Do you like to park on the weekends at stops to talk to your fellow road warriors and catch up on some tv or shoot the breeze to talk about what the bears with ears are catching on the CB or how the turtle races have been grinding your gears? Unfortunately, owner operators have less time to fraternize.

Is your home life demanding? Do you have a wife and kids to get back to? Do you have to be back every other weekend for custody of your kids?

You and Your Truck Might not be Healthy Enough

How old are you and how do you feel? Can you stay up for longer hours to drive farther? Do you have the time to put in overtime hours or are you just too exhausted? You never want to push yourself past the dangerous limit!

Do you have a growing health condition that will require more time for rest in doctor visits in the future? Will you need time off for treatment? If so then it might be the best time to make the jump to owner operator.

How old is your truck? Can it make the distance? How many miles have you and your loved one gone together? Do you own your own trailer and is it in good condition to haul various loads of frozen foods or materials? What if you needs to haul liquids or livestock? Do you have the necessary trailers or will they be another expense?

You may Miss Company Comforts

Leasing yourself to a company or being totally independent is always something to consider. While the freedom of not having to say yes sir to a supervisor and not having to follow dumb little rules may seem irresistible, you might miss the perks.

Working with a company comes with company trailers, paid time off, reimbursements for permits, miles, gas, and more. Plus, you can get on a company insurance plan. It’s a little less work, with a little more financial padding, even if you have people to answer too.

Do you Have What it Takes?

This article isn’t meant to put you down or discourage you from taking the steps to become an owner operator, it’s to make sure you’re prepared. Consider all the costs and the effort it will take. In the end, if the timing is right, your finances are in order, and your health is in good condition then there’s nothing like being an independent owner operator, making your own schedule, without any managers breathing down your neck. It’s pure trucking freedom.

Learn more about becoming an owner operation at ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your tips and tricks in the comment section below. 
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Understanding High Blood Pressure

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Understanding High Blood Pressure
Understanding Blood Pressure
When you’re a truck driver, there are plenty of things you need to watch out for. Dangerous four wheelers. Coercive dispatchers. Unsavory characters at a rest stop.

But don’t forget, some dangers lurk within! Dangers like high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.

What is Hypertension?


High blood pressure is a condition in which the blood pressure of the arteries is increased. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, but is severe if the pressure is greater than 180/120.

Because it lacks obvious symptoms at first, hypertension often goes unseen. It can cause heart disease and stroke if it goes untreated for a long time.

HBP and Truckers


Hypertension can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, strokes, eye damage, and atherosclerosis. If you’re a truck driver, all of these conditions can disqualify you from getting your CDL.

Not only can your health deteriorate, you can lose your job! It’s not worth the risk, we think.

Take time to learn more about hypertension with the American Heart Association.

Treatment and Prevention


So how can you prevent and treat high blood pressure?

First up, start eating a healthier diet with less salt and exercising regularly. If you already have hypertension, taking medications can help lower blood pressure.

Let’s break this down a bit:
  • Diet: With extended hours on the road, there are plenty of drivers who would rather pull into a fast food joint than go for the healthier alternative. Being high in sodium, fat, and calories, fast food raises your risk to hypertension. Try cooking your own food in your truck for healthier meals. 
  • Exercise: Yeah, we know. After driving for 11 hours straight, you don’t want to get out and jog. But if you can wake up with time before it's time to drive, you can at least start your day with a workout
  • Stress: Loneliness, traffic, accidents, finances, and sleep deprivation are all stress factors truckers have to contend with daily. When your stress levels go up, your blood pressure can go up. There are several ways you can reduce your stress, like hobbies and time management
Once they have hypertension, truckers will require medical certification to stay on the road. Your physical examination record will be electronically filed to the DOT and become a part of your driving record in the Commercial Driver’s License Information Systems (CDLIS). When we say hypertension is serious stuff, we mean it!

Let’s face it - truckers always have stress that can only make high blood pressure even worse. But if you’re looking to reduce some stress in your life, ExpressTruckTax has officially started pre-filing the IRS HVUT Form 2290! E-file now and get your tax filing over with, and then you’ll receive your stamped Schedule 1 come July 1st.

Better yet, use promo code ETT10 and save 10% on your filing fee!

If you want to share any hypertension tips (or) health success stories, reach out to us on Twitter today!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

5 Diet Tips for the Sedentary Trucker

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Now, we know not every trucker is OTR. But there are many members of our Trucking Nation who spend more time in their rig than they do anywhere else.

Hey, it’s a living! But now more than ever we know there are some health concerns with a sedentary lifestyle.

As for truckers? We know the human body faces additional stress from extended periods of sitting, but we also know those goods aren’t gonna deliver themselves!

There’s a dilemma, obviously. So we’ve gathered some healthy tips to help with your health concerns as a sedentary trucker.

Make a Plan


Like all good ventures, begin by planning out the route you’ll take.

Maybe you just eat too many carbs, and you need to cut them out. That’s a start! Just make sure you have a plan for the carb-withdrawal cravings, or you’ll end up at a truck stop binge eating potato chips!

Focus on your heavy hitters first, like the “empty” calories that don’t help you.

Calories Matter


Now, both men and women have a lot to contend with when it comes to calories. But how they intake calories differ, according to experts.

Typically, meal plans for women aim for about 1,800 calories per day (ages 19-50). According to the USDA, this could contain up to 2.5 cups of vegetables, 1.5 cups of fruits, 6 ounces of grain, and 5 ounces of high-protein foods like meats.

For men, a 2,400 calorie plan is encouraged. This would include 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 8 ounces of grains, and 6.5 ounces of your high-proteins.

Now combating the sedentary life isn’t about losing weight, but if you master your calories you’ll see a definite decrease in pounds.

Fitness Helps


For a greater caloric deficit, become one of those fitness truckers!





We kid, we kid. Seriously, though, if you increase your burned calories, the deficit you create every day will contribute to your overall health.

It’s recommended that you get at least 30 minutes per day of exercise, which isn’t outlandish. We know most truckers are extremely busy, but it’s worth a shot. If you drive a flatbed, you probably get over 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Proteins are Everything


Basically, adult women need to eat about 46 grams of protein, and 56 grams of protein for men.

While carbs are an easy snack (I’m looking at you, bag of chips), there are plenty of protein alternatives you should seek out.

Instead of reaching for those chips, snack on some unsalted, roasted nuts!

Eat Unprocessed Foods


Speaking of chips, stay away from processed foods! I mean, we know you don’t have a ton of options on the road, but you can make some gains just by choosing wisely.

We know you might not be able to cook a full meal in your cab, but you can aim for more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables instead of processed snacks.

Also, just eat more salads. The vegetable kind!

At the end of the day, your bodily health is as important to your career as your truck’s maintenance. Don’t let it pass you by!

And don’t forget, the IFTA deadline is fast approaching. Generating your fuel tax report with ExpressTruckTax and ExpressIFTA is as easy as ever.

What are your tips to combat the sedentary lifestyle?

Suggested Blog: 3 Mouth-Watering Recipes That Won't Break the Bank


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