Staying healthy and sharp on the road as a truck driver is paramount. Their health is the key to the overall success of the trip. Even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes the importance of the health of truck drivers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are also working hard to help improve awareness so that drivers can improve their overall health.
Truck driving requires many hours of sitting and driving, possessing health issues for many truck drivers. Therefore, their health welfare is paramount to the trucking company and their customers. It is the key to the overall success of your trip. An unfit driver cannot work or get paid. Therefore, overcoming the obstacles to maintaining good health is essential.
In this blog, Global Multi Services will discuss some easy-to-follow tips to help you stay focused when on the road. We suggest picking one method at a time and implementing it into your schedule until you feel you could tackle another one. Be proud of your health accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem, and do not compare your progress with anyone else. You are unique, so set the bar for YOU. That said, here are ways to stay healthy while driving.
Staying hydrated is crucial for regulating body temperature, keeping joints lubricated, preventing infections, and keeping organs functioning properly. Soda will not provide you with any significant health benefits on the road. Water is affordable and can be purchased anywhere. So, ensure you always have enough water on the road.
Many health issues arise from dehydration. The body only gives signals when in a state of dehydration. Ideally, try to sip water every time rather than just drinking when you are thirsty. Also, drink the best quality water you can find. Furthermore, keeping a drinking container in the truck helps you stay hydrated throughout the day.
Exercise is effective and increases human energy levels. Exercising in the morning before starting your day gets the endorphins flowing. It also improves memory, relieves depression, and has positive mental effects. Exercise even if you don’t feel like it. Exercise enables drivers to be alert and productive throughout the day. But many truck drivers fail to make exercise a part of their daily routine. They claim they are too busy and tired to work out. Fortunately, with determination and creativity, you can find ways to exercise while out on the road. Walking or jogging around the truck stop is very helpful. Keeping exercise equipment in the truck like dumbbells, kettlebells, or weights can also help. These allow you to engage in exercise effectively. Additionally, take advantage of opportunities to exercise as many truck stops have fitness centers.
The use of stimulants among truck drivers was once widespread. These include caffeine, energy drink, and many more. These stimulants often give immediate energy and alertness you need but will cause some severe health issues sooner or later when used heavily. These drinks only give your mind and body short-term artificial boosts of energy and alertness. Therefore, it is best to avoid them. Remember, fueling your body with stimulants when you need rest is detrimental to your overall well-being.
A healthy diet is mandatory for truck drivers who intend to be focused while driving. An unhealthy diet is detrimental to brain function. So, get in the habit of selecting healthy foods. Consume whole grains and choose foods low in saturated fat and glycemic. These include fresh fruits, brown rice, quinoa, steel-cut oats, bread made with whole wheat flour, and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables improve overall health because they contain great vitamins and minerals. It also helps in food digestion, weight loss, better sleep, and boosts your immune system. Eating junk food from the nearest fast-food restaurant or truck stop can seem fast and convenient. But they plug up your arteries and put your health in danger.
If your truck has refrigeration units, you can prepare some healthy meals at home to eat on the road. These will help you eat healthier and save money by not purchasing overpriced junk food.
REGULAR EYE CHECK
Improving your mental health is the ability to know when you are struggling with your vision. Static visual acuity is essential to drive safely on the road and avoid accidents. And the ability to see moving objects well is paramount for a truck driver. According to research, your vision is reduced by more than 25% at about 65 miles per hour. So, you must be approximately 12 feet closer to a sign to read it for every extra six miles per hour. These can reduce your reaction time. Therefore, it is crucial to get your eyes examined regularly. Also, recognizing the warning signs will make you seek help faster.
HAVE HEALTHY WEIGHT
Maintaining an ideal weight can be challenging for truck drivers because of their transient lifestyle, but it is achievable. Lack of decent food and stress can all lead to carrying around more pounds than you need. Keeping the correct weight for your body type, height, bone structure, and body composition is vital. Hence, know the proper weight and stick as close to it as possible.
Staying awake and alert on the road requires sufficient sleep, and feeling sleepy while driving is dangerous. Drivers with insufficient sleep can be too tired to do their job correctly and safely. Lack of sleep can also result in irritability and impatience, making drivers less tolerant of other drivers on the road. These can make them unable to concentrate on tasks such as logbook entries, route planning, etc.
According to reports, sleep deprivation is a prominent cause of truck-related accidents. It also compromises the physical health of the driver. Also, driving in inclement weather or heavy traffic requires extra alert to keep yourself and others on the road safe. And getting enough sleep can result in a lack of focus.
Therefore, get sufficient sleep every night with a regular bedtime and rising times. Proper rest regenerates the body and helps keep the mind sharp. Relax and destress before bedtime because stress can cause trouble sleeping. Also, find things you can do to empty your brain and block out the world. Furthermore, get out of the truck for breaks at least a few times to avoid what the old-time truckers called ‘white line fever.
According to research, smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death. Tobacco is the main risk factor leading cause of death in cancer, heart disease, stroke, and lung disease patient. So, it is advisable to quit smoking. Avoid alcohol since it can trigger the urge to smoke. Also, remove cigarettes and ashtrays from your vehicle and home.
Avoiding distractions help truck drivers focus when driving. Unfortunately, many things can take your attention. These include phones, music, outside scenery, and many more. Therefore, it is advisable to silence your phone while driving to avoid being distracted by texts or phone calls. Turning your music off or keeping it at a lower volume also help minimize any disruptions while driving in metropolitan areas.
Being a truck driver does not have to take a tremendous toll on you mentally and physically. Incorporating this health into your daily routine tips will help you improve your mental health. It will also increase your chances of enjoying your time on the road.