Staying fit and healthy is always wise, but if you drive a delivery truck or own a company with delivery truck drivers, it’s essential to follow the critical health tips below. If you’re interested in purchasing your own route, you can find out more about that here.
1. Eat Right
Truckers are on the go constantly, so it’s easy to let your diet slide. Don’t! When you stop at a convenience store, grab some cashews or almonds instead of a candy bar. Order a chicken salad rather than a hot dog.
When you eliminate high preservative foods and red meat for leaner meats and healthy carbs, you’ll lose weight and keep it off.
Another way to eat healthy when you’re on a long haul is to prepare your meals in advance. Instead of depending on convenience stores filled with junk food, bring healthy, home-cooked meals with you. If your rig has a fridge, you can store several days of meals and never have to buy convenience store food.
To start, try cooking chicken and rice and store them in reusable containers. Also, home cooking your meals instead of eating out will save you money.
2. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the important meal of the day, whether you drive a truck or not. A Consumer Reports study found that people who eat breakfast daily have a healthier diet, eat more fruit and vegetables, and healthy carbs.
Eating a healthy breakfast boosts your blood sugar and gives you more energy all day long. Also, it delays your need to eat lunch and keeps you moving all day.
Some healthy breakfast options for truckers include fresh fruit, oatmeal, eggs, and protein bars. Some truckers say eating a more extensive breakfast works well, followed by smaller meals the rest of the day.
This isn’t easy when you’re on the road. But regular exercise is essential no matter what you do for a living. After 11 or 12 hours behind the wheel, you may want to just go to sleep. Before you do that, spend 20 minutes taking a fast walk or stretching. You’ll feel enlivened by the fresh air and better overall after being confined in your truck.
4. Avoid Burnout
OTR truckers mustn’t work too much. The trucking and shipping industries run 24/7, so you’ll probably have an irregular schedule.
Regardless, remember that you need at least seven hours of sleep to be alert while you drive. You might not be able to get a full night’s sleep all the time, but here are some tips to get better shuteye:
- Block light from entering the truck: Fatigue can hit you at any time. To fall asleep fast, think about buying shades or curtains for your rig’s windows.
- Use earbuds to eliminate traffic noise: Nothing is worse after a long day’s drive than to be woken up from deep sleep. Truck stops and rest areas are open all the time, so another driver’s rig could wake you up.
- Eliminate screen time before bed: Did you know the blue light coming from your cell phone makes it harder to fall asleep? It’s wise to shut off the phone well before bedtime or try a blue light filter.
- Never eat before bedtime: It’s always tempting to eat in the middle of the night, but this can cause heartburn. Avoid health problems by eating one to three hours before you go to sleep.
5. Don’t Drink Soda
Soda dehydrates you and damages your teeth. There are many better options, such as juice, tea, and water. Water is the best option for truckers because you stay hydrated, and keeps you feeling full. If you don’t feel hungry when you drive, you won’t stop to eat, which saves time, money, and calories.
6. Don’t Eat Fast Food
Truckers often are tempted with fast food because it’s quick and easy. Avoid these options as much as possible. If you have to use a drive-thru, get a salad or a wrap and avoid healthy sides.
7. Drink Water
Our bodies are made of 60% water. Staying hydrated is essential for your body to expel waste and toxins. You should drink at least ½ gallon of water each day, so you’re hydrated. This by itself will make you more alert and energized. Plus, you could even lose weight!
8. Avoid Stimulants When You Can
It’s understandable to drop in at a gas station for a cup of coffee to keep going at night. But don’t rely on those drinks all the time to keep you awake. While they provide a jolt of energy, they can damage your health over the long term if you rely on them.
Instead, eat more fruits and vegetables, which give your body vital nutrients and the natural energy for a long day behind the wheel.
9. Use Sunscreen
Be aware that you’re exposed to the sun a lot when you’re on the road, even when you’re in the rig all day. Too much sun over time can cause sunburn, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.
So, wear sunglasses and sunscreen and avoid the sun when you can.
10. Reduce Stress
Managing your stress on the road is vital to your health. Give yourself enough time to get to your next stop so you aren’t rushing, which also can lead to nasty accidents. Try listening to audiobooks on your phone, or listen to your favorite music.
11. Enhance Your Posture
Your big rig is your office, where you sit most of the day. Lower back pain can kill the career of a truck driver, but you can prevent it:
- Buy a quality driver seat: Seats with excellent lumbar support will make you more comfortable and save your back.
- Don’t sit in one position: You need to relieve pressure on your spine, so change position every hour.
- Keep the seat high: Having a low seat makes you slouch, so sit up high and tuck in your elbows.
If you follow these simple health tips, you and your employees will be healthier and happier on the road.