Starting a new job can be one of life’s more challenging transitions
Those who committed to remain healthy may need to fine-tune their eating / exercise routine to successfully adapt to the over-the-road lifestyle. Here are some quick tips:
- Plan food choices ahead vs. leaving food options to chance and location
- Move / Exercise at every opportunity
- Get involved with programs / resources to help
- Consider using a free online health tracker
Maybe you have been a professional driver for many years or perhaps truck driving is a new career for you. It makes no difference - the life of a professional driver has many challenges, and your health and wellness might be one of them. We’d like to think Schneider is different. We strive to provide options, choices and many resources to help those committed to remain healthy.
Let’s face it. Most of us come to work so we can provide for our families. A truck driver’s health can influence the ability to earn a living. Certain injuries or illnesses can put your CDL in jeopardy - no one wants that to happen. So what should you do? You may need to fine-tune your eating and exercise routine to successfully adapt to the over-the-road lifestyle.
Plan, Plan, Plan.
You do it every day: which route to take, where to take your break, where to park, where to eat - the list goes on and on. When it comes to food, plan your food choices ahead rather than leaving food options to chance and location.
What’s at your side? A super-sized soda, pack of cigarettes and a candy bar. Or, a refillable jug of water, maybe with a little lemon or fruit added to have a few flavor choices. One cigarette instead of the pack so you are not mindlessly lighting up one after the other. Crunchy carrots that take longer to eat, or how about a bag of grapes?
How do you start your day? Coffee and a donut or a hardboiled egg and fruit?
What’s the day look like? When you stop for a meal do you know there will be a safe place to park and eat what you packed in a cooler – or is the greasy burger at the truck stop going to be the only option. Planning ahead makes the choice much easier. Waiting until you are hungry or in a hurry will often lead to a bad choice.
Make a Move
You’ve probably heard on the news or read articles that indicate sitting for too long is as bad as smoking for your health, but that’s what you do for a living, sit. So how do your counteract that? Planning. Be thoughtful about how getting in some movement. Is it before you start your day? On your mandated breaks? At the end of the day? What will you do? Is there a safe place?
Start by stopping at one of Schneider’s larger operating centers and asking for a ‘Driver’s Guide to Fitness.’ This book was created with truck driver health and wellness in mind and is filled with exercise tips that work on the road. You don’t need a fancy gym or tons of equipment. You can do plenty with a jump rope, therapy band or some kind of weight - and don’t forget walking! Walk around the truck, walk at a mall or large store, or find a safe trail. Do jumping jacks. Ask your doctor what is best for you, but plan to move.
Track Your Progress
Finally, consider using an online tracker to track your food and exercise. There are many apps available for your phone, but there is always a hand-written food diary. It might be easy to think that stop at Subway was a good low-calorie choice, but after you write it down and add in the cheese, the sauce, chips and a soda, you may have just eaten all the calories you need for the day. Tracking helps you stay on track. Many of the applications allow you to share your day with a friend, so ask someone to be your accountability partner.
Schneider has many truck driver health resources available to protect you and improve your fitness. If you want ideas, make sure to check out the Benefit Portal or stop at a large operating center to visit a therapist.
Schneider is on the road to wellness, and we hope to meet you there.
Explore our health and wellness benefits.
We have many resources available to our drivers so they can live a healthy life while out on the road.
Do you have a truck driver health success story you’d like to share? Comment below. We’d love to read it.
*Darin Flannery, DPT, Onsite Therapy, Ergonomic and Wellness with Atlas Injury Prevention Services in Indianapolis, contributed to this blog post.