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How To Stay Healthy As A Truck Driver On The Job

Staying healthy as a truck driver is extremely important to be comfortable on the road. We’ve listed some tips below so you can do that.

By

Jacob Lee
July 20, 2022
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Knowing how to stay healthy as a truck driver is essential. Many people, including drivers, underestimate how tough life is on the road. Factors like prolonged sitting and stress caused by racing to meet delivery times can drastically affect a truck driver's health if they don’t take proper care of themselves.

Tips for how to stay healthy as a truck driver, both physically and mentally, include: 

  • Eat healthy snacks and meals
  • Use sunscreen
  • Get exercise when you can
  • Take time to stretch
  • Use relaxation techniques
  • Make time for family and friends

Along with these methods and a few others, we’ll show you how to stay healthy as a truck driver on the job. 

Eat Healthy Snacks and Meals

A truck driver eating a snack in the cab of their truck

Watching your diet is an essential practice to stay healthy as a trucker. All truck drivers have to operate under strict time constraints. To get your freight delivered on time, you might opt for fast food or snacks from a convenience store rather than eating a meal with healthy foods. Unfortunately, these types of foods are not healthy.  

Preparing your snacks before you even get out on the road is the best way to ensure that the food you eat is healthy. There are numerous healthy snacks that you can pack, such as cheese and crackers or apple slices and peanut butter. When it’s time for a meal, you’ll also need to make sure that you got something healthily prepared. 

Your truck isn’t a kitchen, so it’s a good idea to learn healthy, make-ahead meal recipes. That way when it comes time to chow down, the only thing you need to do is warm up your food. Fortunately for you, we have some great make-ahead meal recipes that are great for any truck driver.  

Use Sunscreen

Another way to keep yourself in good health, especially during the summer months, is to ensure that you’re protected with sunscreen. Even though you’re not at the beach soaking up the sun, the sun can still burn you. Something as simple as sunlight coming through your windshield and beating on your arms can have an effect. 

Sunburn is uncomfortable, whether it’s your arms, face or the back of your neck. Make sure that you have sunscreen on the parts of your body the sun will constantly be shining on. We have an article on 10 summer driving safety tips that can help you during the hotter months of the year. 

Get Exercise When You Can

A truck driver stretching against a wall

We know that as a truck driver, you’re probably not going to have time for the gym while you’re out on the job. Nonetheless, a big part of being a truck driver is waiting. This will give you plenty of opportunities to get some physical activity in. Some simple exercises that you can do without any equipment include:

  • Push-ups
  • Squats
  • Situps
  • Planks
  • Jumping jacks

If you wanted to take it a step further, you could always keep some small weights in your truck. You don’t have to overdo it by working out while you’re on the road, but doing a little bit will give you some much-needed activity. For more in-depth information about working out, check out our article on the best exercises for truck drivers.

Take Time To Stretch

Stretching is just as crucial as getting exercise when you’re a truck driver. Being a truck driver will require you to stay in your driver's seat for hours. Not moving for this long will make your joints stiff and negatively affect your circulation. 

Stretching will help improve that and the best part is you’ll be able to stretch much more frequently than work out. You can stretch while waiting to be unloaded/loaded, getting gas or before leaving a rest stop.

Use Relaxation Techniques

A sign next to a highway that says "rest area"

Truck driving is a job that will fill you with plenty of stress. Sitting in traffic, waiting to be loaded/unloaded, dealing with inconsiderate drivers at truck stops and everything in between will cause you to feel some stress at some point or another. 

When this happens, you should try to calm yourself down before the stress gets to you. There are all kinds of relaxation techniques that you can use to achieve this. Some of the things that you can try are

  • Counting back from 10
  • Using breathing exercises
  • Directing your focus to something unrelated to your stress
  • Tell yourself something positive with self-talk

Using techniques like these will help keep you calm and give you clarity when you face stressful situations while on the road. Not only that, but you can also use these techniques to calm yourself down when you settle in for bed at the end of a long day. 

Being stressed can bring out road rage in even the most seasoned drivers. For more ways to stay calm, check out our article on how to handle road rage. 

Make Time For Family and Friends

An unspoken part of truck driver health is the mental side. Truck driving in and of itself is a fairly lonely profession. The long distances your journeys will take is going to put a strain on your relations with the people you care about.

When you finally get some much-needed time off, use it to spend time with your family and friends. You won’t be able to see important people like these while you’re on the road. Whether you meet up with them to watch a game or go out for lunch, spending some quality time with family and friends is essential. 

Stick With Water

Staying hydrated is extremely important for anyone, especially if you're a truck driver that loads and unloads their freight. The sun can be fierce during the summer months. Any strenuous physical activity can take its toll on you. Making sure you're consuming enough water throughout the day is a certain way to prevent yourself from becoming overheated. 

To ensure you always have a supply of cold water, make sure that you have a 12-volt cooler on board.  

Stay Focused

Part of a truck driver’s training is to stay focused while they’re behind the wheel. It’s essential to always maintain this practice once you start driving. Staying focused means you shouldn’t be on your phone, excessively messing with your radio, or eating while you drive. 

Semis are massive vehicles that haul freight weighing up to a few thousand pounds. This means that once a semi gets up to speed, they have a lot of momentum, which makes slowing down quickly difficult to do. If an accident occurs, you and the other drivers involved could incur some severe injuries. 

Staying focused on the road will ensure that you and others get to your destinations safe and sound. 

Drink Coffee and Energy Drinks In Moderation

Coffee and energy drinks are appealing to many people, including truck drivers. To keep that focus we discussed above, many truck drivers use coffee and energy drinks to stay alert in the morning and throughout the rest of the day. 

However, anything in excess can be wrong for you. If you’re going to drink coffee and can stomach the taste, then drinking it black is the healthiest way to consume it. Coffee served black and in moderation can even have health benefits. That said, drinking it throughout the day or having multiple cups in the morning will cancel these benefits and instead cause health problems. 

Energy drinks are unhealthy regardless of how much of them you drink. Most of them contain more sugar and caffeine than one person needs in an entire day. If you do decide to consume an energy drink, try to keep your consumption of them limited to once or twice a week. 

If you need a drink that can give you some added focus and keep you energized, then check out our article on the best energy drinks for truck drivers. 

Stay Positive

A truck driver giving a thumbs up in the cab of his truck

A positive attitude goes a long way when you're a truck driver. As we’ve already mentioned, truckers face all kinds of stress on the road. The trucking industry is a tough place and there will be plenty of days when you won’t want to get up and work.

When that happens, it’s important to remember that it’s all worth it in the end. You perform an essential service that the country needs. Not only that, but your truck driving job likely compensates you handsomely with good pay and benefits. It’s critical to remember silver linings like these when you’re having a rough day. 

ABCO Gives You the Tools and Know How To Stay Healthy As A Truck Driver

At ABCO, we recognize the health issues that truck drivers face. To help them deal with the health challenges they face, we compensate our truck drivers for the hard work they perform. One way we do this is by giving our drivers flexible schedules that will allow them the quality time they need with their friends and family. 

We also offer excellent health benefits to our drivers along with a minimum $67,000 a year salary or more depending on the experience you have driving. If you want to work for a company that cares about its drivers, apply with ABCO today. 

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