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Health Tips for Truck Drivers on the Road

There is no reason you can’t drive a truck for a living and remain healthy. Healthy eating, exercise and proper sleep helps.

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ABCO Transportation
September 9, 2020
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Finding reliable health tips for truck drivers can be challenging at the best of times. But if you are a truck driver, or you are thinking of becoming one, you will need to make sure that you are aware of how to properly look after yourself. Your health is important not just for yourself, for the safety of all other road users. When you are properly taking care of your own health, you drive more safely and you are less likely to engage in risky behavior. This article should be your starting point when you are wondering how best to take care of your own health while being a truck driver.

Although there are some negative stereotypes around truck drivers being unhealthy, this doesn’t have to be the case. There is no reason you can’t drive a truck for a living and remain healthy, as long as you put a conscious effort into doing so. Health tips for truck drivers include eating, exercise, proper sleep and utilizing breaks. These are ways to stay healthy and follow federal motor carrier safety guidelines. 

Here are some of the best health tips for truck drivers you will find anywhere; follow these to make sure that you are taking proper care of your health at all times.

How to Stay Healthy As A Truck Driver

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There are many important considerations to bear in mind when you are trying to stay healthy as a truck driver. In order to do so, you first need to grasp why it might be that this job role can cause you health problems if you are not careful. If you don’t pay too much attention to what you are doing, you might find that driving a truck can impact your health in various ways. These include the following problems and issues which can commonly arise:

Heart Problems

If you are not careful, sitting down all day can mean that you end up living a very inactive life. That can be bad for you in many ways but one of the main ways it can affect you is by causing you heart problems. Your heart is obviously your most vital organ, so you need to make sure that you follow the health tips for truck drivers in this article to avoid any damage to your heart in the future.

Obesity

Another common issue that many truck drivers could face is obesity. If you don’t do anything to counteract the fact that you are not exercising much, then you could end up being overweight. As well as causing heart problems, as we have seen above, this could lead to a whole range of other health issues too, such as high cholesterol, liver and kidney problems and other issues.

Stress

There is no doubt that driving a truck can be a stressful experience. If you can’t find a way to manage that stress, the higher level of cortisol that you will experience could mean that you have more health problems. In particular, you could end up aging your body faster than usual and this can lead to a variety of further issues which you would rather avoid.

There are many other issues such as these that you might run into, so it is vital that you stay healthy as a truck driver and create healthy habits. The most important thing is that you find a way to remain as active as possible. That means that you need to make the most of your off-time, as well as allowing yourself the breaks that you should be having. You should also think about eating a healthy diet and learn how to keep yourself from getting stressed. The rest of this article will look at these in a little more detail.

Truck Driver Health 101

So, what does a truck driver need to specifically think about in order to be healthy and stay fit? As we have already said, you will need to focus specifically on a few key things if you want to make sure you are looking after yourself well. These are:

  • Healthy eating.
  • Exercise.
  • Breaks.
  • Sleep.
  • Social life.

Let’s look at each of these in turn and see why they might be quite so important to a truck driver trying to stay healthy.

Healthy Eating

Everybody needs to eat healthily, even when truck driving is a part of your life. What you put into your body really is just about the most important consideration in trying to remain as healthy as possible. This is just as true for truck drivers as for anyone else. The trouble that a lot of truck drivers face is that they end up falling into bad habits when they are working, such as buying lunch from service stations. You need to plan ahead and provide yourself with nutritious, balanced meals every day to ensure that you are keeping yourself well and healthy.

Exercise

Although it is hard to get enough exercise during a shift, if you make the most of your time outside of work you can ensure that you are making this happen. As long as you carve out at least 40 minutes of exercise every other day, that should be sufficient to keep your health in check at least to an essential degree. And remember to try and exercise a little when you take your regular breaks, even if that just means stretching your legs or going for a short walk around the block.

Breaks

Speaking of which, you do need to make sure that you are taking every single one of your allotted breaks when you are driving a truck. A lot of truck drivers are very work-oriented and have great work ethic, which is wonderful but you need to ensure that you are respecting yourself too by taking every break you are entitled to. This is also a matter of the law: Not taking breaks means that you are in a worse state to drive and therefore more at risk of harming yourself and others.

Sleep

There are many good reasons to focus on getting enough sleep. First of all, if you are not well rested before a shift, then you are going to be putting everyone in danger. You should never drive a truck if you are drowsy or otherwise less than fully aware of what is going on. That means getting good sleep every night, especially before a shift. But in general, sleep is also just hugely important for keeping your health intact, as it helps to regulate all the bodily processes that you need to be there.

Social Life

Looking after your health also means looking after your mind and one of the most important things that you need to think about there is that you are socializing regularly. If you find yourself getting a little lonely on the road, it could mean that you are not spending enough time with family and friends in your off-time. You could also think about calling them on your breaks, if you like, to help stay alert and aware of what’s going on at home.

Most Popular Truck Driver Health Problems to Avoid

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As we have seen briefly already, there are some common health problems that truck drivers tend to have and any article focusing on health tips for truck drivers will need to pay close attention to these in particular. Let’s now look at these in a little more detail, so that you can fully appreciate the importance of taking care of your health while being a truck driver.

