Driver health is important to motor carriers and drivers alike. Healthy drivers are more productive and available for work, and companies with healthy drivers see higher retention rates and better results.
Though important, healthy living on the road can also be difficult—long hours behind the wheel, unhealthy food choices, and a lack of accessible exercise facilities are all challenges. However, you can live a healthy lifestyle as a trucker by being creative and prepared. Focus on the food you eat, an exercise routine, and wearable technology to support your goals.
Food. Because it’s hard to pull an 18-wheeler into local restaurants, drivers often purchase snacks and food at the truck stops they visit. Though those options sometimes lack nutrition, a slow change is taking place as truck stops add healthier choices rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Drivers can also pack high-quality snacks from home before they hit the road. The resources cited below provide other ideas for food choices out on the road, what to eat, how often you should eat, and portion size.
Exercise. Make the most of time spent out of the cab. Some truckers have found success using resistance bands, water bottles, or weights for conditioning activities during downtime. To get some cardio in, you can walk, jog, or even jump rope. Some truck stops are installing exercise equipment in comfortable fitness rooms, and others are providing maps of walking or running trails located around the truck stop.
Technology. Yes, technology can help you stay fit! Smartphone and tablet health-and-wellness applications are available that can help you find exercise resources, track your fitness, and more. Many of these tools are free for you to use and are listed in the resources in the sidebar. Not to mention, there are many wearable bands that can be purchased to track how many steps you have taken and how active you have been throughout the day.
Whether you are a truck driver providing for your family or a motor carrier employing drivers, investing in health and wellness will likely provide a positive return.
Truck Drivers: Stop Your Job from Killing You! the Dietitians' Guide to Smart Eating and Healthy Living for Truckers. (Book available from many retailers)