Truck News


Preventive maintenance

First thing's first, allow me to introduce myself; I'm Karen.And a long time ago, I dated a guy who drove his father's truck while going to school. Now I've been married to that truck driver, Jamie, f...

Karen Bowen
Karen Bowen

First thing’s first, allow me to introduce myself; I’m Karen.

And a long time ago, I dated a guy who drove his father’s truck while going to school. Now I’ve been married to that truck driver, Jamie, for 22 years. He’s driven many miles in many rigs during that time.

First he delivered fuel locally, then throughout southern Ontario. For a time, he did some medium hauling of various goods in the Great Lakes Region.

Later, the owner/operator bug bit him; he bought a dump truck with a pup and drove aggregates for a few years. When he finally recovered and sold that truck he got back into tankers. For the past 10 years, Jamie has been delivering liquid air throughout Ontario, Quebec, and the States, based out of Nanticoke, Ont. Trucking is definitely in his blood.

As his wife, I soon realized that there’s more to trucking than just driving. Deadlines, irregular schedules, paperwork, fatigue, poor eating habits, stress, lack of regular exercise and heavy lifting are all part of the job and each takes its toll.

Although Jamie has taken great care of his trucks over the years, he’s often neglected himself.

(Come on, be honest, you’ve probably been there, too.)

Too much to do and too little time. But at what price?

Lose your health – lose your ability to work. Lose those and you’ve lost your ability to enjoy life.

As time passed, I learned a few things about keeping him healthy, including diet, exercise and lifestyle as well as the roles they play in avoiding sickness and injury.

I didn’t just learn through experience, mind you. Before we were married, I graduated from college as a paramedic and worked in that field for three years in Simcoe, Brampton and Toronto.

I saw the results of not taking care of yourself, including every injury and illness imaginable – from traffic accidents, cancer and stitches to subway jumpers, hernias and heart attacks.

Since then, I have spent 20 years learning various ways to both establish and maintain good health – this included getting a university degree in nutrition.

For the past four years, I have offered consulting services to help clients avoid, and overcome, health-related problems through lifestyle changes.

(And with some amazing results if I do say so myself).

I have formed many bonds within the health profession over the years that have been invaluable resources for both my business and those seeking my help.

It’s hard to believe that on a continent with such a great variety of foods, three out of the four diseases causing death in North America are diet-related. Although everyone agrees that maintaining good health is important, so far North Americans haven’t been very successful in achieving this goal.

We hear about a great program and get all rev’d up and then reality sets in. Time – there simply isn’t enough to get necessities done, let alone add a health regiment into the mix. That’s where I step in, helping people find ways to achieve the healthy lifestyle everyone is after – without the need to find an extra two hours in every day.

Through this column, you will get a lot of interesting health info, and some simple, practical ways of using that information on your own. We’ll look at many issues affecting your health: water, nutrition, cholesterol, keeping the acid/base level in your body balanced, fibre, work-related injuries, poor sleeping habits, as well as any other relevant topic you bring to my attention.

Trucking is your business so your health is really your business, too.

Think of your body as you do your truck – take care of the machine, so the machine can keep running and taking care of you.

Preventive maintenance is the key. n

– Karen Bowen is a professional health and nutrition consultant and she can be reached by e-mail at

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