Truck drivers can face many health issues due to their profession. Over the road truck drivers and local drivers find it difficult to eat healthy, exercise, and sleep enough, which leads them to having health issues.
In this article you are going to find 22 tips to stay healthy as a truck driver.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) did a research and study and have learned that nearly seventy percent of over the road truck drivers are overweight and obese.
It’s quite common for truck drivers to gain weight, but truck drivers are also at risk for high blood pressure, sugar diabetes, heart issues, and sleep apnea.
Truck drivers need to start taking care of their health to prevent these health issues.
22 Practical Tips to Stay Healthy as a Truck Driver
1. Avoid Sugary Drinks
2. Drink Black Coffee
3. Make Home Cooked Meals To Take With You On The Road
4. Cook In Your Truck
6. Drink Water Instead Of Soda
7.Avoid Fast Food
8. Eat A Good Breakfast
9. Don’t Eat Before Going To Bed
12. Try Bed Yoga
13. Make Good Food Choices At Truck Stops
14. Use An App For Counting Calories
15. Avoid Processed Foods
16. Eat Less
17. Eat Healthy Snacks
18. Stay Away From Sweets
19. Get Some Exercise Equipment
20. Walk A Mile
21. Make Healthy Smoothies
22. Buy A Good Seat Cushion
1. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Try to avoid drinking any sugary drinks like soda.
Sugary drinks are not only not good to drink, but it is also not good for your teeth.
Soda also dehydrates your body.
There are many different drinks that are healthier for truck drivers to drink, and they taste good too.
Truck drivers can drink juice (make sure the juice isn’t loaded with sugar), unsweetened tea, and water.
Water is the best choice, because it keeps your body hydrated along with keeping your stomach full, which will keep you from grabbing junk food while driving.
2. Drink Black Coffee
Not many truck drivers like to drink black coffee, but if you have to add items to your coffee, you should try using regular milk instead of heavy cream, and instead of using regular sugar you can try to use Splendid.
Truck drivers drink a lot of coffee during their fourteen-hour shift, but truck drivers should try to cut down their coffee intake to two cups a day.
You don’t have to do this instantly, but cut down slowly.
Coffee does help truck drivers stay awake, but too much caffeine isn’t healthy.
3. Make Home Cooked Meals to Take With You On the Road
Most over the road truck drivers have refrigerator’s in their truck, which is perfect so you can make home cooked meal to take with you on the road.
You can make baked chicken, boiled eggs, and brown rice are excellent choices.
You can also bring fruit and vegetables for healthy snacks too.
4. Cook in Your Truck
There are numerous ways that truck drivers can cook healthy foods in their truck. I wrote about all the equipment you need to cook up some awesome meals, check out that article right here.
It will taste great, be healthier, and save you a lot of money in the long run.
Truck drivers can buy a 12-volt lunch box stove like this one on Amazon, which is great for putting a couple of chicken breast in and letting it cook for a couple of hours.
You can add seasonings and in no time at all you are ready to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.
You can also put healthy soups in these too.
Truck drivers can also purchase a 12-vold crockpot too (this is the one I recommend), which is perfect for making homemade soups, chicken, and so much more.
It isn’t hard to go for a walk after you are finished driving for the day and/or during your thirty-minute break.
You can walk around the truck stop or warehouse, and this is an excellent way to exercise on the road.
6. Drink Water Instead of Soda
Water is the best thing that you can drink, especially better than soda, which is full of sugar and caffeine.
If you want to add a little flavor to it just squeeze a few lemons into it. I love doing this, it tastes great.
When your body isn’t getting enough water you will become dehydrated, which is when your body tells you that you are thirsty.
This is when you should drink water.
It is best that you drink water throughout the day. Truck drivers should have a bottle of water or glass of water ready to drink with them at all times.
7. Avoid Fast Food and Truck Stop Foods
Truck drivers should avoid eating at fast food restaurants and truck stop foods.
Fast food such as burgers, French fries, pizza, burritos, etc. are high in calories and fats.
