From our partners at A-1 Auto Transport
Life behind the wheel of a big rig can be a great way to earn a nice living, take care of your family, and see the country. Unfortunately, the health risks of life on the road can sometimes be downright scary.
Truck driving can take a toll, from a poor diet to a lack of exercise due to long hours driving. A few changes in your habits can make all the difference. Below are some tips to help you lead a healthier lifestyle on the road.
1. Eat healthy snacks
How often have you grabbed a bag of chips or a beef stick at a truck stop? Those are quick and easy, but they sure aren’t the healthiest. Here are some of the best snacks that you can pack in a bag or a cooler:
- Carrot sticks
- Apple slices
- Cottage Cheese
- Protein bars
- Sunflower seeds
- Trail mix
- Boiled eggs
- Peanut Butter
2. Keep hydrated
It’s easy to grab a soda pop, a cup of coffee, or an energy drink when you stop to refuel, but consider packing a small cooler filled with ice and bottled water in the cab. Caffeine can dehydrate, and while it can help boost your energy for a little while, sodas and sweetened coffee will wear off, and you can feel sleepy before you're ready to take a break.
A good rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds and drink half that many ounces of water daily. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, drink at least 100 ounces of water daily.
3. Get rest
Driving a long distance is tiring no matter your age or health. Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day.
4. Stay social
Maintain a social life while you’re on the road. That doesn’t mean you need to hit the town at every stop, but it’s a good idea to use video chat services to stay in contact with friends and family while you’re away. Also, participate in social gatherings during those times you’re not on the road. Social activities help keep our minds focused and they are a great way to alleviate stress.
5. Watch your weight
You may be traveling hundreds of miles, but your body is sedentary during your drive time. Get out and walk around when you stop to refuel, when you pick up loads, and when you make deliveries. Speak to your regular physician and get the clearance to start working out. Consider joining a gym that has nationwide facilities, so you can get in a good workout when you’re on the road.
If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership — or if you think you won’t have time to go to a gym — you can always work out on your own. Use the bumper of your truck to do pushups. Grab a jug of water and start lifting. Jog at the rest stops.
6. Manage your food portions
Make sure you’re eating the right foods to maintain a healthy weight and/or drop some of those unwanted pounds. Proper portions are one of the most important things to consider when planning meals, even when planning a meal means deciding between a buffet or a fast food joint. Train your body and mind to eat the right amounts of food and to steer clear of overeating. It’s a good idea to eat a small snack or small meal every few hours, which will also keep you from overeating late in the day.
7. Track your progress with an app
A great app to consider is MyFitnessPal because you can enter your weight, food and exercise daily to see how you’re doing. This app and others like it will also help you network with other people who can help motivate you.
Many trucking and transport companies today work with their drivers to help ensure they live healthy lifestyles. A-1 Auto Transport encourages their drivers to make time for the gym a few times each week or spend at least half an hour daily working out or taking a walk. This helps keep your heart healthy and combats the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies driving long distance.