For trucking professionals who spend hours and days on end traveling across the American highway systems, being away from home, their family, and a regular routine can all blend together to create an unhealthy lifestyle. Poor diet, lack of sleep, isolation, and the demanding nature of their job can wreak havoc on their bodies, minds, and emotional state.
But there are many different ways in which long-haul truck drivers can take care of these areas of their lives. Staying healthy is essential for their well-being and their career’s success. Utilizing healthy habits while on the road can help improve these areas as well as prevent burnout while on the road.
Here are some ways in which trucking professionals can reach better all-around health.
Rest stops may be essential places for truck drivers to stretch, shower, and take a load off before getting back on the road. But they can also be detrimental to the overall eating habits of a truck driver. Instead of filling up on rest stop foods and snacks, head to a nearby grocery store and opt for more fresh food items, such as pre-washed bags of leafy greens, cut fruit, grilling meat, and whole pieces of produce that are easy to clean.
For meats, it’s possible to carry a portable grill on board and cook during longer stops. And for a pro tip, have a small refrigerator plugged in the cab that can carry your food items, including meal-prepped Tupperware meals consisting of healthy options.
Get Physical Checkups
The Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam is essential for seasoned truck drivers or new road warriors. To keep roads safe and keep health risks low, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all truck drivers to pass a DOT physical exam before they can earn their CDL.
The exam has to be conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The certificate is valid for up to 24 months, but it’s still a good rule of thumb to get an exam on an annual basis.
Like eating healthy, staying fit is something that is going to take a little extra effort. Exercise is hard when you’re on the road, but it’s still possible. Driving 11 hours straight can take a toll on your body, and having to do it day after day will add up over time. But there are some ways in which exercise can be built into your daily schedule, even for short moments, like 30-minute spots.
Carry running shoes to go on regular walks or jogs in cities where you stop or in safe rest stop areas that allow you some room to roam. Folding bicycles are also another option as these can be held onboard without taking up much room and offer fun exercise in between hauls. You can also download workout apps that offer up quick workouts meant for people on the go, like hotel workouts or quick high-intensity interval training workouts that can be done in 20 minutes or less.
Sleep and rest are essential for any professional, but when it comes to a career built on focus and paying attention to what’s in front, behind, and around you, they are even more important. Invest in a good quality mattress for your truck’s sleeping berth with the right firmness or softness that fits what you need in order to be well-rested every single night.
Make sure you have a portable heater or fan for seasonal temperatures and climates as this will help you be the most comfortable, in turn helping you stay rested. Truck drivers need to get as much sleep as possible in the time they have off, so maximizing it with a good diet, solid exercise, and decent sleep will keep them well-rounded.
Take Care of the Mind
It’s also vitally important to invest in your mind while on the road. The job of a truck driver can be a boring one, especially with rest stop after rest stop and highway entrance after highway entrance. It can get repetitive. So, being sure to take care of your mind is just as essential as the body.
Invest in audiobooks or language tapes that can help you pass the time while getting the job done and learning something at the same time. Music is always a good option and apps like Spotify and Pandora can let you create playlists featuring your favorite music. There’s also helpful podcasts available that cover literally everything you want to hear about. Food, sports, politics, history–there’s something for everyone in the world of podcasts.
Have Insurance Coverage
For trucking companies, having the right truck insurance set can help protect their business operations and their drivers during regular duties. Options such as workers’ compensation coverage can help protect both the company and the driver during claims related to health. While it’s important for a driver’s health to be upheld by utilizing the tips above, it’s just as important to make sure the right truck insurance options are in place.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes.