Drive healthy, drive happy. Four things truck drivers can do to support their health
How’s your health? It’s an important question we all face, and in some cases the health problems we deal with are directly tied to our profession.
Truck drivers are no different, and it won’t surprise anyone that "Truck drivers face a disproportionately high risk for fatal crash-related injuries,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, many drivers and their families may not also realize that additional research shows truck drivers face increased risk for other diseases. This list includes cancer, heart attacks and other disorders. Experts say the increased risk of these conditions can be linked to several common behaviors of the profession, including drivers’ long-hours, irregular schedule and poor eating habits while on the road.
So, what can truck drivers do to improve their health while they’re working? The best results come not from one drastic change but a series of positive adjustments made day after day, mile after mile. The next time you’re en route with your latest delivery, add a few of these healthy practices to your travel log.
- Stay active. Easier said than done when you sit behind a wheel for a living, right? Yes, your job is very stationery in nature, but you can still find opportunities for physical exercise. You just have to make the most of them. Pack a folding bicycle, hand weights or running shoes in your truck. They store easily and any of them can be used during your mandatory rest periods.
- Get to sleep. A good night’s sleep does more than just keep you alert on the road; it supports your long-term health as well. Invest in a quality mattress and don’t be afraid to include the little things that will help you sleep better. Fans, heaters and noise machines can all be invaluable when you’re trying to get some shut-eye.
- Eat smart. The draw to fast food is obvious, don't you think? It’s fast! But gorge on too many value meals and you’ll see the difference at the weigh station. Order healthy alternatives at these restaurants instead, or better yet, stop at area grocery stores and load up on fruits and vegetables. Most stores have parking sufficient for your truck, and one well-timed stop well get you everything you need for multiple meals.
- Focus on family. Research showing the positive health benefits of family time is easy to find, but spending time with family is never easy when you’re driving a truck. Once again, that just makes it more important to use the time you have properly. Pack a tablet and video chat when you’re done for the day or pick up the phone and make a call when you stop to go to the bathroom. Even the briefest instant of family contact can reinforce your bond and make you healthier for it.
We'd like to hear from you. How do you stay healthy on the road?
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