It can be difficult for truck drivers to establish healthy habits while on the road, but good health and wellness is ultimately about making better choices. A basic “maintenance plan” for a healthy lifestyle for truckers should include these ideas:
1. Eating a healthy diet
Everyone knows they should eat healthy, but it’s not easy. Fortunately, truck stop restaurants are starting to offer more healthy options, so go out of your way to choose them. You can also pick out some healthy snacks to bring with you on the road, stay hydrated by drinking more water and set up an accountability system with someone to report on what you’ve been eating.
2. Exercising regularly
Exercise doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Instead of exercising for a solid hour or setting other unrealistic expectations, exercise throughout the day. Spend five minutes stretching before hopping in the driver’s seat, do some pushups during your 30-minute HOS break and squeeze in a quick workout while you’re being loaded/unloaded. Did you know that walking around the truck and trailer 32 times equals one mile?
3. Getting adequate sleep
Changing schedules and strange hours can be tough to get used to, but as you plan your trip, prepare some designated time for sleep. If sleep apnea is or could be an issue, get it checked out — now.
4. Limiting or coping with stress
Truck driving can be stressful, with deadlines looming and time away from home, but there are all kinds of ways to tackle that stress. First of all, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You don’t have to go it alone. Some of the best ways to handle stress are by addressing some of the other items on this list. If you’re getting better sleep and eating healthier, you’ll feel better. Lastly, focus on what you can control, not things you can’t (like other motorists).
5. Not smoking
It’s an easy concept: Stop smoking and be healthier. Of course, for smokers, there’s nothing easy about quitting. Fortunately, there are many different methods out there for conquering the habit. Schneider offers a tobacco cessation program available to drivers enrolled in the company medical plan. If you haven’t quit yet, find a way.
Want some motivation from a truck driver who has successfully made healthy decisions? Read Schneider driver JD Simpson’s three-part series, “On the Road to Being a Healthy Truck Driver.”
What are some strategies you use to get and stay healthy on the road as a trucker driver?