Many truckers confess that they struggle to stay healthy on the road. With long periods of sitting while driving and the tempting fast-food and comfort food of truck stops along the route, it is hard to maintain an active and healthy regiment. Exercising regularly also poses an issue, as there is limited space in the cab of trucks for movement.
Though the challenges are mounting, the positive impact regular exercise and a healthy diet can have on an individual is well worth it. The most recognized health benefits include more energy, stronger immune systems, a healthier weight, lower blood pressure, etc. However, there are also many mental advantages to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Since trucking can be a stressful industry to work in, exercise can be a very effective way of reducing stress and minimizing the negative effects of stress, such as high blood pressure.
A few trucking companies have created wellness programs to encourage healthy living on the road, but many drivers are lacking any support in this department. We encourage all companies and employees to invest in wellness initiatives that support your truckers!
Here are some tips to get you started!
- Plan your meals – It's easier to choose a healthy option when you have already packed some of your favorite healthy foods. Think of different food groups to include fruits, grains, proteins and vegetables. (This is also a great way to save money on the road!)
- Remember your water – The more water you drink the more full you will feel! This helps you cut down on snacking out of boredom, and keeps you hydrated!
- Stretch your legs every time you stop – Take a nice walk around the parking lot. If it is nice, take a few minutes to enjoy the weather and stretch those legs out! If it is cold or rainy, take a few laps around the inside of the truck stop or restaurant, or do a few squats in the bathroom! (We love the squat trick at our office!)
- Pack plenty of healthy snack options – If you buy snacks that are sized per serving, you will be less likely to overeat! (Or better yet, save some money buy buying in bulk and using your own plastic bags to portion out snacks.) Healthy options include nuts, dried fruit, fiber bars, whole grain pretzels, or lightly salted pre-popped popcorn.
- Use a pedometer to track your steps – Set a reasonable goal for yourself! This will encourage you to take that extra lap around the parking lot before getting back on the road.