Staying healthy as a truck driver doesn’t have to be a difficult task. In fact, most truck drivers that maintain good health do it through healthy habits. No tricks, no magical supplements, just healthy habits that you adhere to on a daily basis. We’ve separated those habits into three distinct groups. Exercise, dietary habits, and rest. These are all you need to stay healthy as a truck driver. So, if you plan on becoming one, here is what to keep in mind.
Find the exercise that suits your preference
A common misconception about being a truck driver is that you won’t have enough time to exercise. But, regular exercise is vital if you want to keep your health. Now, more than ever, you can find online programs to suit your workout needs. If you are not sure where to start, we suggest finding programs that strengthen your back. And the experts from All Season Movers agree. They offer gym memberships for their drivers to help them avoid injuries and stay healthy and strong.
Loading your tuck will become much easier, especially if you follow professional tips. And know that you can develop back problems from both sitting and heavy lifting if you don’t exercise. So, if you have no other preference, try to do exercises that counterbalance the long periods of sitting.
The best advice we have for exercising is to do what is fun. No exercise program will give you good results if you give up on it after a couple of weeks. So, instead, try finding something that you enjoy doing. Running, lifting kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, yoga… all of these are viable options for a healthy truck driver.
Eat right to stay healthy as a truck driver
We are what we eat. This old saying holds true even to this day. And if you wish to maintain your health, you first need to check whether your diet is well suited for your lifestyle.
The most important meal of the day
There is a reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Namely, eating breakfast every day will help boost your metabolism and help your body function properly. It is important to point out that a bowl of cereal or pancakes with syrup is not a healthy breakfast. By healthy breakfast, we mean high protein, high fat, low carb breakfast. So, eggs and bacon or even a steak are better options than the sugar-saturated breakfast options that people usually choose.
Snacking is a normal part of every truck driver’s diet. After all, you will hardly find a five-star restaurant every time you stop for a rest. But, while snacks may sound like a less important meal in your day, know that they play a vital role. Namely, eating chocolate bars or potato chips won’t do you much good. Of course, you can occasionally have them, but it is better to consider those as treats and not as snacks.
Healthy snacks include fruits, nuts, whole-grain pastries, dairy. These are relatively small foods that you can eat on the go and that will satisfy your immediate hunger. The critical point is that they should be nutritional yet low in calories. High-calorie, sugar-saturated snacks are one of the common reasons why some truck drivers pack on a few pounds. You will feel much better and have more energy if you improve your dietary habits. This is true for any profession and any individual out there.
A truck driver should drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. Even more if you are driving your truck during the summer. Doing so helps your body function properly and ensures that your organs are well lubricated.
Truck drivers and caffeine have been friends for a long-time. After all, having a cup of coffee with your buddies is one of the joys of being a truck driver, but while caffeine will help you wake up and stay alert, it is essential to understand how it functions. Namely, caffeine has an accumulative property. This means that the more you drink it, the more negligible effect it has on you. While before you could feel the impact after one cup, soon you’ll start needing more. So, the best course of action is to limit your caffeine intake. Two cups of coffee per day are a reasonable dose for a hardworking truck driver. Anything above that and you run the risk of falling into the spiral of needing more and more.
Get enough rest, even if you feel energized
If you are already used to drinking a lot of coffee, you might think two cups aren’t enough. After all, how are you supposed to drive for 16 hours without drinking coffee in between? Well, that is the thing. You don’t drive for 16 hours straight. Ever. Every truck driver that maintains their health knows how vital rest is and how important it is not to neglect it.
Getting enough sleep
7-8 hours of sleep is a minimum for a truck driver. You can get away with 6 hours for a night or two but anything less and you risk damaging your health, both in the long term and the short term. Just like water and food, sleep is a significant factor in the proper functioning of your body. Without healthy sleep, your body cannot function optimally. Add to that the fact that you, as a truck driver, need to be concentrated while driving so the last thing you need is for lack of sleep to lower your focus.
If you are having trouble getting the 7-8 hours of sleep, try going to bed and getting up on a set schedule. Our bodies prefer having a routine. And once you start developing one for yourself, you will soon start enjoying the benefits.
Quick rest every two hours
Even with a healthy sleep schedule, you need to take a break from driving every two hours. It doesn’t have to be a long break. Even 15 minutes can be enough to refresh yourself and prepare for the next two hours. One mistake that truck drivers often make is to postpone their break from driving due to feeling good. If you are, know that it won’t last long without a break. Therefore, it is far safer to rest even if you don’t need to than to get tired during your drive.
Being a truck driver is an exciting job with many perks. Like any other job, especially sedentary ones, it comes with specific risks to your back. Your diet and sleep habits significantly impact your well-being. In that respect, there is no difference between this profession and any other. So, to stay healthy as a truck driver, make sure to eat well, sleep enough, introduce an exercise routine into your daily life, and take plenty of breaks.
Justin Chandler worked as a professional driver and transport consultant. His expertise was trucks and long-distance driving. He now uses his accumulated knowledge to write helpful articles about truck driving and all that it involves.