How truck drivers can stay healthy while on the road - TruckingJobs.co.uk

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Friday, 29 October 2021

How truck drivers can stay healthy while on the road

We have all seen that there is a shortage of truck drivers, so it is important that working conditions are improved for those that do the job. There are many concerns about being a driver, but it is actually a fantastic job that can work for many different people.

To make the job enjoyable and something that you can continue to do for a long time, it is important to stay healthy, and there are things that truck drivers can do to preserve their health whilst they are out on the road.

Whether it is looking at your diet, your exercise or even how you sit, there are plenty of things that you can do to protect your health. By doing so, you are free to enjoy your job more and keep doing it for as long as you wish. There are simple changes that can be gradually worked into your working life and can be surprisingly easy to do.

Trucking diets

One of the biggest issues for the health of a truck driver is the food. It is easy to conjure up images of full English breakfasts, cans of fizzy pop and chunky chocolate bars, but we all know that this is not a healthy way to live your life. It can impact on blood sugar levels and heart health and leads to some drivers ending their careers earlier than planned.

However, it is possible to have a much better diet which can protect your health and avoid common problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and heart disease to name just a few potential problems.

This because it is too easy to indulge in whatever roadside service stations have to offer, and to load the cab full of snacks and drinks which are high in fat, calories, salt and sugar. Usually, this is the cheaper option and certainly offers the most convenience for drivers who are working to tight schedules. What to eat for Breakfast - https://youtu.be/aCHFYh-Lvd4

A healthier diet whilst on the road does require a bit more planning but is still very much achievable. Preparing meals at home which can be packed into lunchboxes saves both money and calories. There are even portable ovens which can plug into the truck and heat your meals, making sure there is always something delicious on hand and it can often save time too.

Swapping the crisps and chocolate bars for fruit and granola is also a good way to keep your body healthy, as well as exchanging sugary drinks for water. Making sure you have plenty on hand in your cab helps to reduce the temptation to buy something a little less healthy. 

What to eat for Lunch -


Meal planning

As well as thinking about what you eat, you also need to think about when you eat. There is often a temptation to skip breakfast, or to simply have a snack, but a proper breakfast really does put you on the right path for the rest of the day. Healthy options such as fruit, yoghurt, granola or eggs can give your metabolism a kick start which will give you more sustained energy levels throughout the morning and will remove the need for snacks an hour after you get started.

Eating late at night is also not good for you, as it can be harder for your body to digest. Making sure you eat earlier in the evening is a good way to guard against weight gain, and will help you to sleep better too.

Sleep well

Rest is vital for truck drivers, who need to ensure that their concentration is on point when they are behind the wheel. That means that when you do get some down time, it is important to use it properly if you want to avoid burnout. Trying to sleep whilst on the road isn’t easy but blocking out all the light you can gives you a better chance. If you are parked somewhere noisy, then earbuds can help to make it quieter while you drift off.

Your phone can be your friend whilst out and about but try not to use it too much before you want to sleep as the blue light that it emits can act as a stimulant. You should also avoid eating too close to bedtime as it can lead to heartburn and make you uncomfortable.

Making sure that you are parked somewhere safe and secure will also help you to get a good night’s sleep. Knowing that you are tucked away from harm will make it much easier to shut off for a while.


Exercise

A big problem with the health of truck drivers is that it can be a very sedentary lifestyle. It is therefore important to try and exercise where you can. Once you get out of the cab, try to spend a few minutes stretching and even try to take a brisk walk.

It will help to keep back problems at bay, wakes you up and helps your concentration when you get back behind the wheel. It also helps you to sleep more easily when you do go to bed. 

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Posture

It can be easy to slump when you are sat in the same position all day, and these leads to issues such as sciatica and back pain. Look at the seat in your cab and make sure that it has adequate lumbar support.

If it doesn’t, there are additions that you can buy which are easily fitted to your seat. You should keep your seat high to discourage slouching and you should aim to readjust your position every half an hour to relieve pressure on your spine. Andrea Easton, Head of Finance and Operations at Walker Movements, shares her thoughts on the situation, “It is important to remember that health concerns can start to impact on your driving ability, and in serious cases, can lead to HGV licences being revoked and cutting your career short. To avoid being cut off in your prime, these small measures can go a long way to making your trucking life healthier, longer and a lot more enjoyable.” 

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