10 Tips to Stay Healthy While on the Road
While truck driving is a fun, adventurous, and rewarding career, it can take a toll on a person’s body. Staying healthy and fit when behind the wheel is essential when it comes to enjoying this career. Humans are built to stand up or walk more than they sit down, but today’s lifestyles and professions often have us sitting much more than we’re standing or walking. Obviously, you must be sitting when driving a truck, so you need to find other times to be upright. Along with fitness and exercise, there are nutrition strategies that will help you stay strong and alert while on the open road. Below, we offer several tips to stay healthy and fit when truck driving.
1). Stay well-hydrated: Drinking water and staying hydrated is critical to optimal functioning of every system in the body including the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs. Keep a water bottle beside you at all times. Otherwise, you will suffer short-term consequences such as headaches and fatigue and possibly worse long-term consequences.
2). Exercise 15 minutes every day: Surely you can carve out 15 minutes each day to get a little exercise. Recent fitness studies show that a mere 7-15 minutes of vigorous exercise that works multiple muscle groups boosts heart health and speeds up metabolism. Alternate between aerobic and anaerobic for maximum effect. For instance, alternate between push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, jogging in place, triceps dips, mountain climbers, and so on. You can find hundreds of these workouts with a simple Google search. They are called HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training.
3). Eat small meals throughout the day: We all know from Thanksgiving and Christmas that one large meal makes the body lethargic and exhausted. Eating multiple small meals throughout the day will keep your energy up and help you stay more alert.
4). Keep healthy snacks nearby: Find a basket or bag, fill it up with healthy snacks and keep it right beside you. These snacks may include nuts, granola bars, fruit, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, or popcorn. Not only are these types of snacks healthy but they offer protein and fiber which will keep you full longer. If you don’t keep healthy snacks nearby, you may go too long without eating and then gorge yourself once you finally do stop.
5). Chew gum and ice: Driving long hours can get boring for some folks, so they end up finding easy ways to stay awake. Did you know that chewing gum and eating ice increases alertness? If you have a bit of an oral fixation, try not to reach for tobacco. Instead, munch on soft ice or sugar-free gum.
6). Don’t isolate yourself: Loneliness is terrible for the psyche and can result in stress on the body. Humans are social by nature, and we don’t do well when alone for extended periods. When you stop to rest or eat, chat with folks, make a phone call, or befriend other drivers. Do whatever it takes to not feel lonely.
7). Listen to music: Studies have shown that music offers a number of benefits to multiple systems of the body. It can ease pain, boost mood, and increase focus, among other things. When on the road for extended hours, music can also offer company and entertainment.
8). Stay connected with family and friends: Be sure to call home often. With mobile phones, texting, email, and social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in touch with family and friends. While you may feel too busy to stop and call, once you hear the voice of your spouse or child, you’ll be happy your took the time to do it.
9). Get adequate rest: This one is so important. Lack of sleep depletes the immune system, decreases mental functioning, and slows metabolism. Driving long hours while feeling tired is simply grueling, so make sleep a top priority.
10). Have fun: Not everyone has the incredible opportunity to travel the country. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by. Learn about the places you go by reading, eating at local establishments, and getting to know the people who live there. Acquiring new knowledge is another activity that decreases stress and increases joy.
Truck driving can be a very exciting and fulfilling career, but only if you take good care of yourself while doing it. Follow the above tips to ensure your mind and body function optimally while you’re on the road. And if you’re not yet behind the wheel, call Alliance today so we can enroll you in one of our programs.