Driving a semi-truck means you’ll be spending a long time on the road. Unlike a traditional 9-to-5, working in a semi means your schedule can vary wildly. This makes staying healthy and keeping your body and mind in top shape a challenge. Experienced truck drivers know the importance of taking care of yourself just like you’d take care of your equipment. We’ll cover all you need to know to stay healthy when driving a semi.
Dedicate to Making A Change
Staying healthy means that you’ll often have to go against the grain of what seems automatic. Instead of buying a burger at the next truck stop, you’ll have to look for healthy alternatives instead. Rather than reading a book or watching a show, you’ll take the time to do simple bodyweight exercises.
Choosing to be healthy is no easy task, and putting the work in may take some serious self-talk after a long day on the road. However, the benefits of doing the work far outweigh the benefits of eating another burger or watching another episode. Every small change you make for your long-term health means you can better enjoy your time, both on and off the road.
Find Healthy To-Go Foods
Thankfully, as more and more people switch to life on the road, companies are beginning to adapt and offer a wide variety of foods. Many trucks stops now offer fresh and healthy foods, which has a huge impact on staying healthy when driving. These may be less convenient than buying a sandwich or grabbing fast food, but your long-term health will thank you for spending the extra time. Common “grab and go” healthy snacks and food you can find at truck stops include:
- Pre-cut fruits and vegetables
- Prepackaged salads and protein bowls
- Snack packs with meat, cheese, and nuts
Gradual change will ensure that you stick to it – don’t go from eating fast food twice a day to trying to exist on a small salad and some fruit. Switch your drinks from calorie-laden sodas to flavored water. Replace your morning breakfast sandwich with boiled eggs and cheese sticks. Do whatever you can to make small, balanced changes and you’ll soon see (and feel) the results.
Make Time for Exercise
Many people picture exercise as something done exclusively at a gym. While this is great if you find a truck stop along your route with a gym, having a routine of body-weight or small equipment exercises can make a huge difference. Even just fifteen minutes a day can help counteract the wear and tear that driving for a living does to your body. Make the most of your small space with small dumbbells, resistance bands, and even folding bikes! You can take advantage of the beauty of the road, too. Many stops along the way may be near parks, trails, or lakes that you can walk or bike around to get your heart rate up. On or off the truck, it just takes some adaptability to exercise and stay healthy when driving.
With the pressure to meet deadlines a constant in our lives, it can be difficult to find a sleep schedule that works for you. Above all else, make sure you make getting enough sleep a priority. Our bodies do not function properly without the right amount of sleep. Sleep is when your brain does maintenance, filing away all the day’s events and making mental connections that will make the next day easier. Do whatever you can to make your sleeping space comfortable, quiet, safe, and dark.
Prioritizing your health on the road is one of the most important things you can change in your lifestyle. Driving for a living does a number on your body. Fueling yourself with healthy foods, moving your body to energize yourself, and getting as much restful sleep as possible is essential. Taking good care of your body will eventually become as natural as taking good care of your truck.
If it is time to get your physical, we can also chat about changes that you can make to stay healthy when driving a semi.