Five Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle on the Road

by Michele Wade, on Jan 6, 2020 3:47:00 PM

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Working out of a truck can create roadblocks to healthy living. Typically, drivers don’t have set schedules, rely on truck stops for nourishment and sit for long stretches of time. Over time, this can lead to various health problems, including weight gain, back pain and lethargy.

Here are five tips to help drivers maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road:

1. Prepare your own meals.

At the end of a long shift, many drivers opt to buy a snack at a truck stop rather than preparing a healthy homemade dinner. Meal planning can be time consuming, but Commercial Driver Jeannie Lennox recommends buying groceries that allow you to cook on the road with an electric skillet — fresh produce, chicken, beef, salmon, seasonings, quinoa, canned beans and lentils. Swap sugary drinks for water, and keep healthy snacks on-hand like fruit, nuts, trail mix and smoothies to curb hunger in between breaks

2. Get enough sleep. 

Studies have shown that, on average, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to be most productive. Stick to a schedule and avoid caffeine and spicy or greasy foods before bedtime. Ease into sleep by turning off electronics and use a fan or white noise machine to drown out disruptive sounds. 

3. Stretch and exercise. 

Drivers often experience lower back and neck pain that may be alleviated by simple stretching. Strengthen weak muscles supporting the spine with moderate daily exercise, such as a brisk walk, biking and weightlifting. There are even in-cab workouts available. 

4. Manage stress. 

Stress levels can be elevated for driv- ers because of tight deadlines and heavy traffic. Learning to deal with stress can pre- vent related health issues, including heart disease, depression and anxiety. Driver Darrell Hirengen suggests taking deep breaths, keeping a stress journal to identify triggers, reducing caffeine consumption, getting enough sleep and exercising daily. 

5. Wear sunscreen.

The driver side window does not block the sun’s UV rays, so, technically, drivers are in the sun all day long even though they’re in a truck. To help prevent skin cancer, it’s wise to apply SPF 30+ sunscreen and wear long-sleeve shirts, a baseball hat and sunglasses.

This article was originally featured in Edition 1 of 2018 in our official magazine, Redefining The Road

Like this kind of content? As a member of the Women In Trucking Association, stay on top of emerging trends and business issues impacting transportation, logistics, and supply chain operations, learn the importance of gender diversity in the workplace and the need for more women drivers, and see best practices in encouraging the employment of women in the trucking industry. Learn More

Topics:Life on the RoadHealth and Wellness

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