- How to Stay Healthy on the Road: A Truck Driver's Guide
How to Stay Healthy on the Road: A Truck Driver's Guide
Trucker life can be challenging as it's a demanding profession with long hours on the road, rain or shine. During these long hauls, it’s essential for you to prioritize your health and well-being. In this blog, we'll explore different exercise routines, healthy dietary choices, and necessary safety measures to help you stay healthy on the road.
Why Staying Healthy Matters?
As per the Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it was concluded that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.
Thus, health on the road is very important for staying alert and focused while out driving on the road. This can reduce the risk of accidents.
Trucker life can be physically tiring. Staying healthy and in the best mental state helps you while you are driving. By taking care of your well-being, you can ensure a successful career while maintaining a clean driving record.
Now that we understand why staying healthy matters for your trucking journey, let's learn how you stay healthy during your truck trips.
Exercise on the Go
While driving, you are stuck in your seat behind the wheel for a really long period. This can take a serious toll on your health. Incorporating simple exercises into your routine can make a significant difference in your trucker life:
You can engage in regular stretches to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension. You can also focus on resistance band exercises, stretching your shoulders, arms, and legs. You can also think of getting a portable and effective workout tool, which can come in handy in your cabin.
2. Isometric Exercises
Isometric exercises, like squeezing your steering wheel or pushing against your seat, can help build strength without needing much space.
Healthy Eating Habits
Making wise food choices is essential for your overall well-being:
1. Opt for Nutrient-Rich Foods
Choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over deep-fried or processed foods. These options provide essential vitamins and fiber to keep you energized. Avoiding junk food helps you stay active throughout the day.
2. Eat Regularly
Stick to a schedule for meals and snacks. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day.
The most common effect of dehydration is a headache which can affect your concentration and overall health. Always remember to refill your drinking water at Truck Stops, so that you are never short on your water supply and you can meet your daily water consumption goals, preventing you from getting dehydrated.
Avoid Excessive Stimulants
While it's tempting to rely on coffee and energy drinks, excessive caffeine consumption can disrupt your sleep patterns. Limit your intake and avoid these stimulants close to bedtime.
Safe Driving Habits
1. Take Regular Breaks
Plan your trips to include breaks every few hours. Use this time to stretch, walk, and recharge. Fatigue is a leading cause of accidents, so prioritize rest when needed.
2. Sun Protection
Prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays can seriously damage your skin which can speed up skin aging. By wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, you can stay protected. Investing in good sunglasses and a hat is a good idea.
Get Quality Sleep
Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining focus and alertness on the road. Invest in a comfortable mattress and create a sleep-friendly environment in your truck's cabin. Also, whenever you feel drowsy, it's essential to take a nap. It’s been found that short naps are more effective in restoring energy levels than coffee. Source
Do Not Rely On Alertness Tricks
In accordance with FMCSA guidelines, it is recommended that you do not depend on alertness tricks while driving. Actions like smoking, turning up the radio, drinking coffee, opening the window, and other such ‘alertness tricks’ are not effective solutions for combating drowsiness and may lead to a false sense of safety.
Choose Truck Stops Wisely
Select truck stops that prioritize cleanliness and hygiene. Clean washrooms and rest facilities are crucial for a pleasant break during your long hauls. A quality truck stop provides you with the opportunity to enjoy nutritious meals, get the essential rest you need, and replenish your energy levels, ensuring you are fully prepared for your next haul.
Prioritizing your health as a truck driver is not only essential for your well-being but also for making sure you stay safe on the road. By adopting healthy habits, exercise routines, and safe driving practices, you can enjoy a successful and fulfilling career while staying safe and healthy during your journeys.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and keep on trucking!
Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Talk to your fleet manager for professional guidance related to this subject, or refer to the FMCSA website for more information.