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How to Stay Healthy as a Trucker: 5 Steps

Whether you're already in the industry or are planning to start a new career, truck driving is one of the most needed professions in the country. Al...

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|Feb 10|magazine11 min read

Whether you're already in the industry or are planning to start a new career, truck driving is one of the most needed professions in the country. Although it is sometimes long hours and plenty of driving, the amount of pay earned is more than enough to offset many of the negatives. Many of these negatives deal with potential health hazards from driving or remaining sedentary.

Here are five tips to help even the most hardcore trucker improve their health or prevent possible hazards while on the road.

1. Avoid “Trucker Food”

If you're in a time crunch, then often you find yourself trying to find a quick bite to eat in order to get back on the road as quickly as possible. However, even fast food chains and diners offer a surprisingly wide array of entrees for the health-conscious trucker. The first step is to order foods without heavy condiments such as “special sauce” or mayo. These items have high levels of fat and add to fatigue. Additionally, chicken is always a better alternative than pork or beef.

One healthy alternative is the Charbroiled Chicken Sandwich with a fruit cup at Chick-Fil-A, which has only 400 calories. For the lover of a “home-cooked” meal, KFC offers grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob, and it has only 460 calories. Above all, remember that salads with a light dressing are always the best way to go.

2. Get a Little Shut-Eye

Because you're paid by the mile, cutting back on sleep is a common habit to make your trip the most profitable. However, sleep deprivation leads to a variety of problems including weight fluctuations, memory loss, immune system deficiency and high blood pressure. It also leads to risks of falling asleep while on the road, which can often lead to an accident. If you do find yourself in an accident, traceylawfirm.com offers some tips on what to do to get the situation under control.

3. Work Out

While you think it might be impossible to have a proper workout while on the road, think again. There are many ways to get exercise you might not have considered. One such way is to put a foldable workout bench in the cab of the truck. With this bench, you can bench press, do curls, or work the triceps.

If you don't have weights, use a full gallon of water. Since it weighs 8.34 pounds, it contains enough resistance to increase the heart rate. Alternatively, just go for a walk at a rest stop or when you get to your destination. You'll feel better and be able to drive longer.

4. Quit Smoking

One of the obvious pitfalls of the trucking industry is smoking. It's an easy way to pass the time and something to do with your hands if you grow tired holding the wheel. The problem with smoking is that it’s addictive and terrible for your health. To make matters worse, you lose track of how many cigarettes you actually smoke while on the road.

For example, if you drive from Denver to Chicago, it's 1,003 miles or 15 hours. If you smoke one cigarette an hour, you've smoked almost an entire pack in one day. If you haven't quit, find an alternative such as gum or even a prescription drug like Chantix. You'll be healthier and have a little extra money in your pocket.

5. Take Breaks

Once again, the deciding factor in taking breaks is that it cuts into your potential profitability. However, it's imperative to take breaks, as you'll be able to focus and break the monotony. You don't have to do it all the time, but pulling over every four to six hours allows you to be more aware of other motorists and be more effective at driving.

It's no surprise that many truckers in the industry are not healthy. It’s very easy to give into poor decisions because they are easy and quick. However, by planning and executing a daily routine, you'll find yourself making better daily decisions. This will lead you to be a better trucker, a healthier person, and in better spirits than you ever were before.