Being a truck driver can take a toll on your health.
Traveling as a profession has its perks. If you love your alone time, find peace on the open road, and enjoy seeing new places and people every day, then being a truck driver is one of the best jobs out there. That said, there’s little time for cooking healthy meals, working out, or sleeping regular hours when you’re on deadlines.
In this post, we’re going to give you 8 helpful truck driver tips for staying healthy on the road. Follow these and you’ll see that looking after your health can actually improve the love you have for your work.
1. Spend Time Outdoors
When you’re on long-haul trips, it can feel like you’re either holed up in your cab all day, resting in it, or trapped in a hotel room. Whenever you’re not sleeping, you’re usually driving, and this can be pretty detrimental to your mental and physical health. We humans need to get outside to soak in the vitamin D if we’re going to live long, healthy lives.
Anytime you can break from your busy schedule and spend a few minutes outside, whether it be going for a stroll somewhere nice or just sitting on a bench near the truck, you should always take it. There’s a fairly direct link between mental health and the amount of time people spend outdoors, so don’t keep yourself cooped up if you don’t have to.
2. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
Something else that can really aid your mental health during those solo trips is mindfulness meditation. If you’re not familiar with mindfulness, it can be summed up as being fully aware and present for what you’re doing at a specific moment. Meditation has its roots in Eastern religion, but part of it involves being mindful.
When you’re driving, it’s easy to let yourself get lost in thought about one thing or another. If you’re thinking about what you’re going to eat later, it’s all fine and dandy, but when negative thoughts seep in, they can quickly take over and when there’s nothing else to distract you, you can end up in a dark place.
Instead of falling into a pit of negative thoughts and emotions, focus on your driving, what your body is physically doing, and follow your breath. You can have some extremely profound moments when you block out your thoughts which can have a positive impact on your overall mood and mental health.
3. Prioritize Sleep
Truck drivers tend to have sleep patterns that are all over the place. It’s not any secret that getting regular sleep does a lot for the body and mind, but when your job revolves around irregular sleep, there’s not much you can do. If you’re not someone that sleeps easily, you could end up with real problems on the road, so you need to make sure you’re prioritizing it when you can.
It’s recommended to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, but many drivers never reach that nightly average. This has effects on your ability to think straight and do your job, but it also has effects on your immune system. A big reason why this happens has to do with stimulants and stress.
Drinking coffee in order to stay awake creates a vicious cycle and when you can’t go to sleep, you may end up getting stressed, which also keeps you awake. Try to avoid drinking coffee 6-8 hours before going to sleep and perform stress-reduction exercises before you hit the hay.
4. Mini Workouts
Part of any healthy lifestyle is getting the proper amount of exercise on a daily basis. As with other things we’ve discussed, like sleep and being outdoors, it can be difficult to carve out time for a workout. Even 15-20 minutes per day can give you what you need to stay healthy while you’re on the road.
Bring running shoes and a few workout items with you on your trips and tackle your daily workout a few minutes at a time. Once you get into the habit of doing mini-workouts, it’ll become something you look forward to each day.
5. Eating Clean On the Road
Eating clean is one of the hardest things to do when you’re a driver. When you’re on the road, staying in motels, or in your cab, you have no way of cooking meals even if you did have the time to do it.
This results in far too much fast food and roadside snacks that are packed with saturated fat, sodium, and various other chemicals that are horrible for you. You can try to meal plan when you’re home, but unless your truck has a refrigerator, you’re not going to be able to store the food.
It’s easier said than done, but try to do bigger grocery shops when you’re able to and stock up on fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks like granola bars and probiotic beverages. Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chips and candy and choose a hearty salad over a cheeseburger. Making healthy choices will go a long way.
6. Taking Supplements
You can supplement your diet with other vitamins and medicinal foods to keep your body and mind feeling good.
A lot of truck drivers use CBD oil to help with inflammation and various mental health issues that are common battles when out for long trips. You can get CBD hemp oil that has virtually no cannabis, making it safe to use while operating a motor vehicle. There are countless CBD oil benefits depending on the type you choose to get.
Other supplements might include a multivitamin, fish oil, probiotics, and magnesium. If you’re eating a healthy diet, you’ll get all of these things, but if you find yourself missing meals or eating out too much, then supplements will at least give you the things your body needs to feel right.
Taking Truck Driver Tips to Heart
These are just a few helpful truck driver tips to ensure you’re staying happy and healthy on the road. It’s not always easy to eat the right thing or sleep at the right time, but if you’re mindful of how you’re feeling, both physically and mentally, then you can start to adjust your behavior and make it more healthy.
If you enjoyed this post, come back again for more on health and work.