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • High blood pressure
  • Back and neck injuries - as a result of cramped conditions
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals and dangerous materials
  • Lung problems
  • Smoking-related problems
  • Fatigue - which can limit the body’s capacity to function well
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Sleep apnea

Many of these are caused by the conditions of the job and as a result you need to make sure that you are dealing with them as well as possible. The truth is that all of these can be greatly reduced or avoided altogether by taking care of your health in the normal ways that we are setting out in this article. By following the health tips for truck drivers here, you can avoid that long list of nasty health issues.

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Truck Driver Health And Wellness Tips

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So now we know about the problems that truck drivers can face with their health. These are the main things that you should focus on if you want to be healthier while driving a truck for a living. But what are some specific, actionable truck driver health and wellness tips that you can look into to ensure that you are actually putting all of that understanding into place? Let’s take a look at some of them now.

  • Stay hydrated. Water helps to avoid many health issues and is a vital part of taking care of yourself.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients and minerals you need.
  • Try to avoid overusing stimulants.
  • Eat light overall, to counteract the fact that you can’t move around much during the day.
  • Avoid junk food choices wherever possible. It doesn’t actually provide you with the sustenance you need, and is therefore best avoided altogether.
  • Drink something green everyday. You can make a veggie smoothie to take to work with you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Set yourself small health goals every week or so and prioritize them.

If you can follow these simple tips, you should find that you are already well on your way to being much healthier as a truck driver.

Truck Driver Diet Tips

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We have already mentioned how important it is to eat well as a truck driver and you know that this means a good balanced diet. But let’s look into this question a little more closely. What exactly should you be eating and what should you avoid eating, if you want to make sure that you have the best diet possible as a truck driver?

In essence, this is no different to anyone else’s diet, except that it might be extra important for you as a truck driver. It is certainly one of the most important health tips for truck drivers to eat healthily, so it’s a good idea to pay attention to the following in particular:

  • Center your diet around fruit and vegetables, with limited meat and dairy.
  • Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
  • Eat smaller meals and a few healthy snacks throughout the day.
  • Count your calories to ensure you are not overeating.
  • Keep track of what you eat with a health and fitness app.

These simple diet tips should help you to remain healthy as a truck driver.

Healthy Snacks For Truck Drivers

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We mentioned above that it is a good idea to have some healthy snacks which you can reach for when you are driving and on your breaks. A lot of truck drivers find themselves just going for whatever is available and generally that means relying on food which does little for you and which might be high in fat and sodium. Instead of that, consider the following options if you are trying to find a healthy snack:

  • Protein bars. These provide you with some much-needed energy and some caloric intake without providing fat too much.
  • Fruit. Always a great idea, as it boosts you and fills you up but is perfectly natural and good for you.
  • Shakes and green smoothies. As mentioned above, if you make a green smoothie and take it into work every day, you will be doing wonderful things for your health in general. Try a spinach and kale smoothie for starters.
  • Health chips, such as those made from quinoa or lentils, can be a good alternative to potato chips, which are full of saturated fats and salt.
  • Nuts and seeds give you healthy fats and calories, but are natural whole foods which are going to provide you with plenty of good stuff.

Any of these snacks are a good idea if you are trying to eat healthy, so make sure that you start packing these when you go to work and keep some on your truck too.

Best Food To Pack For Truck Drivers

best-food-to-pack-for-truck-drivers

So you will want to make sure that you pack those snacks so that you always have something healthy to reach for when you are hungry at work. But you should also ensure that you pack your main meals as well. If you fail to do this and you end up just reaching for whatever you find on the shelf at service stations and fast food joints, you are going to be putting your body at risk. Make sure you are providing your own lunch every day. In doing so, you can include many foods, including:

  • Fresh vegetables. Just having a stack of fresh carrots, celery, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers and whatever other fresh veg you personally enjoy can really help to keep you healthy. You will find yourself snacking on these, and enjoying them more than you might assume.
  • Fresh fruit is always a good idea too. Having an apple there to nibble on, or a banana, or whatever else you personally like, can be a great idea.
  • Nuts and seeds are also good, as we saw above.
  • Boiled eggs are a tasty and nutritious snack, which you can just keep with you throughout the day, and they are a quick and easy food to prepare before a shift.
  • Greek yogurt can be used with berries and other fruits to provide a healthy breakfast, or a snack at really any time of the day.
  • Finally, even the occasional muffin or cake can suffice, as long as you don’t overdo it.

If you pack all of this, you are going to find that you have plenty to snack on and eat throughout the day, helping you to avoid the less nutritious food that is often so tempting.

Health Tips For Truck Drivers

So the main things to bear in mind is that you need to eat well, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. If you do these three things, you should be able to be a truck driver and still have health be an important part of your life and remain healthy the whole time. Even when visiting truck stops. These health tips for truck drivers could even save your life, so make sure that you are considering them carefully and taking them on the road.

Connect with a Trucking Company That Cares

Do you feel ready to tackle healthy tips for truck drivers on the road? Why stop at good health? 

Take it a step further and maintain a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind while working for a trucking company like ABCO Transportation that offers you good pay, great benefits and free stays at resorts to give you mental, stress-free and physical health. We have the truck driver interview questions to prepare you!

If you are considering getting a job as a truck driver, fill out our trucking job application today. We have OTR, Regional and limited local job opportunities. Connect with us today at 866-980-2710 and be healthy on the road with a new company! We have truck driving jobs in Hartford and around the country.

You could end up in a much happier job than your current one in no time, driving trucks and delivering cargo, all while remaining perfectly healthy and well and safe. Consider it today if you want a change in your life!

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