Healthy Habits for Truck Drivers

2014 Trucking Guide – Healthy Habits for Truck Drivers

Over-the-road truckers have the propensity to lead one of the least healthy lifestyles in today’s working class. The very nature of the work is sedentary. The work in and of itself is also somewhat monotonous. Here are some tips and expert advice to help drivers live in a better, happier life on the road.

Healthy Meals

After driving on the road for a while, a lot of drivers start to get tired because of the fast food meals that plague every truck stop. Not only do they get redundant, but the fat, calories, and cholesterol starts to wear on them.

Breakfast Items

Fruit – Fruit is the easiest on-the-go breakfast. Apples, bananas, and oranges are all good options.

Yogurt – Yogurt has the added bonus of lots of protein. But drivers also need to be careful of the sugar content, since flavored yogurts often contain 15 to 20 grams of sugar. Add fresh fruit or granola to plain yogurt, for some extra taste.

Cereals – This includes cereals that are high in fiber, such as bran flakes, or Cheerios.

Protein Bars – Again, drivers should keep an eye out for the sugar content.

Hard boiled eggs – The protein found in eggs makes a good morning energy boost.

Lunch Ideas

Healthy salads – Spinach, as well as leafy greens, are the best to use in salads. Veggies or fruits can be added for some additional flavor.

Sandwiches – A healthy option is using whole wheat bread. Drivers should watch out for the sodium levels on deli meat, and use healthier spreads such as pesto, rather than mayonnaise. They can also switch it up by making a sandwich wrap on a whole wheat tortilla instead.

Veggie or Turkey burgers – If drivers are able to buy frozen and have a microwave with them, or access to a microwave, then burgers are a healthy lunch option. They can also cook patties in a lunchbox cooker. They can use whole wheat buns or even a lettuce leaf, if they want to be especially healthy.

Canned soups – Again, if the driver has access to a microwave, a slow cooker, or a lunchbox cooker, then they can heat up soups relatively quick. But they need to look out for the sodium levels, as well as the serving size.

Dinner Ideas

Pot roast – Drivers can add potatoes and carrots, and have enough leftovers for a few meals after.

Chili – Another slow cooker recipe. They can also add whatever, and however much of what they like, and let it cook while they are driving.

Lasagna – Easy lasagna recipes are made in crock pots, which can be perfect for drivers on the go.

Baked Potatoes – They are easy to cook while driving. Drivers can also stop for the night, bake the second portion, and they will have a warm meal in no time.

Snack options include fruits, veggies, low-fat or low-calorie popcorn, unsalted almonds, and beef jerky.

Good Sleep

The big advantage of getting good, restorative sleep is not only for the sake of the driver’s health, but also for the sake of their job. Part of the reason why the Hours of Service regulations are in place is so that professional truck drivers can have enough time to sleep, as not to become drowsy or fatigued behind the wheel, and create accidents.

There are also a lot of challenges to being able to sleep better in a truck, and none of which is helped by the fact that drivers may be in a different location every night, with different surroundings. Drivers may be kept awake, or awakened from sleep, by a whole number of things. Part of the challenge that a lot of professional drivers face is finding a space to park their trucks.

In order to get more sleep, drivers should block as much light out of their trucks as possible. They should also pull their curtains closed for maximum darkness.

Drivers should limit their exposure to light coming from television and computer screens, right before going to bed. They should also eliminate all sources of artificial light, especially from electronic gadgets like clock radios, CPAP machines, and indicator lights.

Drivers should aim to park as far as possible from other trucks, but still in a safe and secure location. They should avoid places where the door of their truck is likely to get knocked on in the night. If possible, they should also avoid going to customers who wake them up, or require for them to get up, in the middle of their rest break.

If necessary, drivers should find and wear a good pair of earplugs when they sleep.

Another disadvantage of using window screens is that they don’t block bad odors (such as diesel exhaust) from entering the truck. Drivers can block out some of the bad smells by keeping their windows rolled up, but they need to beware of the lack of ventilation.

They should aim to park for a better sleep in places where their trucks and trailers won’t sway from side to side. They should also never park on the shoulder of a major highway or interstate to sleep.

Drivers should seek to optimize the temperature in their truck. It has been said that the optimum temperature to sleep better is between 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Climate control options include engine idling, APUs, battery-connected units, and shore power.

Drivers should seek to moderate the humidity level in their truck. They have never heard of a professional truck driver putting either a humidifier or a dehumidifier in his truck, but it is also possible.

Drivers should also adjust the feel of their sleeper mattresses if necessary with a topper or a pad. Even brand new mattresses can be uncomfortable.

Drivers should give themselves enough room to move around during their sleep. A zipped up sleeping bag that is too narrow can restrict their movements, and hinder their ability to sleep better.

To Sleep Better, Address Health Issues

Drivers should seek to alleviate sickness, the symptoms of which could interrupt their sleep. Head or chest congestion could hinder their ability to breathe, or could also cause them to cough. They should beware of any medication that could cause drowsiness during waking hours.

Healthymeals

Copyright Gonzotrucker Brand all content protected by copyscape.