Becoming a truck driver is quite an interesting career path that offers a chance to visit different places, promises job flexibility, and provides a pretty decent salary. That being said, however, a job of a truck driver is not an easy one. Long hours spent on the road and weeks – sometimes even months – spent away from home can really take their toll not only on the driver’s mental well-being but physical as well.
That’s why it’s extremely important that truck drivers – especially over-the-road truckers – develop and adopt healthy habits while on the road. Aside from the general safety concerns, truck drivers also need to learn how to take care of their health properly while on the job.
This can sometimes prove to be quite challenging, either due to the lack of resources, education, or all of those things combined. So, with that in mind, here are the most important healthy habits every truck driver should keep in mind.
Never skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s why you need to make sure you never skip it before you hit the road. A healthy breakfast will help your body get enough energy and properly prepare for the day ahead. Milk, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are some of the best breakfast options, as they will provide you with enough energy to start your day while also keeping you full until lunch time.
Nowadays, there are plenty of options of healthy breakfasts easily available, no matter if you’re a truck driver or not. For instance, you can easily stock up on overnight oats and similar breakfast options even before you hit the road so that you can ensure you always have a healthy meal handy.
Have healthy snacks handy
Aside from breakfast, you also want to ensure that you have plenty of snacks. Adding healthy snacks to your regular diet will help you cut down on your meal portions in general. On top of that, some healthy snack options have amazing heath properties which can only work in your favor. Some of the options you should consider include:
- mixed nuts – various nuts have been proven to have positive effects on your brain and cardiovascular system; of course, avoid them if you have nut allergies
- dried fruit – dried fruit is an excellent source of natural sugars which will provide you with enough energy; they also have amazing antioxidant properties
- hummus and veggies – both hummus and veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals, which are important for proper body functions
Proper hydration is another important healthy habit every truck driver needs to adopt. The lack of proper hydration may lead to serious health concerns, such as dehydration. This can, in turn, lead to blurred vision and a lack of alertness on the road, which is certainly an issue. All truck drivers, and especially those looking for CDL driver jobs need to make sure they stay properly hydrated so that they can maintain the necessary focus while on the road.
Avoid excessive coffee consumption
While on the topic of proper hydration, truck drivers also need to make sure that they don’t consume too much coffee during the day. More often than not, people overly indulge in this delicious beverage which may actually have negative effects on their health. Since coffee has diuretic properties, it can contribute to dehydration if consumed in large quantities. On top of that, caffeine may trigger anxiety, which is certainly something truck drivers should avoid. Also, coffee can help you stay awake, which means it can easily mess up your sleep schedule if consumed later in the day.
That’s why truck drivers need to limit their coffee intake to no more than 2 cups of coffee a day. Ideally, the second cup should not be consumed later than maximum of 4 hours before sleep.
Make sure you’re well-rested
It’s no news that sleep is extremely important, especially if you’re a truck driver. Ideally, truck drivers should sleep at least 7 hours a day. In order to get the right amount of rest, make sure you develop a healthy routine before you hit the sack.
Lower the lighting as much as possible and ensure that you either make the space quiet or invest in a portable white-noise machine that will help you neutralize any unwelcome sounds. If possible, take a relaxing shower and spend some time unwinding before you actually go to bed. Warm beverages, such as tea or milk can also help you relax and prepare to catch some much-needed zzz’s.
Take regular breaks
Since truck drivers spend hours on end sitting behind the wheel, they can easily experience restlessness. That’s why it is a good idea to make regular stops whenever possible. Ideally, you should make a pit stop every two hours. This can be an excellent opportunity to have a snack and stretch out a bit.
Brief regular stops won’t significantly affect your hours yet they can re-energize you and have a positive effect on the rest of your drive.
Squeeze in an exercise
Moreover, every truck driver should look for a way that will enable them to squeeze in an exercise whenever possible. This is particularly important for truckers handling international transportation of goods as they generally spend more time on the road.
Even tough managing to get a full-blown workout is not only difficult but can sometimes prove to be downright impossible, you should still try to get at least some workout. Get yourself a pair of weights and some quality running shoes. These are easy to store and don’t take up too much space, yet having them handy can really be useful.
Check in with your family regularly
Finally, a job of a truck driver, although fun, can feel quite lonesome from time to time. Spending longer periods of time away from home and family can have a negative effect on your mental well-being. Luckily, the negative effects of feeling lonely or homesick can easily be remedied with the help of modern technology.
Nowadays, you can easily call back home or even face time with your family whenever you feel like it. On top of that, you can even decide to adopt an animal and train it to become your driving partner, if your company allows it.
These were just some of the extremely important healthy habits every truck driver needs to keep in mind whenever they go on the road. By adopting them, you can easily improve both your physical and mental well-being which is extremely important for any truck driver that wants to stay safe and be successful in their career.
Author bio: Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.