Much like the truck itself, getting from point A to point B can be rough if your health is in poor condition. This can be especially true if you are an over-the-road (OTR) driver that tackles the road for sometimes eleven hours straight. Before you make the trip, here are some things you need to know to help maintain a healthy lifestyle as a professional truck driver.
It is no secret that truck drivers, especially OTR’s, work long hours. So much so that they sometimes need a little boost to get them through their shift. While stimulants like coffee and energy drinks can certainly help with the slump, it can also create health issues, such as high blood pressure and decrease hydration. It is important to take the stimulants in moderation to avoid over-stimulating, which has been known to cause crashes, or you can trade out the drinks for other alternatives such as drinking tea or chewing gum to help keep you alert.
Make sure to take advantage of your rest stops by using the time to walk around and be active. Some truck drivers even suggest to squeeze in fifteen minutes of exercising to remain fit and healthy. Just that short amount of time of moving around can make a major impact on your health, especially after sitting behind the wheel for a long period of time.
Although delivering products on time is crucial, getting enough sleep is even more important. Driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of commercial vehicle wrecks, which is why getting a full eight hours of sleep is essential, especially on long trips. If you have trouble falling asleep, some drivers suggest to bring a portable fan or white noise machine to help yourself relax. Also, making sure you have a comfortable mattress can make a positive difference as well. Obtaining the proper amount of sleep will ensure you have enough energy to take on the rest of your drive with ease.
It can be tempting to fall out of healthy eating habits when on the road, but it is important to maintain a clean diet. Foods, especially fatty foods, have been known to lead to health risks such as increasing chances of obesity and heart related problems. To avoid such issues, some drivers suggest prepping healthy meals before a shift. Be sure to include healthy snacks such as trail mix or fruit in between meals. Also, do not forget to have plenty of water on you at all times. Keeping your body hydrated on the road is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
As a driver, taking care of your body is important, but it is also imperative that you do not forget to keep your mental health in good condition as well. The stress of delivering items on time along with other factors can really impact a driver’s mental health, which is why it is good to take advantage of your rest stops by doing things that you enjoy. Read a good book, catch up on a TV show, listen to music, do a crossword puzzle, anything to de-stress and unwind.
Remember that a truck cannot make any deliveries without the proper driver, so be sure to maintain your own engine! Get even more information on how to be a successful truck driver by signing up for United Truck Driving School’s classes today.