More people are realizing how promising a career as a truck driver can be. That’s why about 3.5 million truck drivers are operating in the United States, according to the Census Bureau. If you’re considering becoming a trucker, you should know it’s one of the most physically demanding lines of work, which can negatively impact your health if you’re not careful. Don’t worry, though; this blog will provide tips on how to maintain optimal health as a truck driver.
1. Stay Hydrated
Most people aren’t aware of the fact that dehydration leads to various health issues. It doesn’t help that the body tells the brain you need to drink water when it’s already dehydrated. By the time you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Instead of only drinking when you’re thirsty, take little sips of water throughout the day. Be sure only to drink the best quality water available. How much water should you drink daily?
The standard recommendation is to drink half your weight in ounces. For instance, if you weigh 180 lbs, you should drink at least 90 ounces, translating to about 11 cups of water daily. It may sound like a lot, but if you’re not already drinking this much, you should work up to it to avoid the complications that arise from dehydration. A great tip is always to keep a bottle of water nearby to encourage yourself to stay hydrated.
2. Try to Prevent Driver Burnout
Regardless of your line of work, we all tend to experience total burnout at some point. Considering the trucking business operates around the clock, you likely have a fairly irregular schedule as a truck driver to accommodate dispatchers’ needs, but remember, you shouldn’t overwork yourself. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, about 30% of all commercial truck accidents result from driver fatigue.
This is where the company you work for comes in. Find a carrier that looks out for its drivers and respects them. One of the most important aspects of a successful career in the trucking business is working under the right company.
3. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
It’s probably not the first time you’ve come across this advice, but that’s because it’s true. Do make an effort to consume more fruits and veggies throughout the day. They’re packed with lots of minerals and vitamins that are key for general wellness and help with digestion; five to 10 per day is ideal, but more is better.
4. Prioritize Sleep
Most people don’t think much of the importance of getting enough sleep; however, proper rest is vital to renewing the body and keeping the mind sharp. Failing to get enough sleep can cause many health issues for a professional truck driver, not to mention it increases your risk of getting into an accident. Try to get eight hours of shut-eye every night and maintain regular bed and rising times, but this can be challenging for your line of work.
Stress can make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Find ways to unwind and decompress before going to bed. It may be reading your favorite book or exercising. Look for activities that’ll truly empty your mind and shut off the outside world.
Take breaks a few times each day to stretch your legs to prevent what old-time truckers dubbed white line fever. Most truckers’ break periods last around 30 minutes on average when on the clock. To maintain high melatonin levels, sleep in a dark setting. You can draw the curtains for maximum darkness in the bunk or use a sleep mask. Doing this will help you get better quality sleep.
To travel hundreds of miles daily, you must be in great health. Use this read as a guide for how to stay healthy as a busy trucker.