Being a truck driver can create a demanding lifestyle: prolonged time away from home, constant travel, cramped living space and sedentary work. This creates unique challenges for truck drivers when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.
At first it can seem difficult to figure out how to be a healthy truck driver. But, by implementing some simple changes into your day-to-day routine, like short periods of exercise and tactics to relieve stress, you will see the benefits start to pay off.
Healthy truck driver tips:
Tip #1. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is crucial to human health, as it allows our bodies to rest and repair. Sleep deficiency affects our ability to learn and focus, especially while operating a vehicle.
Get at least seven hours every night. Be consistent by following a regular schedule. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
Struggling to get good sleep in your semi-truck? Check out our blog post: “Advice for great sleep on the road.”
Tip #2. Drink lots of water.
Adequate hydration is critical to the body’s processing of temperature control and maintaining kidney and heart health.
Substitute water for soda (even diet soda). Water is fat-free, sugar-free and has zero calories.
Tip #3. Quit smoking.
Smoking interferes with every body part and function, as it robs your body of required oxygen.
Call QUIT LOGIX for help: 1-855-372-0040.
Tip #4. Go for walks.
Walking benefits every part of our bodies, from head to toe and everything in between. It stimulates our metabolism and helps us process excess blood glucose. Find a safe place to park your truck and try to walk for at least 10 minutes.
Designate a specific time or routine every day for exercise, i.e., before or after driving. Stretch after walking or even when fueling your truck. Add in extra walking or stretching while waiting for loads or doing laundry.
Tip #5. Practice portion control.
To keep a healthy weight, you need to balance the calories you eat with the calories you burn.
Keep food portions to the size of your fist. Drink water before meals to control your appetite. Package food or snacks into individual servings using zipper bags.
Tip #6. Eat more veggies/greens.
Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health. They are the fuel ‘additives’ to your food and contain necessary fiber.
Try for three cups or colors of vegetables each day, including at least one type that’s green. Try to make veggies ¾ of your plate by adding them to meals like soups, stews and eggs.
Looking for more snack and meal ideas? Get some great ones from our blog “Healthy snacks for truck drivers.”
Tip #7. Pick foods with fiber.
Fiber has emerged as a leading dietary factor in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Fiber aids in digestion and helps lower cholesterol.
It’s easy to incorporate more fiber into your meals. Eat something high in fiber for breakfast, like oatmeal. Add in more vegetables for lunch and dinner, and if you’re hungry between meals, snack on fruit and nuts. Try beans and lentils for something new – they’re packed with fiber and protein.
Not sure how to prepare these types of foods in your truck? We teach you how in “Cooking in a semi-truck.”
Tip #8. Find ways to relievestress.
First, figure out what causes you stress. Second, try to manage your stress when it occurs.
Find ways to distract yourself: If you can get out of your truck, go for a short walk and get some sun. If you’re driving, listen to your favorite music. Make relaxation a habit, too.
Why being a healthy truck driver is important
Leading a healthy lifestyle benefits both your mental and physical health, including lowering blood pressure, promoting weight loss, increasing endurance/stamina and improving quality of life.
Start by making small changes and continue to challenge yourself as you go. You’ll be thankful you made these adjustments, as being healthy is essential for your well-being, for your family’s well-being and for a successful career.
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A key benefit Schneider offers to its drivers is through Atlas Injury Prevention Solutions. Atlas healthcare professionals are located at Schneider facilities and provide wellness coaching, physical therapy, health screenings and more. Learn about all benefits Schneider has to offer.