Staying in Shape as an Uber Driver

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According to research published by the CDC and the Mayo Clinic, long hours behind the wheel can be related to several health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, back pain and increased stress.  Sitting for hours at a time, frequent snacking and fast food consumption bear much of the blame, but with good habits, however, you can combat these pitfalls and stay in shape while doing Uber or Lyft.

Meals on the Road

It’s easy to convince yourself not to stop for a healthy meal when doing rideshare. Time is money, right? Making food at home is usually less expensive than fast food, however. That doesn’t even factor the future cost of being unhealthy. Here is a comparison of a McDonald’s Big Mac vs a roast beef sandwich.

Tips to Eat Healthy on the Go
  • Pack a lunch rather than eating out
  • Measure out portion size when bringing snacks
  • Read the nutrition label at fast food restaurants
  • Get a  healthy sandwich from a grocery store deli
  • Drink lots of water
  • Track your diet with an app like MyFoodDiary or MyFitnessPal
  • Use a pre-made healthy meal service like Fresh Meal Plan
  • Get comprehensive & supportive coaching with Noom
McDonald's
Big Mac®
Roast Beef
Sandwich

Calories

540
400

Total Carbs

46g
41g

Dietary Fiber

3g
2g

Sugar

9g
2g

Protein

25g
35g

Sodium

940mg
674mg

Total Fat

28g
8.5g

Saturated Fat

10g
2.5g

Trans Fat

1g
0g

It’s easy to convince yourself not to stop for a healthy meal when doing rideshare. Time is money, right? Making food at home is usually less expensive than fast food, however. That doesn’t even factor the future cost of being unhealthy. Here is a comparison of a McDonald’s Big Mac vs a roast beef sandwich.

McDonald's
Big Mac®
Roast Beef
Sandwich

Calories

540
400

Total Carbs

46g
41g

Dietary Fiber

3g
2g

Sugar

9g
2g

Protein

25g
35g

Sodium

940mg
674mg

Total Fat

28g
8.5g

Saturated Fat

10g
2.5g

Trans Fat

1g
0g
Tips to Eat Healthy on the Go
  • Pack a lunch
  • Measure out portion size when bringing snacks
  • Read the nutrition label at fast food restaurants
  • Get a  healthy sandwich from a grocery store deli
  • Drink lots of water
  • Track your diet with an app like MyFoodDiary or MyFitnessPal
  • Use a pre-made healthy meal service like Fresh Meal Plan
  • Get supportive coaching with an app like Noom

Metabolism

An important factor in your health and fitness is your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is how many calories your body burns when you are at rest. That would include driving, since you aren’t doing much physically to expend calories. The RMR refers to the calories that your body burns to maintain itself, such as the heart pumping blood, muscles in your rib cage and diaphragm expanding your lungs to breath, cell reproduction, etc.  People with more muscle mass tend to have a higher RMR, as the body needs to send more blood to muscle tissue for these basic tasks involved in keeping you alive. Fatty tissue doesn’t really get counted in this equation, as it has very little blood going to it. Muscles need fuel to work. Fat is excess fuel being stored.

metabolism

When you’re sitting all day, your metabolism will slow down and you’re going to store fat more easily. How do you increase your RMR? Exercise. You don’t just have to lift weights. Losing body fat increases your lean mass ratio, and you are actually strengthening your muscles when doing cardio, even if you aren’t getting big and bulky.  Small efforts like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking a few minutes to do some brief calisthenics (jumping jacks, jogging, push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, etc) helps. Some is better than none.

You can also look into foods that boost your metabolism. The body digests different types of foods in different ways.  Foods that are more complex on the molecular level often take more work for the body to digest may help you feel full longer and, boost metabolism. 

It’s much more complicated than that, but in layman’s terms you can look at it like this:

  • Carbohydrates (4 calories in 1 gram) provide fast energy that digests quickly and lead to fat storage if not burned off soon.

  • Fat (9 calories in 1 gram) are dense in calories and make you feel full, but provide a lot of calories that will be stored as fat if not burned off. Fat digests more slowly than carbs, but faster than protein.

  • Protein (4 calories in 1 gram) makes you feel full and digests slowly, which may boost your metabolism in the short term. 

Recommended daily allowances vary based on many factors. See current RDAs

You don’t want to eat tons of protein thinking that it will boost your metabolism, but you also don’t want to completely cut out carbs. The key is moderation and making sure you are eating proper portioned meals and the proper proportions of carbs, fats and protein.  Reducing carbs and increasing protein without an overall change in caloric intake will have a moderate boost in your metabolism, as well as making you feel full longer, but your best bet is to educate yourself on food and nutrition to make better day-to-day decisions on your diet.

Get up and Move​

You know you need exercise. It’s proven to work better than most anti-depressants, it raises your metabolism, it makes your heart healthier, it makes you feel better about the way you look… there is no downside to exercise.  The hard part is finding time to do it. You have time, you have just prioritized other things ahead of it. That’s understandable. You have bills to pay, family to spend time with and hobbies to pursue. Make time. You’ll be happy you did. When you’re out and about, driving Uber or Lyft, you’re probably not near your gym (if you have a membership). One option is to find a local jogging trail or you can do some roadside Yoga.  Another option is ClassPass.

Class Pass

ClassPass is an app that shows you gyms and fitness classes nearby that you can drop in on for a workout. When you’re out driving and 10am hits, or whatever time you’ve decided to make your workout time, see what fitness classes are closest and drop in.  It won’t interrupt your day nearly as much as driving across town without a passenger to go to your home gym. You get access to thousands of gyms or fitness studios nationwide. With a subscription, one has access to almost any workout imaginable.

ClassPass is offering new users a two-week free trial.

Choose your preferred workout
Class Pass
Select from nearby options
Class Pass
Confirm a class or time slot
Class Pass

We may receive a referral fee for recommending some of the products, apps or services listed on this website.  This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as exercise, diet or medical advice. Consult with your physician before implementing any fitness or dietary changes.

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