Working as a truck driver can provide you with a solid income and the chance to see your country in a way few people get to. You see beyond the tourist destinations and into the daily lives of real people, traveling through the towns that aren’t posted about on shiny travel blogs. You have lots of time alone with your thoughts and the big open road, which can create sensations of freedom and give you the opportunity to truly get to know yourself in a way that very few people get to. Beyond this, you’ll have the knowledge that the work you do keeps the country and the economy running. Of course, like with all jobs, driving a truck comes with health concerns and risks that need to be studied and mitigated. The following will explore a few things that you can do to help ensure that you’re getting all you need for health.

Credit: Zetong Li

Rest

Let’s get the big one out of the way first. Sleep is absolutely vital for your health; it is during sleep that your body releases hormones that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Lack of sleep, therefore, results in high blood pressure, poor heart function, and even heart disease.

Sleep also helps regulate your metabolism, which contributes to your risk of diabetes and influences your mood, energy levels, and mental function. Beyond this, sleep helps your body recover from the day, and a lack of sleep produces stress hormones that leave you feeling anxious, worried, restless, and uncomfortable.

Finally, sleep regulates your immune system, and poor sleep results in inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to nearly every chronic illness and drastically increases sensations of pain.

While your schedule as a truck driver might not have you sleeping regular hours, this isn’t an excuse to skimp on sleep altogether. Back in 1910, the average American slept for nine hours a night. Humans need sleep to function.

Sleep is even more critical for someone operating a larger vehicle that could do some serious damage should they make a mistake. Sleep helps increase alertness and reaction time which can save your life, or someone else’s in a tricky driving situation. According to truck accident law experts, driver fatigue is listed as one of the major causes of severe truck accidents. It is worth noting that driving while exhausted can be legally considered distracted driving and can leave you at fault in an incident.

Make Intentional Food Choices

While traveling, it can be hard to select healthier food options. This being said, it’s not impossible. Do your research ahead of time and note where there are healthier options available. Beyond this, ensure that you prepare healthy options for yourself. A few jars of healthy options like almonds and seeds, as well as vitamins or supplements you can mix with water on the road, can help ensure you’re not missing vital nutrients. When possible, select whole food options from grocery stores rather than fast-food meals, which tend to contain lots of bad fats and chemical contaminants.

If you’re on the road a lot, you’re probably a coffee drinker. This is completely okay, but what you might want to reconsider is the amount of sugar or high-hormone dairy you put inside your coffee, as these ingredients can really add up if you’re having several cups of joe in a day.

Credit: Sander Yigin

Dedicate Time For Movement

When you’re driving, you’re often sitting in the same position all day. When off work or on breaks, be sure to stretch. You also want to ensure that you’re getting some more demanding exercise at least twice per week. This could be lifting weights, running, gardening, or hiking.

Seek Out Nature

While it might feel like you’ve gotten your nature requirements for health while driving, you probably haven’t. Looking at nature from within a vehicle doesn’t provide the same health benefits that being in nature does. Try to get to a park, beach, or trail twice a week so that you can soak up all those mood-boosting and immunity-boosting benefits.

Community

Having social interactions is important for everyone’s well-being. Humans are pack animals, and our bodies function best when we’re absorbing other people’s pheromones from time to time. The solitary nature of truck driving is often what draws people to it, but ensuring that when off work, you socialize and interact with members of a community is important for your overall wellbeing.

The above tips should help you promote your health while driving a truck for a living. It is worth noting that truck driving offers several benefits to mental health that other jobs don’t. Having independence and time alone is critical for self-worth and developing a strong sense of identity. Many truck drivers also take advantage of their lengthy drives to listen to podcasts on topics they want to learn more about or listen to audiobooks. Just be sure that nothing you’re listening to draws your attention from the road.


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