Being a truck driver is a stressful and demanding job that requires an enormous commitment. Because of the working conditions and limited facilities, it can often be difficult for truck drivers to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there are some steps drivers can take to help manage their health while on the job.
Staying Healthy as a Truck Driver
Truck drivers often find it challenging to get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, making staying healthy much more difficult. To help promote good sleep, drivers should try to establish a routine, sleep in an area that’s completely dark to increase melatonin production, and keep the number of energy drinks to a minimum. If these things don’t help, try consulting a doctor; you may have a sleeping disorder like sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless legs syndrome (RLS), preventing you from being well-rested.
It is essential to stay well-hydrated. This promotes good heart and kidney health, as well as acting as a form of temperature control. Make sure to keep water on hand at all times and drink consistently throughout the day to stay hydrated. Certain stimulants, like coffee, dehydrate you, so try not to drink too many of them.
It can be challenging to maintain a healthy diet on the road, especially when many fast food options are readily available. Diet is one of the most important aspects of good health, so it’s vital to establish good eating habits. Try slowly adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet while cutting down on unhealthy snack foods like chips. If you need help creating a diet plan or figuring out how much and how frequently you should eat, consulting a nutritionist can be a good option.
Driving is a sedentary occupation that doesn’t leave a lot of opportunities for a good workout. If time is limited, try to make short stops to take 10-15 minute walks. If you are looking for a more intense workout, some companies make workout equipment specifically designed to go in trucks. Consider talking with a personal trainer to help establish a routine that works for you.
Enrollment First, Inc. has partnered with ESPYR to offer the Fit to Pass program which provides a personalized health coach to help drivers improve their health and ensure they pass their DOT recertification physical exams.
Staying on top of your mental health is also extremely important. Truck driving can be lonely and stressful; make sure to consult a professional if you start having symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses. They can often prescribe medications that may help.
To combat loneliness, consider traveling with a pet. They make excellent and undemanding companions. You should also try to socialize with others whenever possible and keep in touch with friends and family.
Here at Enrollment First, Inc., we partner with ESPYR to offer a benefits program called TalkNow. We recognize that having to wait for an appointment with a mental health provider can add stress and frustration to an already difficult situation. TalkNow allows you to speak with a qualified mental health professional immediately rather than having to wait.
Maintaining your mental and physical wellbeing is vital in any occupation but is especially challenging for truck drivers. Make sure to take care of yourself so that you can stay healthy and safe on the road.