But these bad habits can lead to some serious health issues down the road. That’s why it’s important to do what you can to stay healthy while driving.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for keeping your health in top shape when you’re working behind the wheel.
Maintain a good balanced diet.
One of the most common health issues for drivers is obesity. Obesity often comes together with other health issues, like high blood pressure or diabetes. The best way to fight obesity is through diet and exercise, with your diet being the most important factor.
So how do you keep a healthy diet while on the road? One of the most effective ways is to prepare your meals in advance, using healthy ingredients. Keep your meals simple so they’re easy to prepare. A few ideas:
- Sandwiches made with fresh, healthy ingredients
- Grilled chicken with vegetables and rice
- Soups or chilis prepared in advance
- Snacks: hardboiled eggs, trail mix, protein bars, popcorn
Preparing healthy meals from fresh ingredients can even be cheaper than buying prepared food, and it doesn’t have to take you a lot of time!
Drink plenty of water.
Water keeps your body going, keeps your mind working, and keeps your metabolism moving. You might be tempted to avoid water so you don’t need as many bathroom breaks, but be sure to drink roughly 2 liters per day to stay hydrated. Dehydration can slow down your reaction times, give you headaches, and generally make you feel awful. Keep a water bottle with you to make sure you’re drinking enough!
Get a good night’s sleep.
Driving without getting enough sleep can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk. Even though you might feel OK when you don’t get much sleep, your reaction times are definitely impacted.
But safety isn’t the only reason sleep is important. Lack of sleep is also connected to multiple diseases, including heart disease, depression, and diabetes. So be sure you’re setting aside enough time every night for an adequate amount of sleep, and get the rest you need!
Make time for exercise.
Even though driving for a living means you’re always on the move, it can be a very sedentary lifestyle. And while it’s sedentary, it can also be very exhausting work. By the time you’re done for the day, you might feel too tired to even think about exercising.
But getting exercise is critical for your overall health. Twenty to thirty minutes of moderate exercise several times a week can help keep your heart in good shape, boost your mood, and keep your weight at a healthy level.
So how do you fit exercise into a busy driving schedule? One way is to get a little light exercise in during your breaks at rest areas. You don’t need any equipment: some sit-ups, pushups, dips, and other bodyweight exercises can get your heart pumping. You could even pack some running shoes and go for a quick jog.
If you want more tips, just do a search on Youtube for “exercises for truckers” – you’ll find all sorts of clever ideas.
Get some sunlight – but use sunscreen!
Exposure to sunlight can have a huge impact on your mood – just take a look outside on the first nice Spring day after a long winter. But sunlight can also improve your health. When you spend time in the sun, your body produces vitamin D, a critical ingredient for maintaining a healthy immune system. So getting some sun can prevent you from getting sick!
But too much sun also has risks, the biggest one being skin cancer. Luckily, there’s a way to reduce that risk: sunscreen. If you know you’ll be driving on a sunny day, pack some sunscreen to help protect your skin. You’ll be glad you did.
You don’t have to stop here
Those are our top five tips for staying healthy while on the road, but they’re not your only options. We’d love to hear your healthy habits. Come on over to our Truck Stars Facebook page and share your best ideas!