Tips and Tricks to Leading a Healthy Lifestyle for Truck Drivers on the Go
When one first thinks of the hazards commercial truck drivers face every day, the mind steers towards occupational dangers such as auto accidents or slips and falls. While those dangers are indeed prevalent in their careers, long haul truck drivers are also subject to “silent killers” such as sleep deprivation, obesity-related illnesses, and nutrition deficits. It is important that a driver remains healthy in order to be alert on the road and to keep their CDL medical certificates valid.
Much like working at a desk, truck drivers are seated for extended periods of time throughout their routes. Despite traveling hundreds of miles in a single day, if drivers do not try to exercise during that time, often they tend to live a more sedentary lifestyle. Combined with poor dietary choices, this kind of prolonged inactivity can result in significant weight gain and the side effects that come with it. Studies show that about 50% of truck drivers in the United States are obese; obesity is associated with many of the leading causes of death including diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and some types of cancer. In order to avoid these detrimental health risks, drivers should continue to make healthy food and life choices when they can.
A good night’s sleep is just as important as the dietary and physical activity choices drivers make throughout their day. Staying focused on the road all day can lead to eye fatigue and mental exhaustion. A lack of rest can lead to additional stress put on a driver, often leading to a delay in reaction times and the inability to focus. Although commercial truck drivers are on the roads with very busy schedules and deadlines, it is absolutely possible for drivers to stay healthy and fit.
Here are some quick tips to help drivers maintain their health and fitness while on the road:
- Keep healthy snacks in the cab and continue to make healthy food choices during rest stops or whenever possible
- Keep a journal to track calorie intake in a day (versus mindless/unconscious snacking on a long haul)
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day
- Keep in contact with loved ones (when safe) in order to avoid feelings of stress/isolation
- Make rest breaks meaningful and restful, meditate; do not succumb to unhealthy habits such as smoking
Many drivers are exposed to a variety of dangers on the road and their health should not be one of them. Life is about balance. Maintaining one’s mental and physical wellness is important in continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle. Sustaining healthy behaviors will maximize one’s overall happiness and will help continue to keep others safe out on the roads. Good nutrition, exercise, and plenty of rest will keep a driver’s engine running!
Written By: Gabby Boubonis
In Gabby’s 4 years with Paul Hanson Partners, she first worked directly with the independent owner/operators in the Biz Choice program before moving on to underwriting in Mover’s Choice. Gabby’s free time is spent hanging out with friends, longboarding, or taking pictures of her cats.