Truck driving does not typically lend itself to a healthy lifestyle. Spending up to 11 hours behind the wheel, frequently eating fast food, and rarely exercising could eventually jeopardize a trucker’s job if he/she can’t pass the Department of Transportation’s required physical exam. Drivers must be alert and focused when on public roads, which begins with leading a healthy lifestyle.
THE FIRST AREA: A HEALTHY DIET
- Drink water. Drinking water boosts your energy, helps you feel full, and nourishes your skin by flushing impurities and improving circulation.
- Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. They are a good source of nutrients; they are associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases; and they are lower in calories.
- Eat nuts. New research found that people who ate a 1 oz. serving of nuts each day showed a 20% reduced risk of dying from any cause over three decades compared to those who didn’t eat the tasty snacks. (WebMD)
- Choose smaller portions. Don’t go back for seconds, and stock up on healthy snacks.
- Eat when you’re hungry. Do not eat when you’re bored.
- Eat slowly. Stop eating when your body registers it is full.
SECOND AREA: EXERCISE & FITNESS
- Avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none.Regular physical activity helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints; increases strength and endurance; manages weight; controls blood pressure; and relieves feelings of stress.
- Walk 15 minutes at least 3 times a week. Start at a slower pace to warm up, then walk at a brisk pace, and then again at a slower pace to cool down. Increase a few minutes every week until you reach a goal of 30 minutes 3-5 times a week. After your walk be sure to stretch to maintain your flexibility.
THIRD AREA: SLEEP
- Allocate enough time for sleep. Most of us need 7-8 hours of sleep. Scientists know that people who get too little sleep have a shorter lifespan. We need sleep to rest and repair our bodies and minds.
- Sleep in a room that’s quiet, dark, and comfortable. Avoid light in your sleeping area and block the clock so you can’t see what time it is.
- Cut caffeine and nicotine several hours before bedtime.
- Avoid heavy foods, big meals, and exercise before bedtime.
- Free your mind at bedtime. Read something calm, meditate, or listen to music to relax.
A healthy lifestyle is a choice and essential to safety on the road!