It isn’t a secret. Trucking jobs don’t lend themselves to good health. And it makes sense; if you sit in a chair for most of the day and aren't always home to make your own food, staying healthy is going to be more difficult. You might think that focusing on your health is a luxury, but you can’t afford to ignore your health. No one wants to get sidelined as a trucker. Time off the road means no money coming in. Focus on your health now, before problems arise. It takes forethought, but it isn’t impossible!
Here are five tips to get you started on your healthy trucking journey.
1. Think positive.
I was listening to a speaker recently who explained the power of positive thinking and how it can impact not only you but the people around you. Positive thinking gives you healthy energy. Negative thinking weighs you down, tires you out and makes you crave sweets. Listen to inspiring stories on satellite radio or podcasts. Surround yourself with people who make you happy!
2. Don’t sabotage yourself.
Bottom line? If it’s not in your truck you won’t eat it. Keep things like pre-cut veggies, (you can buy them this way) and hummus (yummy dip that is high in protein), nuts, beef or turkey jerky, hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt (read the label to check for sugar content, some are very high), cottage cheese. tuna pouches, and of course fresh fruits.
3. Get up and move!
Drivers tend to blame their trucking jobs for not being able to exercise. I’ll let you in a little secret; those of us in the office often aren’t exercising either! And it’s not because we work for a trucking company. It’s because we all get lazy and fall into bad patterns. My apologies to the one or two people who do exercise!
With the help of Avera we put together a Summer Exercise Challenge to get our office staff and drivers motivated, it begins on July 11 and will last for four weeks with prizes at the end. As a part of our challenge, we’ve given you some awesome strength training exercises you can do inside your cab with dumb bells, kettle balls and stretch bands, or even cans of fruit, jugs of water, coolant, washer fluid or oil.
Some truckers are motivated by having a dog to walk! Others enjoy exploring the scenery with our folding bikes that we check out to our truckers (for free). Whatever works to get you moving is what you need to be doing.
4. Get the right amount of sleep.
You know that feeling you had as a kid when you stayed up way too late during a sleepover? Well that isn’t the kind of feeling you should have on the road! Make sleep a priority. What works for one driver might not work for another. We all have unique sleep needs; get the right amount of sleep for you.
5. Schedule an annual physical.
Don't just rely on the DOT physical. Did you know that annual physicals are covered 100% under our health plan (just part of why we are awesome) which renews September 1? And now everyone, including owner operators who previously waived our health insurance, is eligible to sign up in August during our open enrollment. Getting appointments scheduled (and keeping them) can be hard as a driver, but it is probably one of the most important maintenance checks you can do. You wouldn’t neglect your truck, don’t neglect yourself either.