From traveling long distances frequently to living in a cramped living space and sedentary work, being a truck driver can be a tough and stressful lifestyle. Aside from having commercial insurance for truck drivers, keeping your drivers’ health while on the road is critical to maintaining a successful trucking career, in spite of these challenges.
Indeed, there are tons of challenges for many commercial truck drivers. When taking weeks or even months-long journeys across the country, there are several lifestyle improvements that truckers need to adopt to stay healthy. From quick workouts and stress-relieving tactics, there are many ways to maintain your health and peace of mind while driving.
While it can seem impossible to be a healthy truck driver at first, by making some quick and simple improvements to your day-to-day routine, you will eventually see the benefits begin to pay off. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Here are some quick and straightforward ways of keeping truck drivers healthy on the road:
10 Tips for Healthy Truck Drivers on the Road
1. Eat Healthily
Rest stops can be important places for truck drivers to stretch, shower, and refresh before they get back on the road. However, they can also be harmful to the overall dietary habits of a truck driver.
Instead of loading up on rest stop food and treats, go to the nearest grocery store and select more fresh food items, such as pre-washed bags of leafy greens, sliced fruit, grilled meat, and whole pieces of food that are easy to clean. For meats, a portable grill can be taken on board and cooked for longer periods of time.
Additionally, consider having a small refrigerator plugged in the cab that can hold your food products, including containers of food prepared with healthier choices.
2. Get Physical Checkups
Per the Department of Transportation (DOT), physical inspections are important for all new and experienced truck drivers. As such, to keep roads safe and keep danger risks low, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all truck drivers pass a physical inspection before they can receive their commercial driver’s license.
The inspection must be carried out by a licensed medical examiner enrolled in the FMCSA National Registry of Accredited Medical Examiners, and the certificate is valid for up to 24 months, but it’s still a good rule of thumb to make sure your drivers go through an annual health inspection.
3. Always Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whether you’re a truck driver or not. According to plenty of research, people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have better overall diets that consist of eating more fruit, vegetables, milk, and whole grains.
Eating breakfast not only raises your blood sugar, but it also gives you the ability to start your day more efficiently. It also prolongs the need for lunch and keeps you going all day, which is critical for long-distance truck drivers. Some safe, easy breakfast ideas for truck drivers include oatmeal, fresh fruit, protein bars, or a combination of different breakfast foods.
4. Eat Healthy Snacks
Much like eating healthy meals, it’s also important that you eat healthy snacks in between meals. Driving commercial trucks isn’t a permanent road trip, so be sure to avoid loading your cab with things like junk food such as soda, chips, and candy, or fast food.
Snacking on nutritious snacks during the day will help you minimize the amount of food you consume. Eating healthy foods can also help to lower cholesterol and protect your vision, an important feature for all types of truckers.
Safe snack choices that truckers can carry with them on the road include vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, dried fruit, and mixed nuts. Leafy greens are also a good source of vitamin K that prevents some age-related conditions, and preparing an easy salad (with protein) the day before is a good option.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Not drinking enough water can affect the alertness of the driver on the lane. Drivers should drink at least 64 ounces of water a day to ensure that their bodies work to their maximum capacity. Adequate hydration is important to the body’s temperature regulation and preservation of kidney health and keeping your heart healthy, so try to replace soda with water as much as possible.
5. Cut Back on Caffeine
While coffee can help truckers stay awake and alert, drinking too much caffeine isn’t good for anyone. By following all of the previously mentioned steps, and having enough sleep, the need for a lot of coffee should be minimized. However, if you still need coffee, it is appropriate for drivers to consume a maximum of two cups of coffee a day so that they can stay alert without crashing or getting palpitations.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is the key to staying healthy and safe, particularly if you work as a truck driver for a long time. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, one out of five road accidents is caused by drivers who fall asleep while driving.
Sleep deficiency affects our ability to learn and concentrate, particularly when driving a vehicle. Sleep is not only important to human wellbeing, but it also helps you relax and recharge your body. Truck drivers should sleep in a dark and peaceful location for at least seven hours a day.
7. Stretch Your Body
Much like eating healthy on the road, keeping fit is something that will take a little extra effort. Driving 11 hours straight can take a toll on your body, and having to do it day after day adds up over time.
There are lots of great seated stretches you can do while you’re waiting at a traffic light, but you should definitely sneak in a few whole-body stretches whenever you’re in a rest area. Stretching helps keep your muscles loose and relaxed, and is also a great exercise that trains both body and mind.
8. Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
Consider carrying running shoes while on the road to go on a quick jog in cities where you stop or in safe rest areas where you can have some space to explore.
Are there any nearby trails next to your truck stop or any other location where you might be able to exercise? Even if it’s just a basic park nearby, if there’s something around you that helps you exercise, take full advantage of it.
Walking supports all aspects of our bodies, from head to toe and everything in between. It increases our metabolism and allows us to absorb surplus blood glucose. Find a convenient spot to park your truck and try walking for at least 10 minutes.
9. Take Care of Your Mind
Last but certainly not least, it’s also important to invest in and take care of your mind when you’re on the road. The job of truck driving can be boring, particularly with truck stops after truck stops and highway entrance after highway entrance. Driving commercial trucks can be a very repetitive job.
As such, making sure that you take care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body.
Invest in audiobooks or language tapes that could potentially help you enjoy your time more while performing your job duties while also giving you the opportunity to learn something new at the same time.
Music is always a good choice, and investing in music streaming services gives you the chance to build playlists of your favorite music. Additionally, there’s something for everyone in the podcast world, and there are also helpful podcasts available that cover any topic you want to hear about, including food, sports, politics, history.
Choose SoCal Truck Insurance for Your Commercial Truck Insurance Needs
Are you looking for ways to secure your truck driver business more cost-effectively? At SoCal Truck Insurance, we recognize that every trucking business is unique and would need special insurance to ensure that their business is covered, which is why we provide affordable truck insurance plans for the entire trucking industry.
We understand the day-to-day risks that every big truck driver faces, which is why we are committed to providing our customers with the most competitive and personalized insurance plans on trucks on the market. With more than 25 years of experience, SoCal Truck Insurance is proud to offer affordable truck insurance solutions to every form of trucking company.
If you want to become a successful truck driver, read our article about the 8 characteristics of successful truck drivers today.
If you are looking for inexpensive commercial trucking insurance, look no further than SoCal Truck Insurance. Contact us today for a free commercial truck insurance quote.