Being strapped in the driver’s seat all day wreaks havoc on your body as well as your metabolism. That’s why truck driver fitness has become a major concern in the industry. As trucking companies and federal regulators crack down on the health requirements of the job, it’s essential for truckers to take the time out of your busy schedules to exercise and eat healthy food. Making your health a priority takes a bit of planning and effort, but the result of being a healthier truck driver is worth the cost.
Grabbing a quick meal at the truck stop may be convenient, but it also tends to be filled with fat, sodium and sugar. Stopping for a meal at the truck stop may not be ideal, but you can make healthy choices there too. Try to stick with grilled proteins and vegetables. Be sure to ask questions about ingredients and how the food is cooked so that you get the healthiest possible meal.
One of the issues that truckers face is the lack of convenient truck stops. It’s best to eat a small meal about every three hours, but very unlikely that you’ll be able to find truck stops on your route that often. One solution is to carry healthy food with you. Grabbing an apple or protein bar out of your stash is just as convenient as grabbing a bag of chips or cookies. It’s also much better for your body. Carrying bottled water with you is also important as a truck driver. Drinking gallons of soda each week can add thousands of unnecessary calories to your diet. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding flavor packets. Most packets add a great boost of flavor to the water without adding additional sugar and calories.
Bring Exercise Equipment on the Road
When you’re on the road most days of the month, getting hours in at the gym is probably not going to happen. While a few truck stops have added fitness centers to their offerings for drivers, most stops are not set up to promote truck driver fitness. It’s best to carry small workout items with you and exercise whenever and wherever you have the opportunity. Some long-haul driver have folding bicycles that they keep in the truck with them and ride when they can. This is a good option if you have the space and can afford the bike. Another good option is resistance bands. They can be used anywhere, even inside your truck. Jump ropes are small and are excellent for a full-body cardio workout. Try to work out vigorously, especially if you are short on time.
Make Time for Exercise
Most trucking companies give their drivers little leeway with deadlines, meaning you may not have time to exercise every day while you’re on the road. It’s essential that you make the most of the time that you have. Even if you only have fifteen minutes before the start of your workday, take the time to jog around the parking lot. It will get your metabolism going and likely provide you with much-needed energy to get through the day. You may also be able to get a few minutes of exercise in while you are delivering a load or waiting for a trailer to be loaded. Every minute of exercise that you get in each day will improve your health. As an added bonus, exercise releases endorphins that lift your mood and help you feel better emotionally as well as physically.
While trucking companies and federal regulations play a role, it’s ultimately up to you to take control of your health. Planning and making your health a priority goes a long way toward keeping your body healthy for years to come.