Life as a CDL truck driver can make it hard to focus on health. Fast food, sitting for long periods, stress: All are common to experience behind the wheel.
Making healthy changes doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It may be surprising to know that with a few quick adjustments, a driver can be “on the road again” to a healthier, fitter version of his or her best self.
1. Eat Regular Meals as Much as Possible
Being on the road up to 11 hours per day does make finding healthier meal alternatives a little more challenging, but it is not impossible.
Food is fuel, so a diet high in sugar, chemicals, and trans fats will not “burn” clean and will not provide the energy and nourishment needed for optimal performance.
Most drivers wouldn’t consider knowingly fueling their rigs with substandard fuel or fuel with additives that could stall their engines. Why, then, would those same drivers consider putting toxic fuel into their bodies and expect good results?
Try to Get in 3 Regular Meals Per Day
Although there are mixed reviews on whether eating multiple small meals versus three meals a day leads to weight loss, the one thing that nutritionists agree on is that it is best to eat at least three meals per day.
The reason is that going without food for too long can lead to a drop in blood sugar, also known as blood glucose. Why is this important? Blood glucose is the fuel that creates energy for the body.
If a person goes too long without food, glucose levels fall, leaving cells to starve. Possible indicators are nausea, feeling shaky, confusion, or exhaustion.
Stock Up on Healthier Snacks
A diet high in sugar or processed foods can lead to insulin resistance that causes blood sugar levels to rise. Left untreated for too long, this could lead to diabetes.
Truck drivers’ likelihood of developing diabetes is 50% higher than the national average. To keep glucose levels stable, stick to snacks that are nutritionally dense without the extra sugar and empty calories:
- Fruit – fresh is best but dried, and unsweetened will do
- Raw walnuts or almonds
- Hummus with raw vegetables
- Boiled eggs
2. Drink Plenty of Water
The human body is comprised of up to 60% water. This liquid aids in digestion regulates temperature and helps rid the body of waste. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration.
Signs of dehydration may include muscle cramps, dizziness, and dry eyes, leading to headaches and blurred vision. Drinking plenty of water during the day is key to keeping the body working at its best.
3. Exercise When You Can
Even if you are already making strides to improve your diet, there is plenty of evidence that sitting all day has become a dangerous health risk. Weight gain, lower back pain, and joint pain can all develop from lack of sufficient exercise.
Here at DSL we currently offer free Planet Fitness memberships for all employees free of charge but increasing flexibility and strength doesn’t require a trainer or a gym. It can be as simple as adding a few movements to a typical day:
4. De-stress From Driving in Healthy Ways
Being away from friends and loved ones can increase stress levels but with Duncan and Son Lines’s dedicated routes, it’s much easier to schedule a time to spend with those who are important.
For the couple nights a week our drivers are in the truck, a quick video chat with the kids or that special someone can do wonders for your well-being and maintaining a close connection while away from home. Meditation can also be very therapeutic and can be done in as little as five minutes.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
Rest is critical for drivers to be at their best. Staring at the road for long distances can cause eye strain. Rest eyes on breaks by palming, holding palms over the eyes while keeping the eyelids closed and breathing deeply.
Getting a good night’s sleep is also important. To ensure restful sleep, try some progressive relaxation movements when laying down.
To learn more about staying healthy on the road or to apply for a CDL trucking job at Duncan and Sons Lines, contact us at 623-244-4149 today.
Image Credit: Shutterstock/welcomia