In addition to their safety, truck drivers should be concerned about health and fitness. While taking weeks or even months-long trips, there are lifestyle changes that truckers need to follow and make to stay fit. It’s important for truck drivers to ask themselves “How do I stay healthy on the road?” For some, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging because they may not have the resources that people in other professions have, but that’s not to say that living a healthy life isn’t possible. Choosing to be healthy not only keeps you slim but keeps your wallet fat. That’s right, staying healthy is a way truck drivers can save money. Follow these 10 tips and tricks to keeping a healthy truck driver diet.
Tips for Truck Drivers to Stay Healthy
1. Eat Breakfast Every day
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whether you’re a trucker or not. According to a study done by Consumer Reports, people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have better diets overall, consuming more fruit, vegetables, milk and whole grains. Eating breakfast increases your blood sugar which gives you the energy to start your day. It also prolongs your need to eat lunch and keeps you moving throughout the day, which is important for truck drivers taking long trips.
Some healthy and simple breakfast ideas for truck drivers include oatmeal, fresh fruit, protein bars, or a mixture of different breakfast foods. Some OTR drivers suggest eating a larger breakfast, and then smaller portions throughout the rest of the day to stay healthy while avoiding hunger.
2. Snack on healthy foods to reduce meal portions
Snacking on healthy foods throughout the day will help you cut down on meal portions. Healthy snack options that truckers can take on the road with them include:
- Hummus and veggies
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Dried fruits
- Mixed nuts
- String cheese
- Dark chocolate
3. Eat more salad and leafy greens
Eating leafy greens two times per day will increase your focus on the road. Leafy greens are a good source of Vitamin K which prevents certain age related conditions. They also help lower cholesterol and preserve your vision, an important aspect for truckers.
4. Drink a lot of water
Not drinking enough water can affect a driver’s alertness on the road. Drivers should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day to make sure their bodies are functioning to their full potential.
5. Don’t consume more than 2 cups of coffee per day
Coffee may help truckers stay awake, but consuming too much caffeine isn’t good for anyone. Following all of these other steps while getting an adequate amount of sleep should reduce the need for a lot of coffee. However, two cups of coffee per day is acceptable for drivers to take in.
6. Cut pop out of your diet
Soda dehydrates the body and is bad for your teeth. There are so many healthier beverage options including water, juice and tea. Not only is water the best option for hauling loads because it keep you hydrated, water keeps you feeling full longer. If you feel full while you’re driving, you won’t need to stop for food as frequently, saving you time.
7. Get enough sleep
Truck drivers should sleep for at least 7 hours per day in a dark and quiet place. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1 in 5 deaths on the roadway are caused by drivers who fell asleep while driving. Sleep is the key to health and safety, especially if you’re working long hours as a truck driver.
8. Take time to rest every two hours
To avoid restlessness while driving, take a short break every two hours. Pull to a rest stop and grab a snack or just stretch your legs and do some simple exercises. Small breaks every two hours can revamp your drive and give you more energy. You can take a few minutes to just touch your toes, roll out your neck or even do some jumping jacks to get your blood flow circulating properly.
9. Avoid fast food
Truck drivers are often tempted with fast food because of its convenience. Try to avoid this unhealthy option at all costs. If you must go through a drive-thru, make a healthier food choice such as a salad or simply avoid the salty condiments and sides.
Drivers should exercise at least three times per week to avoid obesity. 52 percent of drivers have an issue with obesity which is more than double the 21 percent of the general population. There are tons of workouts that truck drivers can participate in while on the road. While stopping for rest, drivers can take a short, 15-minute jog or fast pace walk. These exercises do not require any equipment and can be done anywhere. If you need some direction, there are tons of workout routines on YouTube. Some more exercises drivers can do include:
- 5-minute sprints
- 4 sets of 10 squats
- 4 sets of 10 heel rises
- 2 sets of 12 pushups
- 4 sets of 15 crunches
- 2 planks for 30 seconds each
- 4 sets of 12 abs—touch your feet with your chest
- 15-minute walk to cool down
No matter how important a load, truck drivers shouldn’t neglect their health and fitness. Following these tips and health guidelines should be an easy way for truckers to contribute to healthy living.
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