When you hear “trucker” what image pops into your head? Well, you may be surprised to know that impression is changing! Check out today’s guest blogger, Felicia Baratz, who says truck drivers have a lot to teach us about health!
Truck driving is one of the toughest and most dangerous jobs on the market. But even with long hours, little sleep, low pay and few amenities, the men and women who drive trucks for a living are finding ways to get healthier. Some are taking initiative on their own to live healthier lifestyles. Some trucking companies are offering weight loss incentive programs, on-call doctors all around the U.S., healthier food alternatives and wellness programs.
If truck drivers can get healthy, can’t anyone do it? Want to get healthier but you’re not sure where to start? These 5 simple ways truck drivers are getting healthier, and they can help you get healthier, too.
Take breaks during your day. Sitting down all day long is incredibly dangerous for your health. Truck drivers have to stop every now and then to break up the day. If you work a desk job and you’re sedentary most of the day, taking breaks is just as important for you as it is for truck drivers. Make sure you take a break and get away from your desk every few hours. If your building has stairs, walk up the stairs for your bathroom break. If there’s a walking path near your office, take 15-30 minute walks. Anything you can do to get out of your chair is good for your health.
Establish a daily schedule and routine. Truckers typically wake up, drive, take breaks and sleep at the same times every day. Establishing a regular schedule and daily routine can help regulate your body’s sleep schedule and put your mind at ease. Be sure to include scheduled meals and exercise in your routine as well, and it will eventually become habit.
Sleep at least 8 hours a night and drink less caffeine. Many trucking companies use fleet tracking technology to know where their trucks, or fleets, are at any given time during a job. They also use an Electronic On Board Recorder (EOBR) to track how many hours of driving their drivers log each day. Why? Because taking time to get plenty of sleep is important. Though your job probably doesn’t require you to track hours or know where you are at all times, it’s still important that you know when to stop, relax and get a good night’s sleep. If you take work home every night or you’re a night owl, you can learn to establish better sleep patterns. Try going to sleep 30 minutes earlier each night and waking up 30 minutes earlier each morning. Do that for a week or two until it feels more natural. It takes time, but once you’re on a better sleep schedule, you’ll experience a more restful sleep every night and you’ll need less and less coffee every morning.
Make time for exercise. If truckers can manage to squeeze in a short workout a few times a week, anyone can. Even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, going on a 20 minute walk or jog, lifting weights, riding a bike, doing yoga or doing anything that gets you moving is better than nothing. If you think you don’t have time for a workout, start small by carving out about 10-20 minutes a day for exercise. Once you get more used to it, try to add more time. Eventually, try to make exercise a priority.
Find healthier food alternatives. Finding healthy, wholesome food on the interstate is nearly impossible. That being said, truckers usually have to work with what they have and try to make healthier choices. If you find yourself getting take-out often because of your busy schedule, try to order fresh veggies or salads without cheese, creamy dressings or greasy meats. Opt for water instead of soda and skip high-sodium snacks or sugary sweets.
If truckers can learn to lead a healthier lifestyle, you can too. These 5 easy tips are a great way to get started by making small changes in your lifestyle that could eventually lead to bigger changes and impressive results. Just remember to take it a step at a time, give your body time to adjust and don’t become frustrated if you don’t see results overnight. Long-lasting change takes time and effort.
About the Author
Felicia Baratz is a writer living in the Indianapolis area. As a writer for doseofmyown.com, she specializes in articles about health and nutrition.
Are you a truck driver or personally know a truck driver? Is there anything else we can learn from truckers that is missing from this list?