Eventually, they can clog your arteries and cause many other health issues.
Also, truck stop foods stay under those heat lamps for hours and hours.
They are expensive, taste terrible, and they are terrible for your health.
8. Eat a Good Breakfast
As many truck drivers have already heard, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you should never skip it.
People who start off their day with a good breakfast are healthier.
Eating a good breakfast will give you the energy that you need to work those long hours, and will keep you from wanting junk food.
Oatmeal and fresh fruit are great breakfast items for truck drivers.
9. Don’t Eat Right Before Going to Bed
Truck drivers should avoid eating right before you are going to bed.
If you have to eat something, then try eating a piece of fruit or something light.
Try to avoid any greasy or heavy foods.
It is very possible for truck drivers to exercise on the road.
Truck drivers can go for walks around the truck stop, do pushups, crunches, and do squats.
If truck drivers will make exercise part of their daily routine at the end of the shift, then it will become natural to do in no time at all.
You can find an exercise that you like to do, then add other exercises with it.
Stretching should be done before you do any exercises and in the morning before you start driving.
Don’t stop there, keep stretching throughout the day.
Stretching will loosen up your muscles along with relaxing them.
Truck drivers should stretch their arms, legs, neck, and back.
Start stretching an you will see how much more comfortable you will be driving.
12. Try Bed Yoga
Bed Yoga is perfect for truck drivers.
Every over the road truck driver has a bed, and this is a way that you can stretch and unwind at the end of your shift.
The Bed Yoga will calm your nerves and remove stress while preparing you for bed so you can get a restful sleep.
This Bed Yoga video is excellent:
13. If You Have to Eat at Truck Stops, Try To Make Good Food Choices
It can be frustrating trying to find food choices that are healthy at a truck stop, but there are options.
The first thing you will want to do is to avoid any of the foods that have been prepared who knows when, then placed under the heating lamps such as hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, burritos, and French fries.
You will also want to avoid the sodas, potato chips, and candy bars.
Nearly all truck stops have fruit, salads, beef jerky, nuts, and protein bars.
These are good food choices.
Also, most truck stops usually have a family style restaurant or fast food restaurant where you can order good food choices.
You can have a salad (even at a fast food restaurant) or choose grilled chicken.
14. Use Your Smartphone App for Counting Calories
There are numerous Apps that you can get that are free.
A counting calories App will keep you mindful of how many calories you are consuming each day, and keep your healthier.
Put your phone to use and look around for a calorie counting App that works for you.
15. Avoid Processed Foods
You may be wondering what is processed foods, and how are they bad for you.
Processed foods are foods that have been cooked, frozen, and packaged so they are preserved.
Usually, unhealthy ingredients are added in order to keep them on the shelf longer without spoiling.
Some processed foods have a minimal of processing done, which would include spinach that is bagged, cut veggies, and nuts.
These types of foods have only had minimal processing.
Foods that are heavily processed would include frozen pizzas, microwave dinners, deli or lunch meat, and foods that are ready to eat.
Theses kinds of processed foods should be avoided.
They have added sugar, sodium, fats, and preservatives that you want to avoid.
16. Eat Less Food!
Eating less foods will actually improve truck drivers sleep and mood.
It will also help you to lose weight and keep the weight off.
You should try adding more vegetables and fruits to your meals and eating less fats and bread.
This is something that you can start a little at a time and within no time at all you will be eating less foods without even trying.
17. Eat Healthy Snacks
There are many snacks that truck drivers can take with them so they can have healthier snacks while on the road.
I listed 19 of them in this article, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Fruits, vegetables, granola bars, almonds, walnuts, and hard-boiled eggs are excellent choices.
18. Stay Away from Sweets
It can be difficult for truck drivers to stay away from the sweets, because that is what they will see as soon as they enter the truck stop.
There is always candy bars, cakes, and donuts available for drivers.
Instead of getting a couple donuts or a candy bar, truck drivers can choose a granola bar, cheese cubes, almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds.
