Many truck drivers have serious health issues. One of the biggest health problems that truck drivers face is obesity. In fact, research shows that about seven in 10 truckers are obese. About 17 percent of truck drivers are morbidly obese, which means they are 100 pounds over their normal weight.
Long-haul truck drivers are especially at risk for health issues. Besides obesity, truck drivers can have hypertension and high cholesterol. Thankfully, truck drivers can do some things to combat these kinds of health issues.
Discover five ways for truckers to stay healthy on the road.
Many truck drivers smoke cigarettes. When a person smokes cigarettes, they increase their risk of acquiring the following health issues:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Smoking cigarettes has also proven to be harmful to one’s mental health. Smokers increase their chances of suffering with anxiety, depression, and irritability. Truck drivers who work around hazardous materials increase their chances of serious injury if they smoke near their truck and it explodes.
A truck driver can do many things to quit smoking. Some ways to quit include setting a date to stop cold turkey, cutting back slowly with the help of nicotine replacement, or asking their doctor for a prescription medication that helps lessen the addiction to nicotine.
Unfortunately, one of the worst parts about being on the road is that healthy eating options are limited. While fast-food joints and truck stops offer a convenient and inexpensive place to eat, these food places don’t always serve the most nutritious meals.
This makes it difficult for truck drivers who want to eat better. Despite the challenges to eat better, you do have some ways to do it. A few of them include the following:
- Buy an oven that plugs into the cigarette lighter and use it to cook healthy meals.
- Never skip breakfast.
- Replace candy bars and doughnuts with healthy snacks, such as nuts and fresh fruit.
Sometimes, truck drivers cannot avoid fast food. If fast food is the only option to get some much-needed calories, never supersize the meal. Try to find the healthiest option on the menu, like a salad or grilled chicken sandwich.
If eating at a truck stop, order half a serving. Truckers can also practice portion control when they eat half their meal at the truck stop and save the rest for later. Taking leftovers on the road works especially well for truckers who have a small oven and also a cooler.
Drink the Right Beverages
Along with eating the right foods, truck drivers also need to drink the right beverages. Truck drivers should choose beverages low in sugar and caffeine and high in electrolytes and other nutrients. Some healthier beverage options for truck drivers include milk, tea, carbonated water, and plain water.
Truck drivers can enjoy certain beverages in moderation. These beverages include juice, smoothies, and sports drinks.
Most truck drivers can’t live without coffee. However, if their coffee intake affects their sleep, they may need to cut back. Besides large amounts of coffee, other beverages to avoid on the road include soda, energy drinks, instant cappuccino, and alcohol.
Get Enough Sleep
Truck drivers are notorious for not getting enough sleep. However, besides helping them do their job better, sleep can also improve their health. Many truck drivers already struggle with hypertension. When hypertension is combined with a poor night of sleep, truck drivers can experience high blood pressure the next day.
Other health issues that are common for those who don’t get enough sleep include:
- Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Weakened immune system
- Increased appetite
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Because sleep plays such a large role in the life of a truck driver, they should do everything they can to get enough sleep. Most people need at least eight hours, but this varies from person to person.
For truck drivers who want to sleep better while on the road, they can try some things. Truckers should keep their sleep schedule as regular as possible, which means going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day.
They should also park their truck in a quiet and safe spot, use truck window shades or a mask to block out light, put on some white noise or wear earplugs to drown out sound, and keep the cab at a comfortable temperature.
Get Up and Move
Truck drivers sit for many hours at a time. All that sitting is not good for their bodies. When truck drivers have downtime while on the road, they should get up and move their bodies. Some ways to do this including hitting the local gym, taking a long walk, jump roping, or doing some stretches.
Have you always wanted to be a truck driver? If so, staying healthy is important. Also, contact Arrow Truck Sales to purchase your truck.