Danny Crisp, 2019’s Instructor of the Year, is a CDL instructor and flatbed operator. He’s also a founding member of Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness Task Force as well as a member of Prime’s Driver Advisory Board.
The DHF Task Force was created in spring 2020 with a goal of helping drivers live a healthier lifestyle. “The goal is to help drivers stay fit and mindful of a healthy lifestyle. In doing so, they established a community within our community at Prime. It has been instrumental in changing perspectives on health and fitness in the company,” Crisp says.
The program launched last year in part thanks to the efforts of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Sara Waterman and Driver Health and Fitness Coordinator Matt Hancock. The task force provides tips on exercise opportunities in and around the truck as well as suggestions for hiking and bicycling. The task force provides simple routines for exercise that take into account the constraints of OTR life.
One of the workout routines recommended by the task force is one that Crisp created called the Sunday Seven. It’s a group of seven exercises that drivers can do with flatbed equipment on the truck. “It’s exciting to see how you can use your everyday surroundings and make them part of your routine,” Crisp says.
Another issue drivers face is making good food choices on the road, so there are suggestions for healthier choices at truck stops, restaurants and more. But the group does more than just provide information. It has created a community of drivers who support each other and are also held accountable to each other. “That peer accountability is vital as well,” Crisp says. When it comes to taking control of your health, Crisp recommends not focusing on weight loss because the end goal is to improve overall health, not shed a specific number of pounds.
Rob Palevac is a flatbed driver, and he joined the task force after seeing posters about it at Prime. “The healthy driver initiative provides dietary guidance, cooking methods and recipes as well as access to a licensed dietitian,” he says. “These healthy eating habits have helped immensely. If I’m eating fast food, I won’t feel nearly as energetic or positive about the fuel my body is provided than if it were made myself. Homemade is cheaper, infinitely healthier and often tastier than the more convenient alternatives.”
As Crisp sees it, this health movement within trucking has gained momentum and is growing “exponentially.” As a trainer, Crisp tries to encourage new drivers to join and start healthier habits, including smoking cessation. “When you start a new career, you can start a new habit. I’ve had students who were smokers and wanted to quit, and I always suggest that they quit when they start driving because if you don’t, you will associate driving the truck with smoking,” he says. “It’s a good time to break a habit because everything is new.”
For those who aren’t as excited about living a healthier lifestyle, Crisp tries to appeal to their business sense. “It’s about your drive endurance, not just being fit,” he says. “It’s about your pocketbook. If you can drive longer because you feel better, you can make more money.”
Want to follow online?
Check out Crisp’s
YouTube channel: CDL Yeah
See the article in the Prime Ways issue here on page 10!
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