A Driver’s Road Map to Health
Over the past few months, we presented to you “A Driver’s Guide to Health” blog series covering six health topics for truck drivers. Although the series has come to an end, your journey to a healthy life should go on. So, we have a handy cheat sheet for you to take a peek at whenever you need a reminder. Here you can see the summaries and key points from each topic, and an infographic that you can save on your phone or print out.
For your emotional and physical well-being, optimal brain functioning, daytime performance, and safety of yourself and others around you, you need regular, quality sleep.
- Keep your sleeping area dark when going to sleep, and expose yourself to some natural lights in the morning.
- Try to set a quiet sleeping environment using earplugs or white noise machines as necessary.
- Get the correct bedding for your body so you can sleep comfortably, whether it be getting the right pillows, mattress, comforters, bed toppers, etc.
- Avoid stimulants that disrupt your sleep before your bedtimes such as caffeine, nicotine, and food or drinks high in sugar or simple carbohydrates.
- Put away electronic devices a few hours before bed. Instead, try different bedtime routines such as meditation, reading, journaling, listening to calm music, etc.
- If you find yourself not sleeping well and feeling tired frequently, get checked out for sleep apnea.
Obesity is categorized as a disorder that can cause physical and mental health issues. Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or more indicates overweight and 30 or more indicates obesity. BMI is calculated with this formula: (weight in pounds ÷ height in inches ÷ height in inches) x 703.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a long-term goal and a lifestyle in itself. Be realistic in your plans and don’t rush.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Plan your meals, making sure your diet includes various food from all the major food groups.
- Control your portions. Weight gain is caused by taking in more calories than you burn.
- Move your body. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Walk around and do light exercise at each rest stop or in your cab.
- Constantly remind yourself of your motivation to lose weight.
- Keep to a regular eating schedule.
- Eat whole fruits and grains, various vegetables and protein foods, and low-fat dairy.
- Limit sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars.
- Don’t skip breakfast.
- Drink enough water.
- Control your portions.
- Plan meals.
When you are on the road, it is often a struggle to find decent meals that are nutritious, filling, and inexpensive. Try preparing and packing meals and snacks in advance for your shifts. Make sure your truck is equipped with a mini fridge or a cooler with ice packs.
Think of your motivation: What are your reasons to quit smoking that are strong enough to outweigh your urge to smoke?
- Get support from the love ones.
- Recognize and fight withdrawals.
- Identify triggers and avoid them.
- Get busy and distract yourself.
- Deep clean your house and car.
- Don’t give up. Keep trying.
- Celebrate your success.
Though the nature of the truck driving job can make it difficult to work out frequently, regular exercise will prevent health issues caused by inactivity. And it is also good for the overall well-being of your body and mind.
- Try exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
- Walk around and do light exercise when you have a break.
- Make the most of each rest stop.
- Stretch inside your cab.
- Set a realistic goal and make a plan around it.
Cope with Stress
Most of us are going to experience stress throughout our lifetime, and coping with stress depends mostly on attitude and perspective, and how we build our lifestyle.
- Learn to recognize symptoms of stress.
- Identify the cause of stress.
- Put problems into perspective.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle – eating and sleeping habits, physical activity, and avoiding stimulants and depressants, etc.
- Learn to manage your stress and relax.
- Think positively
- Get support from the loved ones
- Keep a stress diary
- Learn to say no
- Devote time to your faith practices and reaffirm your beliefs
- Set up a calming environment in your cab with fun music and soothing scents.
Remember that Carter Express is always here to look out for our drivers. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact Carter Express Driver Relations at 800-738-7705 ext. 1270.
If you have concerns about your mental or physical health, take advantage of the free Teledoc service provided to all Carter Express drivers.