Trucking across country can be incredibly taxing on a person’s physical and mental health. From days and nights spent with no sleep, to cross country ventures with little to no contact with other human beings, there are several factors to a truck driver’s experience that can be severely detrimental to both mind and body.
But in order to stay healthy and combat any illness, a trucker must take certain steps and precautions. To stay in peak health in order to work better and drive happier, every trucker needs to take care of him or herself. If you are a trucker, here are some tips to help you to stay healthy as you hit the road for another trip.
Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the easiest ways to hurt your body while trucking is eating foods that contribute to poor health. While it is easy to pull away from a truck stop with a seat full of junk food, this is a great way to gain weight, feel lethargic, and cause lasting damage to your mind and body.
Truck stops aren’t known for their low-calorie options, but there are a few easy substitutions you can make to bolster your health. Instead of eating junk food, opt for healthier choices during each stop you make. Fruit and nuts are great alternatives to candy and sweets; eggs and sausage are a better breakfast alternative to pastries (though fruit instead of sausage would be even better); and try to limit your beverage intake to water and unsweetened coffee or tea. Soft drinks carry an enormous amount of sugar and corn syrup that will both contribute to a sugary high and leave you feeling lethargic and tired only a few miles down the road.
Stay in Shape
Many people believe that truck drivers have no need to stay in physical shape due a lifetime of only sitting. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Truckers have one of the most physically demanding jobs around–they must stay awake for hours, concentrating on the rules of the road while heading towards a faraway destination. Even if this job isn’t aerobic, it certainly takes its toll on the body. Staying in good physical condition can help an individual concentrate better, and is a great way to increase stamina on a long journey. Even simple movements like pushups, sit ups, and squats, performed once or twice a day, can help build muscle and make you feel better as you truck down the highway. If you find your exercise is limited to walking to and from a truck stop restaurant, try walking around the perimeter of the rest area instead, or taking a few laps around your truck; 32 laps of an 18-wheeler rig is a mile.
Foster Healthy Relationships
Maintaining healthy relationships at home can be extremely difficult for a trucker. Truck drivers are required to be away from their friends and family for days, weeks, or even months at a time, and must return home each time exhausted and travel weary.
Before you leave for trips, try to communicate with your loved ones your anticipation for seeing them again, and the amount you will miss them when you are away. Commit to speaking to them as often as possible, and bring with you mementos that remind you of them, such as pictures, tokens of appreciation, or anything similar. Doing so will help you maintain a healthy mental disposition, and will lead to stronger home relationships you will always look forward to returning to.
Trucking Down the Road
As a trucker, you may have a difficult schedule and job, but it doesn’t mean you need to let your health slip away. Use these helpful tips before and during your next journey to ensure you feel better and stay happier both on the road and at home.
Marv Stephenson is a freelance writer based in El Paso, Texas. Marv has an interest in the trucking business, and writes on a variety of issues pertaining to trucking; to learn more about the industry visit Stevens Transport.