The life of a truck driver can be demanding at times. In some cases, a trip may only take a couple of days, but there are times when a truck driver will be on the road for several months. Without adequate care, truck drivers can suffer from a range of different illnesses. The presence of these conditions can lead to hazardous implications on the road and for the actual well-being of the person as well.
Due to the risks that are involved for truck drivers, it is important to learn how to remain healthy even while taking long trips on the road. This way, the truck driver will ultimately be able to assure they do not suffer the common complications found in this type of career, while also boosting the overall income that they would yield from the position. We take a closer look at some essential ways for truck drivers to stay healthy on the road.
Hydration Should Always Be A Priority
Dehydration is one of the most important factors that truck drivers need to be considerate about. Failure to obtain adequate fluids can quickly lead to this issue. When a truck driver becomes dehydrated, they face a risk of the following complications:
- Kidney failure
- Heat injury
- Cerebral edema
- Hypovolemic shock
In some cases, the driver also faces a risk of entering a coma. When dehydration becomes severe, it can even lead to death.
Thus, truck drivers need to ensure they keep adequate fluids with them. Water should be the most important fluid that they consume, which helps to effectively reduce the risk of dehydration, without adding additional sugars and artificial chemicals into their bodies.
The Importance Of Sleep Should Never Be Overlooked
Sleep is a critical part of life and also contributes to the body’s overall well-being. Truck drivers need to ensure they get enough sleep – as sleep deficiency is one of the most critical factors that lead to accidents. When the truck driver fails to sleep enough, they are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.
This can, in turn, lead to fatal accidents that may involve not only them, but also other people using the road. Sleep deprivation has been linked to a significantly lower quality of life. This issue contributes to inflammation, circadian rhythm changes, an increase in the responsivity to stress, mood disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and more.
Resting Frequently Can Bring Many Benefits
Truck drivers are required to sit throughout the journey to their destination and then back to the depot again. The prolonged periods of sitting can quickly lead to restlessness, as well as drain them of their energy. Furthermore, other issues associated with this sedentary behavior include a reduction in blood flow. All of these factors can contribute to adverse effects on the driver’s health.
Thus, sleep is not the only type of rest that should be prioritized. For optimal health, the truck driver needs to ensure they pull up at a rest stop frequently. It is generally advised that the truck driver will stop somewhere every two hours. During the stop, the driver should do some simple stretches or exercises. This helps to stretch the muscles and provides a boost in blood circulation. It can also help to give the driver a boost in their energy levels, fight against fatigue, and reduce the restlessness that they might experience.
Stay Away From Sodas
Soda is often one of the favorite beverages that a truck driver will keep with them upfront. The problem is, soda is loaded with carbs and sugar. The excessive amount of sugar consumed by the truck driver leads to spikes in both insulin and blood glucose levels. It also contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. Combined with the carbs, the sugar also adds to the weight gained by the truck driver.
These are all negative effects that the person needs to avoid as far as possible. Various healthy alternatives to soda exist – with water definitely making up the most important option. The driver may also prefer to opt for juices and teas that do not contain a lot of sugar.
Pack Some Healthy Snacks
Snacking on the road is a great way for the truck driver to maintain their satiety and avoid overeating. This can also help to reduce the risk of them indulging in fresh donuts at every truck stop they can find. There are many different types of healthy snacks that a truck driver can pack for themselves – many of which will help to ensure they get their daily recommended intake of essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Examples of healthy snacks for truck drivers include dark chocolate, yogurt, mixed nuts, hummus, raw vegetables, string cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. While not the healthiest food out there, nibbling on some jerky is definitely better than grabbing a box of apple crumble pies at the next stop.
Go For A Regular Physical
In addition to following the tips we have outlined, truck drivers also need to ensure they obtain a DOT physical exam on a regular basis. The specific timeframe for each of these examinations differs from one person to the next, which will be set by the NRCME provider. These examinations ensure the patient is fit and healthy enough to drive a truck and will report any problems early on before they cause serious complications.
Truck drivers are at risk of several health-related complications, ranging from an increased likeliness to become obese to serious problems, such as heart disease. By implementing effective strategies to remain healthy on the road, the risk of these problems can be effectively reduced. Apart from ensuring that appropriate health measures are taken, physicals for truck drivers also play an important role in the early detection of commonly diagnosed diseases.