If you think nutrition is not important for you as a truck driver, you are wrong, dead wrong. Ignoring nutrition and forming bad habits can shorten your life by 12 to 20 years, especially if you run long haul. We know, you must deliver the freight on time, above all else.
Unfortunately, long hours in the seat, smoking, lack of quality sleep, skipping sunscreen, and an unhealthy diet combined with lack of exercise and being overweight, all gang up on drivers to greatly shorten their normal lifespan. About the time you’re thinking of hanging it up to a life of leisure and grandkids, suddenly your fuse burns out from neglect, and you leave the planet.
The good news is it’s never too late to begin taking care of yourself. If you smoke, get help with ditching the habit. Your best source of help is to talk with your doctor. Don’t forget to ask the physician about nutritional habits to help you live longer. Don’t waste another day.
We’re not saying you should stop eating at truck stops. Many truck stops are offering healthy meals. Choose healthier and lighter meal options available from the menu. Time your meals so you eat at 3-hour intervals. That schedule will maintain a stable blood sugar content, keep you from overeating, sharpen your concentration, and avoid sugar crashes. Include fresh vegetables and fruits. Focus on lean protein and avoid anything deep fried. For snacks, stick with nuts, energy bars, and yogurt.
Your attention must be on driving. Eating while driving is distracting. Always make a quick stop when you’re ready for a snack. Lives may be at stake, one of which could be yours. Long periods of inactivity such as driving tend to induce bouts of constipation. Consuming fiber helps ward off or relieve constipation. Fresh fruit and vegetables help to keep things moving.
If your truck has a refrigerator or a portable cooler, consider preparing meals in your truck. Cookbooks abound on creating healthy meals with a single electric burner or small microwave oven, both of which travel well!
During detention times when picking up or unloading freight, get out of the cab and get moving. Take a walk around the yard and breathe deeply for a change. Fill your lungs and get those joints moving to loosen up. Read blogs online for putting together an exercise routine that you can perform in the cab or outside. Some require using only the truck for workouts. Or you may prefer to invest in some inexpensive workout items to use in or out of the truck. Be sure to stick with it. Your overall health is certain to improve. If you carry a dumbbell or two, store them in an outside cabinet so they won’t become missiles when hard braking!
Studies show that adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at peak performance. Arrange your sleeper berth to be more inviting and relaxing. Remove any clutter and stow it before climbing in for your rest period. Don’t stew over the day’s events. They are beyond your control! Put them out of your mind and focus on relaxation to help you sleep well. Avoid caffeine before settling in. Once you get going again, stop for a nap if and when needed. Motor on in better health. Work smart and prosper.