19. Get Exercise Equipment
These exercise equipment will not take up much space in the truck, and they will always be available for you to exercise. You don’t have to search for a gym.
You can pick a kettle-bell that varies in weight up to twenty pounds.
Truck drivers can use the kettle-bells while doing leg exercises and cardio.
Small weights are perfect for truck drivers.
Truck drivers can use them to work all of their muscles.
Resistance bands are also perfect for the truck as they will not take up any space.
Truck drivers can attach them to different parts of the truck to do a full body workout.
20. Walk a Mile
Walking is a perfect way to exercise for truck drivers.
When you park for the day/night, then you can walk.
Truck drivers can walk around their truck and trailer thirty-three times, and this is approximately a mile.
Truck drivers can start off by doing a mile or two the first week, then add a mile each week.
You will start feeling great in no time at all.
21. Make Healthy Smoothies
Smoothies are a healthy option for truck drivers.
They are easy to make, the blender doesn’t take up a lot of space, they taste great, and they are good for you.
The blender I recommend is this one on Amazon.
A Berry Yogurt smoothie is healthy and easy to make.
You will only need six ingredients to make this tasty smoothie. Here is the recipe for the one I make all the time:
Place your items in the blender, then blend. Within a few minutes you will have a berry yogurt smoothie.
You don’t need to add any sugar to the smoothie, because the bananas, blueberries, and blackberries have natural sweetness that will make the smoothie taste sweet.
If you are looking for a powerful blender, then you can look on Amazon’s website. There are several blenders that are very affordable.
You don’t have to pay $100 to get a high-quality blender. This blender is perfect.
22. Buy a Good Seat Cushion
It is very important that every truck driver has a seat that is comfortable.
Truck drivers should buy a good seat cushion because sitting on a regular truck seat can start to affect your back and butt.
Truck seats have very little support or the support with the seat isn’t effective due to all the miles that has been set on the seat.
There are different seat cushion options, which include:
Memory foam seat cushions like this one I found on Amazon are an excellent seat cushion choice.
The memory foam will reduce pain in the back and butt, and they will conform to your body, which will provide you with a more comfortable sitting while you drive.
Beaded Seat Covers
Many truck drivers think that the beaded seat covers like this one that I use will actually make their back and butt hurt worse, but this isn’t the case.
The beaded seat covers will actually massage your back and butt along with providing your body with air circulation, which is perfect if you sweat a lot during the summer months.
Gel Pad Seat Cushions
The gel pad seat cushions are another excellent option for truck drivers.
The gel pad seat cushions keep the driver’s back and butt cool, and they are very comfortable.
I have not used one of these but a lot of drivers say they work wonders. This is what they look like on Amazon.
These twenty-two practical tips will help truck drivers stay healthy.
Truck drivers should set goals.
You don’t have to make drastic changes all at once.
Start slow, and eventually you will get there.
Once you get one goal accomplished, then start another goal.
You can start off by eliminating sugar drinks and drinking more water, then once you have that goal accomplished you can start by drinking black coffee, etc.
Truck drivers can change the life expectancy for themselves by using these helpful tips.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Truck Driver?
The average life of a truck driver is much shorter than people with other professions.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that the average life a truck driver is sixty-one years old.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an in-depth study and survey in 2010 to learn more information about over the road truck drivers health conditions.
Nearly 1,300 over the road truck drivers participated in the study at thirty-two truck stops across the country. Each truck driver was interviewed and asked numerous questions about their experience and history in the truck driving industry, their sleep habits, their driving routes, fatigue, and overall health and medical conditions. The results were that the average life of a truck driver is sixty-one years of age due to their life being an over the road truck driver.
It was very hard for a truck driver to live a healthy lifestyle for these reasons:
• Schedules are irregular
• Long hours on the road driving
• Very little physical activity
• Healthy foods are not accessible
• Lots of stress
Truck drivers have higher chances of these health issues compared to other United States workers:
• Overweight and Obesity
• Heart Disease
• Sugar Diabetes
• High Blood Pressure