Long haul trucking is a lot of fun, but it also requires you to work long hours and spend extended periods of time away from your friends and family. Truckers aren’t considered the healthiest professionals, either. When you combine a primarily sedentary lifestyle with poor diet and the use of stimulants like nicotine and caffeine, your risk of health problems like high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, and low energy levels increases.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your energy levels and general health on the road.
1. Stay hydrated. Your body is approximately 60% water, yet many Americans drink far less than the recommended eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day. As a truck driver, you need to take bathroom breaks into account, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid drinking water all together. Instead of sipping on coffee or soda when you’re behind the wheel, opt for bottled water. Hydration also improves focus and helps you stay alert.
2. Pack fruits and vegetables. Many long haul truckers sustain themselves on potato chips, candy, and beef jerky. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional snack, but processed foods are loaded with sodium and saturated fats. Why not pack a cooler full of fruits and vegetables? Pre-packed salads, fruit bowls, and applesauce also make excellent options. If you don’t have room for a cooler, bring stone fruit, apples, or bananas. The more color you can add to your diet, the better.
3. Plan your meals in advance. After long hours of driving, it’s tempting to eat whatever’s available. Instead of waiting for the last minute, prepare your meals ahead of time. For example, before the start of a long trip, make eight chicken breasts and a pot of rice. Portion servings out into Tupperware and store them in your truck’s refrigerator.
4. Read the ingredients. When you go grocery shopping, do you read any of the labels? If not, start doing so. The more you know about what you’re putting into your body, the easier it is to take steps that improve your health. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, try eating low-sodium items. If you have diabetes, avoid high-sugar desserts.
Who says long haul trucking can’t be healthy? Follow these tips and you’re sure to see an improvement in your energy levels and overall quality of life. How do you stay healthy on the road? Visit our Facebook page and let us know.