Stay Healthy On The Road
Life on the road is a tough life and it can easily lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Drivers are often away from home for weeks at a time, driving long hours and chasing great paychecks. Although there is nothing wrong with chasing great paychecks, there is a common trap that a lot of the drivers get into. They start to rely on enormous amounts of caffeine and junk food, which over time cause many health problems.
If you are one of these drivers who already got into this trap, or you have a feeling you may be on that road, this article may give you some pointers to make a change.
So, as you know, staying healthy is essential, and the only right way to do it is to make a ‘permanent’ lifestyle changes. The new habits can be formed slowly and at your own pace, but they need to be consistent.
Eating healthy food on the road can be tough, as many truck drivers will tell you. But most grocery stores have parking for tractor-trailers, so you actually do not have to depend on truck stops’ food. Although you may have to walk an extra bit (which is actually great), it is totally worth it. Lately, you can also find food that’s healthy even at most truck stops.
Always choose pre-washed and cut bags of vegetables and whole pieces of fruit that are easy to clean. Eat less meat and try to avoid ‘fried food’. Find healthy snacks and keep them close by; things like nuts, dry fruits, cheese sticks. As you know, you need to get off that ‘junk food’. However, one good way to deal with your cravings is to give yourself cheat days. You can have one day a week when you can eat your favorite ‘junk food’. You can even reward yourself with a small treat after every delivery you make. That can be a fun little game to play, and one extra thing to look forward to on your way to deliveries. Make it fun and playful, so you can stick to it.
Drink a lot of water!!! Yes, water, not soda. That is number one and the most important tip of all. Staying hydrated is essential, and water is the best for you. If you have a sweet tooth and it’s hard for you to get used to drinking plain water, after being hooked to sodas, start by adding a splash of lemonade to your water. This will give it a little bit of taste, and it will still be mostly water. The next step would be to replace lemonade splashes with just some pieces of fruit, which will also give your water nice aftertaste and some vitamins too.
Keeping yourself well hydrated is also going to suppress the feeling of hunger. As you fill yourself with water, instead of food, you tend to go longer between meals without feeling hungry. So, try to sip water all day long, not just when you’re thirsty. Keep a container with you always and your body will get used to it.
Proper rest is vital and helps you keep your mind sharp. Try to sleep in a dark space or with a sleep mask. This will help to keep your melatonin levels high. Good bed mattress is very important. If your truck doesn’t have one, it may be a good idea to invest in a personal folding memory foam mattress for to go. You need to get as much sleep as possible in your time off, so your sleeping conditions must be as comfortable as sleeping on the road can be. Good sleep is essential to good health.
Again, as you know, exercise is another essential ingredient of good health. If you are currently completely inactive, start slow. Take at 5-10 minutes to walk each day. Get out of the truck and just walk around. It’s a great way to ‘de-stress’. You may think you ‘don’t have time’ for it but you cannot afford not to have. A short walk is beneficial to both your physical and mental health.
As you feel that walks are not enough, you can increase your level of activity. You can do sets of simple push-ups and squats every time you get to a truck stop. Another thing you can play around with by setting different challenges for yourself.
Set some realistic goals for your lifestyle changes. You don’t need to change everything right away. Take small steps in improving your health day by day. A good healthy lifestyle is possible no matter where you are (even in the truck), you just need to be willing to live that life!