Truck driver holding two thumps up next to his truck

Being a truck driver is certainly not an easy job. It includes being on the road for long hours, being away from your family for extended periods of time, meeting deadlines, busy schedule, and more. These factors can create a challenging environment for truck drivers to maintain a healthy routine. 

It may seem challenging, but it is possible to lead a healthy lifestyle without compromising your job by taking a few useful measures. In this article, we will tell you how you can decrease stress levels and adapt to a healthier lifestyle by implementing small changes and adjustments in your life. No tips or tricks can work as well as healthy habits.

Strive To Eat Clean 

When you stop to pick up some snacks and food for yourself, it can be tempting to buy that candy bar or bag of chips. Instead, focus on healthy snacks, such as protein bars and fresh fruit, as junk foods don’t offer any benefits to your body. The key to a healthy and happy lifestyle is to replace these foods with lean protein and clean carbs. 

Convenience stores and truck stops do not have many nutritional options that a truck driver may require. You can protect your health by preparing your meals before you head out. You can try making simple dishes to store in your vehicle’s refrigerator; this not only improves your health but also saves your money and time. If cooking and meal prep are not your thing, there are also healthy pre-prepped meals that can be delivered to your home that you can take with you on the road. Freshly is one great, affordable healthy option for meals. 

Avoid Stimulants 

Coffee is a popular drink used by people worldwide to stay awake. Despite its popularity, it poses various health risks; caffeine is not a good ingredient for human health, and consuming it more than the suggested amount of two cups per day can result in negative side effects. Focus on avoiding too much caffeine such as in energy drinks, coffee, and sodas and opt for drinking more water daily and teas. Eating well and sleeping well every night (or day, depending on your schedule) can reduce the need for caffeine. Basic regular exercise can also boost your energy levels, so if you are starting to feel drowsy stop the truck and find a safe place to walk some laps around the truck and trailer to get in a little energy boost.

Sleep & Rest 

Truck drivers must get an adequate amount of sleep every night, due to the attentive nature of truck driving tasks. Fatigued truck driver accidents have always been a cause for concern. 1 in 5 deaths that occur in road accidents is due to drowsy truck drivers. For truck drivers, it is vital to sleep at least 7-8 hours every night. The ELD log system allows for 11 hour breaks after the completion of a 14 hour shift, so there is plenty of time scheduled in for adequate sleep. 

Resting can be just as beneficial. It is recommended to take a short break after every 2 hours and stretch your body. You can park the vehicle at a truck stop or rest stop, and do a few simple truck driver exercises to energize your body. Touching your toes, doing the rolling neck exercise, and walking can promote healthy blood circulation. 

Exercise 

Because they spend most of their day sitting at one place and driving the vehicle, many truck drivers do not have an active lifestyle. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how to stay in shape while being a truck driver. It is recommended that a truck driver exercise at least three times every week. A regular exercise routine can help prevent conditions like Coronary Heart Disease Emphysema in long-haul truck drivers. There are various truck driver exercises you can do to protect your health. 

One of the best exercises to burn calories and maintain a healthy lifestyle is to walk. Walking is a low intensity exercise with minimal stress on the joints. Walking can not only help truck drivers maintain a healthy lifestyle but can help with back pain, low energy, and boost mental health. Set a step goal for everyday and use your smartphone to track your steps to make sure you are meeting that goal every day. 

We offer free gym memberships to all of our drivers to encourage healthy lifestyles, so when you are out of the truck at either of our terminals you can head to the gym to get a workout in. For more info on the gym membership you can contact our Safety Director. 

Avoid Driver Burnout

Whether you work in a cubicle in an office or are a truck driver, every person with a job is prone to burnout if they do more work than their body allows. However, not all jobs are prone to catastrophic accidents, but truck driving is. Truck drivers need to get adequate sleep and rest to avoid burnout.  

Since the trucking industry is active 24/7, you likely have an irregular routine. To make sure you can maintain at least seven hours of sleep every night, you may try the following tips: 

  • Avoid using your smartphone during your sleep time. Your smartphone’s blue light emission can affect your ability to fall asleep. 
  • Consider curtains and shades for your truck windows to avoid getting your sleep disrupted by sunlight. 
  • While getting a midnight snack can be tempting, try to avoid eating anything after dinner. Also, make sure to eat at least 3 hours before your scheduled sleeping time to prevent heartburn. 
  • Noise from the traffic can wake you up from a deep sleep. Consider buying effective earbuds to block out as much noise as possible.  

Learn More About Truck Driving Today 

Following a healthy truck driver lifestyle will help you tackle the challenges that come with the job and benefit your physical and mental health. Our collection of trucker tips can help promote good health by lowering your blood pressure, increasing endurance and stamina, promoting healthy weight loss, and improving the quality of your life.  

At Dillon Transportation, we believe in our team and employees’ safety and good health. We take pride in having traditional values that teach us to provide premium service to our clients and value our employees’ health.  We work hard to provide lucrative careers to truck drivers and satisfy our clients’ needs. Whether you are looking for a service or partnership, we commit to exceeding your expectations. Contact us today to learn more about solo and team company driving positions or owner-operator positions.

Image Source: Aleksandar Malivuk / Shutterstock