Becoming an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver involves spending three to four weeks at a time on the road. This can be a great fit for individuals who are looking for more freedom and higher pay. Trucking is as much a lifestyle as it is a career. As you enter the trucking industry, it’s helpful to think about how you can stay healthy as an OTR driver. Although this lifestyle does have some unique considerations, it is possible to maintain and improve your health while on the road.
Some tips for making healthier choices as a long-haul truck driver:
Hydration is essential for health and can even help you stay more focused and alert. Keep water in your truck and try to sip on it throughout the day instead of drinking only when you are thirsty. It’s also helpful to have water instead of less healthy drinks like coffee or soda.
Plan Healthy Meals and Snacks
Plan ahead and bring healthy meals and snacks with you to eat during your haul. You can pre-make meals before you leave so you can quickly and easily heat them up. More and more truck stops and restaurants on the road have healthy options if you prefer to purchase your meals. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and practice portion control.
Find Time for Exercise
There are many ways that you can exercise while on the road. One of the easiest is keeping a pair of running shoes in your truck and going for a quick jog during a break. Some truck stops even have gyms or you can get a membership with a gym chain that has locations across the country. Even 15 minutes of exercise can be incredibly beneficial.
Get Enough Sleep
Many people don’t pay enough attention to getting enough sleep. As an OTR driver, this can be more complicated, but some adjustments to your routine can help you get more and better sleep. Consider using earplugs to block out noise and use a good pillow and mattress in your sleeper berth. Comfortable sleeping conditions make it easier to fall asleep and get the most out of your time off.
Health includes more than just your physical wellbeing and it’s important to remember to take care of your mental health as well. Connecting with friends and family back home, finding hobbies you can take on the road, and remembering to relax can all be helpful for this.
Implement Small Changes First
Keep in mind that even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact. Even if you only start with a few of these tips, it can be helpful. You might prefer to begin with easier adjustments and move forward from there.