Your DOT medical card is essential for your work as a commercial driver and blood pressure management is key to receiving DOT medical card renewal.
To pass your DOT medical card you must have a blood pressure of 140/90 or below.
It is important to realize that a blood pressure at that level is not “normal” or health promoting but it does the job of allowing you to pass your physical.
In this post I’m going to cover three key considerations regarding your blood pressure management to help you keep the longest medical card possible.
Did you know that blood pressure management with medication is one of the leading reasons a driver goes from a 24-month medical card down to a 12-month medical card?
Key number one to maintaining the longest medical card possible is to use lifestyle behavior change to address blood pressure management issues BEFORE running to medication to help you solve the problem.
What lifestyle behavior changes should you try?
• Making sure you are adequately hydrated
• Limiting caffeine intake that contributes to dehydration
• Monitoring your tobacco use which elevates blood pressure
• Increasing awareness of your sleep patterns
• Managing your stress
• Getting at least 30 minutes of activity a day
• Eating foods that are lower in sodium and higher in potassium since potassium works antagonistically with sodium to help naturally lower blood pressure
These are all important lifestyle behaviors to apply when you are already taking medication to manage blood pressure as well since having an elevated blood pressure above 140/90 WITH medication increases your risk of receiving a 3 month medical card that puts your livelihood at risk.
Key number two to maintaining the longest medical card possible is taking advantage of your Rolling Strong program to help you focus on lifestyle management and connecting with a Rolling Strong coach to help you develop a plan so making changes isn’t overwhelming.
To connect with a coach, simply login in to your Rolling Strong app –> click the COACH ME button –> and then either click ASK A COACH to ask a question and get some next step information OR click CALL A COACH to talk with a coach about the best lifestyle change steps for you.
You can also click the FRIEND A COACH button to connect with one or all our coaches, so you have easy access to coaching answers anytime of the day or night.
Key number three to maintaining the longest medical card possible is knowing your numbers. We are each an experiment of one and how lifestyle stressors and choices influence our blood pressure is individual to each one of us.
Knowing what dehydration, lack of restful sleep, or tobacco use does to your individual blood pressure is key to knowing how to manage it with or without medication.
Checking your blood pressure regularly in a variety of real-life situations using your own blood pressure cuff or a Higi machine is the best way to gain helpful information about your blood pressure response.
The more information you have, the easier it is to know what changes YOU need to make to manage your blood pressure not only for the longest DOT medical card possible but also for optimal health.
So there you have it, three key considerations regarding your blood pressure management to help you keep the longest medical card possible.
by Coach Tanya