For many truckers, life on the road is synonymous with limited exercise, a poor diet, long hours and mental health struggles due to isolation and lack of routine. As a result, truckers are more likely to develop health problems and on average have a lower life expectancy than the general population. Here’s what you can do to stay healthy while you’re on the road.
Modify your diet
Poor eating habits have been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and digestive cancers. Ideally, you should aim to replace fast food, fatty snacks and sugary drinks with healthy alternatives. However, you don’t need to do it all at once. Start by snacking on fruits and vegetables, then progressively integrate healthier proteins such as fish and poultry to your diet. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
Spending all of your time sitting increases your risk of developing cardiovascular issues. Try to take regular breaks to stretch and walk around and maybe do simple exercises like push-ups. You should also aim to get at least 150 minutes of cardio a week, but even 10 to 15 minutes a day is beneficial. Again, start small and work your way up. Some companies even offer wellness programs that provide support and keep you motivated.
Ease up on the stimulants
While one or two cups of coffee a day aren’t dangerous for otherwise healthy people, excessive caffeine consumption should be avoided, especially in the form of energy drinks. These contain very high concentrations of both sugar and caffeine and are likely to disrupt your sleep schedule. They may also cause you to become jittery, which can be dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.
A regular sleep schedule will ensure you stay sharp, help your body recuperate and let you retain a sense of routine and stability while on the road. This is key to maintaining your mental health.
Mind your mental health
Isolation, long hours and lack of routine have all been linked to various mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Many drivers deal with these feelings by adopting unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive eating. Instead of adopting such behaviours, set aside some time every day to make phone calls to your spouse, family and friends. This will help you feel more grounded and connected.
Build good habits early
Attending the right truck driving school is the first step towards developing good habits that’ll stick with you over the long haul. Serving residents in Surrey, Abbotsford and other parts of the Lower Mainland, North Shore Driving School is a great choice for aspiring truckers. Contact us today to learn more about our driver training programs.