Being on the road a lot can add many challenges to life, one of which is staying healthy. It can be all too easy to run through fast food restaurants, not get enough exercise, and get out of shape. But, this doesn’t change the importance to staying healthy. So we asked real drivers what they do to stay healthy while they are on the road.
Knowing you should eat healthy and eating healthy are two separate things. Especially when you are traveling. It can be very difficult to find healthy alternatives on the road, but that doesn’t stop everyone from trying. One of the largest responses, almost 60%, from our survey was to avoid fast food. Fast food is convenient and quick, which makes it perfect for people constantly on the go. But it is quite the opposite for people trying to stay healthy. Eating fast food regularly can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure; extra calories that lead to weight gain, increased blood sugar, insulin resistance, and even depression and heart issues. Because professional truck drivers are held to a higher health standard by the Department of Transportation, remaining “medically qualified” is critical to, not only your well-being, but also your livelihood. This means eating healthy is very important!
Now completely avoiding fast food may not be possible and that is ok. But, it will be very beneficial if you can limit the amount of fast food that you eat. And the more that you can cut out the burgers and fries and add healthier options, the more healthy and happy you are likely to be. Many drivers try to pack certain snacks or drinks with them to help satisfy cravings without running through a drive through.
Snacks & Drinks
Fast food is named that for a reason. It is quick and gets you on your way as soon as possible, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time for that even. Or you may just get hungry throughout the day. Instead of constantly stopping or running through some place to get food, many drivers pack snacks and drinks to have with them. This is a great way to avoid going to fast food places, but it can also lead to other issues. Some snacks and carbonated beverages may taste great, but they are definitely not healthy choices when it comes to snacks.
When we asked our drivers what they do; 53% of them said that they bring healthier snacks. 27% don’t drink soda/pop at all. These two options together can have huge impacts on your health. The extra sugar and calories that you get from snacking can lead to weight gain, high blood sugar, insulin resistance and even diabetes and more. So next time you are about to hit the road, forget the carbonated beverages and grab a water bottle, unsweetened tea, or even a sports drink instead. Pack some healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables or nuts.
No matter what you eat, you are going to have calories and that means that you need to find ways to burn off some of those calories. Since getting enough exercise while you are on the road can be challenging, many drivers just go to the gym or work out when they are home. Others try to take walks or ride a bike during down time. Some even just take laps around their truck while refueling or during breaks.
However you get up and moving is good. Be creative. It doesn’t need to be a full workout routine in a gym for you to get fit. Even just daily walks can help burn those calories and help you get in shape.
Now these are just a couple helpful tips for you to begin a healthier life on the road. Below are a couple additional resources with more information about things that truck drivers can do to get and stay healthy.