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Being on the road for extended periods of time is tough. In most cases, truck drivers are expected to drive up to 500 miles a day – that is more than what the average person drives in a month. With little time for exercise and the real need for stamina and concentration, a truck driver’s health is pretty much the most important asset to himself, getting sick is for some simply not an option!
In this article, we will provide you with ten of the best tips to live a healthier life in 2018 and be the best CDL or OTR truck driver you can be.
Eat lots of Fresh Fruit and Veg
Your body needs a certain amount of nutrients to sustain itself and to run optimally – do not neglect this need by stuffing your face with fatty takeaways that will have a negative impact on your health and concentration. Try to keep some fresh fruit and veg as healthy snack options with you in the truck at all times and indulge in healthy snacking that your body and mind will love.
Drink lots of water
This is not just vital to everyone, but especially to truck drivers. Dehydration is a reality that all truck drivers face from time to time, and keeping yourself hydrated is key to getting yourself through the day in the right way. Buy high-quality water in large quantities so that you can drink all day, even if you are just taking a sip every now and then. Sugary and fizzy drinks are a big no-no and should be avoided for obvious health reasons.
Skip the Red Bull
Even though a lot of people rely heavily on stimulants like caffeine and energy drinks, this can be detrimental to your health. If you need to take a break and stretch your legs, you need to do just that. If you feel tired and that you need to sleep, you should do that. The risk of health issues obtained from relying heavily on stimulants is detrimental. Don’t risk your health, rather live to see and drive another day.
Vitamins are Important
Taking a daily supplement could be just the thing to carry you through those really tough days. Remember however that it is not a miracle worker, and you should take them daily in order to maintain physical and mental well-being. This is perfect to keep your immune system alive and kicking and to combat nasty illnesses that you cannot afford to pick up while on an important delivery mission.
So is Sleep
Yes, getting your sleep in is crucial for functioning fully while on the road. Driving hours on end without proper rest or a good night’s sleep can cause a whole string of problems such as lack of concentration which could cause unnecessary near-misses or even accidents. We would advise truck drivers to get at least 8 hours of sleep in. If you are able to sleep in the truck, be sure to have a sleeping mask at hand to ensure the compartment is nice and dark.
Keep Your Mind Sharp
Mental stimulation might not seem like a big deal when all you have to do is concentrate on the road ahead of you, but you will be surprised to know that it is vital to your health to keep your mind stimulated. Do this by listening to audio books while driving, learning a new language, or even exploring different types of music and radio channels.
Skip the Junk Food
If you are looking at upping your game and ultimately your health in 2018, you’ve got to be honest with yourself about eating convenient junk food such as chips and burgers. Even though these are probably the quickest and easiest meals to consume and get when driving long distances, they are not ideal for your health. If you crave fatty food, your body might need some natural fats. Keep a container with nuts in your cabin and you can snack away anytime.
Make Time for Exercise
Even though you will probably only have about 10 hours of free time after spending a whole day on the road while working, you should still make some time for exercise. Whether you walk for a couple of miles around a couple of blocks or keep a fold-up bike in the truck that you can take for a 30-minute drive. Exercise is vital to your health and wellbeing.
Make time for Unwinding and Relaxing
At the end of the day, you should slot some time in for unwinding and calm your mind. This should ideally be done just before you get into bed, and after you have done your exercise. Whether you enjoy reading or listening to an audiobook, stick to whatever works for you to sign off after a long day’s driving!
Make Time for Family
Even though you will be exhausted when you get home, it is of utmost importance that you schedule some family time in when you get there. Whether it is spending it around the dinner table or watching a movie with everyone. Make time for the ones you love and who missed you so much while you were away. Everyone is also probably anxious to tell you about everything that happened while you were working too.
A lot of the top-rated freight transportation companies out there will have ample tips and tricks on how to stay healthy while on the road and some may even encourage these habits actively as this is for the wellbeing of their valuable CDL and OTR truck drivers. Just remember, there is no price on your health, and you should always take care of yourself while on the road. Failing to do so might have great consequences. Take frequent breaks, ensure you are alert and awake, and that you get sufficient nutritious foods and enough water in.
If you are looking at joining a new company in 2018, have a look at this insightful article that lists all the best transportation companies for truckers to apply at this year.