Healthy Tips for Truckers
Life on the road can be challenging. Due to the lifestyle, truck drivers statistically have more health problems on average, as well as shorter life spans in comparison to people in other careers. Everything from lack of exercise and cramped workspaces, to lung disease from diesel fumes, are now proven to have a high impact on the lifestyle of a trucker.
Staying healthy and fit is very important for truckers, but you must be unremitting. Healthy snacks for truckers are a must when on the road. It can be a real challenge for professional drivers to eat nutritionally sound foods when away from home, especially snack foods.
The following health tips and advice for truck drivers are practical and easy to implement. Read each tip and think about a way to get as close to the goal as you can. And if you are not a truck driver – read them regardless! See what way is the best for you, set a goal, and stick to it.
Although it sounds like a cliche, the best advice I can give you is – do not give up!
Set some “realistic”, doable goals for your health. You know it’s long process but you have to be persistent. Try one thing at a time, maybe just something as simple as adding an ounce to the amount you drink every day until you reach your goal.
So many health issues come from dehydration. Your body doesn’t give signals to “drink” until it’s already in a state of “dehydration” – that’s when you are thirsty. Try to sip at your water all day long, rather than just drinking when you are thirsty.
How much water to drink daily? Try 1-2 liters a day. Tip: Always keep a bottle with you, to sip away throughout the day.
Eat Fruits & Vegetables
Eat as many as you’re able throughout the course of EVERY day. Not only do they contain lots of great vitamins and minerals for overall health, they help digestion, too.
Fresh Fruit – apples, pears or chopped fruit all travel well. You can buy fruit cups, but be sure to buy them packed without sugar syrup. Fruits already have natural sugar – fructose. You just don’t need that extra sugar. Berries of all sorts are nutritious and provide a good snack on the road. Melons are a good source of quality water. When you are at a truck stop, get a melon, chop it, and share it with fellow drivers, to ease up the hot day.
Dried Fruit – dried fruit is a good option, as it travels well. Limit your intake, as it is a source of concentrated sugar.
Veggies – there’s nothing better for your body than raw veggies! Celery, bell peppers, carrot sticks, zucchini, broccoli, cucumber with a small amount of peanut butter or almond butter, or some other nut butter.
The use of stimulants in our industry was once widespread and commonplace. Time revealed that stimulants took their toll on the health of professional drivers. When we say “stimulants”, we mean coffee and energy drinks first and foremost. If you drink too much coffee, reduce it. You don’t need to stop – just make it one a day. We all need that morning coffee. But energy drinks are bad for your health in large amounts.
Meat is an excellent source of protein, chicken and turkey are lightest for your stomach. And you can find other protein sources such as certain vegetables, legumes and protein drinks.
Eat “Fewer Fatty Foods”
Ease up on the ‘junk’ like potato chips, chocolate bars, fries, burgers etc. They’ll plug up your arteries and cause lots of other problems too. Junk foods are a big reason for poor truck driver health. Find other healthy things you like to snack on.
Tips: Walnuts, almonds, apples, whole grain crackers are decent snacks.
Take a “Shake” daily
This is an excellent thing for truckers who don’t always have good restaurants for fresh fruits and veggies, and it’s super easy to do. You can make so many different shakes.
Get sufficient sleep every night. 8 hours/night, regular bedtime and rising times are a good idea. Proper rest is vital – regenerates the body and helps keep the mind sharp.
Take a high quality “multivitamin” and vitamin C. It’s a good replacement and additive to your daily need of vitamins.
Find ways to really relax and “de-stress” each day. This should be some favorite exercise or reading, run, dance, sing and laugh. Find things that makes you happy! Even when you are on the road use the brakes to stretch out, and when you are driving sing a song listen what drives your jam. Nothing de-stresses as well as blocks of time from work. It allows the driver to get away from the job and be with family and friends. You may think you can’t afford time off. But the truth is, you can’t afford not to.
Tip: Even just 5-10 minutes each day is beneficial to your physical and mental health.
Fitting regular exercise into your daily schedule may seem difficult at first. But even ten minutes at a time is fine. The key is to find the right exercise for you. It should be fun and should match your abilities.
Have healthy tasty snacks handy with when on the road, to avoid food cravings for junk food . Always have a top quality protein powder with you on the road: a great snack when pressed for time or when you need an energy boost!
It’s not always possible to get nutritious snacks when on the road.Take along snacks and shakes from home, for the best results. Just do the best you can.
Pay attention to any special dietary needs you may have. (Eg. sugar restriction, fat or calorie restricted diet). Good nutrition helps you to concentrate and be focused which is so important when behind the wheel. For all this, it takes a little bit of planning but it can be done. Healthy eating for truckers is so important. Don’t become a victim of the “hasty lifestyle”. Take time to care for yourself.