A life on the road can be rewarding in many ways, but it also comes with some rather distinct challenges that drivers need to address. Perhaps the biggest is that it's not always easy to stay healthy as an over-the-road trucker As such, any efforts you can take to avoid risks and be a bit more cognizant of these hurdles, the better off you're likely to be for years or even decades to come.
The following six tips will provide critical areas to focus on when trying to live a healthier lifestyle as a trucker:
1) Get more, better sleep
Just about everyone wishes they could get more deep sleep, but there are even more challenges on this front for truckers, according to TCI Business Capital. Between trying to get some shut-eye in a sleeper berth for days on end, and the need to avoid light and noisy traffic, there are plenty of impediments to a restful night's sleep. Investing in more comfortable bedding, a white noise machine, blackout shades and more is likely a good idea to ensure you get as much sleep as your body needs.
2) Drink plenty of water
Truckers often live on a steady diet of coffee, soda and energy drinks, but all those sugary, caffeine-filled substances can take a toll on your body over time, TCI Business Capital advised. Instead, it's a good idea to make sure you drink a lot of water every day. This will help keep your body running efficiently and you might be surprised to learn it give you a bit of an energy boost. If you want to mix things up, you could also try seltzer or iced teas (just not the sweetened kind).
3) Snack on fruits and veggies
Everyone knows it's wise to avoid saturated fats, carbs and the like, according to The Balance Careers. But when you're craving a snack, that's often easier said than done. Nutritionists say the best way to snack healthier is to use fruits and vegetables instead, whether dried or fresh. These will provide you with plenty of nutrients and satiate between-meals hunger.
4) Get exercise when you can
While drivers might not think they have a ton of time or opportunity to exercise, that's simply not the case, The Balance Careers added. Using even 20 minutes to stretch while you're in detention can go a long way, as can simple things like walking around a truck stop, doing jumping jacks or pushups.
5) Be aware of the sun
A long-term health risk many drivers face is sun damage, so it's wise to be aware that every little bit of direct light you get is taking a toll, according to ABCO Transportation. For that reason, you should be putting on sunscreen, then wearing a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves whenever you can, to give your body extra protection from the sun's harmful rays.
6) Find ways to manage stress
Any job can be stressful, but for truckers, that fact is compounded by the amount of time they can spend away from home, ABCO Transportation cautioned. To relieve stress, find something you love to do - and do it often. It's also a good idea to stay in touch with friends and family throughout the day.
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