There’s lots truck driver health advice floating around out there.  In fact, I’m sure most truckers are saturated with everyone giving their two cents worth on what drivers should be doing to stay healthy.  It often looks overwhelming and too difficult, so many don’t start or give up too soon.  Staying healthy and fit is very important for the trucker, but it must be a ‘permanent’ life style change.

In order for the change to be permanent, the ‘new habits’ must be formed slowly, within a comfort range for the individual.

For long term, permanent results, pick one or two things about your habits, lifestyle or diet that you’d like to change, and work on them.

When you feel you are making progress with them, then work on changing something else.
The following health tips and advice for truck drivers, are practical and easy to implement. Read each tip and think about a way to get as close to the goal as you can. Be creative!

My best advice is do not give up and do not get frustrated.

Be proud of your health accomplishments, no matter how little they are. Do not compare yourself and goals to those of anyone else. You are unique and so are your needs, so set the bar for you! Do the best you can.

Here are some tips for the best truck driver health that will benefit you for life.

Health Tips

Truck driver health and wellness tips

1.  Drink water - So many health issues arise from dehydration. The body doesn’t give signals to ‘drink’ until it’s already in a state of ‘dehydration’. Try to sip at your water all day long, rather than just drinking when you are thirsty. Also make sure you drink the best ‘quality’ water you can find.
How much water to drink daily? Consume 1/2 your body weight in ounces. If you weight 170 lb. you should consume approximately 85 ounces. Sounds like a lot, but work up to drinking this amount if you’re not already.

Tip: Keep a container with you always, to sip away throughout the day.

2.  Eat Fruits & Vegetables - Eat as many as you’re able to throughout the course of each day. Not only do they contain lots of great vitamins and minerals for overall health, they help digestion, too. 5-10 per day is good, but more is even better.
Tip: Make a ‘shake’ or ‘smoothie’.  It’s a great way to get lots of the stuff you need each day!

3.  Eat ‘Less Meat’ - Meat is an excellent source of protein, but a ‘meat focused diet’, isn’t healthy. Find other protein sources such as certain vegetables, beans, nuts and protein drinks.
Tip: Gradually add ‘other protein’ sources to your diet.
4.  Eat ‘Fewer Fatty Foods’ -  Ease up on junk food like potato chips, chocolate bars, fries, burgers etc. All they will do is begin to block up your arteries and cause lots of other problems.  Fatty foods are a big reason for poor truck driver health. Find other healthy things you like to snack on.
Tips: Walnuts, almonds, apples, whole grain crackers are decent snacks.
5.  Take a ‘Green Shake’ daily - This is an excellent thing for truckers who don’t always have good restaurants available for fresh fruits and veggies.  It’s also super easy to do.  If you’ve never taken ‘greens’ before, start with a small amount and increase your daily dose up to the manufacturer’s recommendations. In a cup with a lid, add at least 8 oz+ of good quality water, your ‘greens powder’ and a scoop of protein powder.  This is an excellent meal substitute when you simply don’t have the time or resources to eat properly.  This shake will give you energy and essential nutrients.
6.  Sleep - Get sufficient sleep every night. 8 hours per night with a regular bed time and wakeup time is a good idea.
Tip: Sleep in a ‘dark room’ or with a sleep mask to keep melatonin levels high.
7.  Supplements - Take a high quality multivitamin and vitamin C daily. See a nutritional expert or naturopath for more specific supplements suited for your needs.
Tip: Supplements are especially important for truck driver health since it can be difficult to find good quality foods on the road. Try to budget for supplements if possible.
8.  Healthy weight - Find out what your weight should be and stick as close to it as you’re able. Being the right weight for your body type, height and bone structure is important for numerous reasons. Body composition is important too. Find a naturopath who can determine your water content, bone, fat and muscle composition. You can be an ideal weight, but perhaps be lacking in water and muscle.
9.  Reduce stress and Relaxation - Find ways to really relax and eliminate stress each day. This could be some favorite exercise or reading a book.  Find things you can do to really let your brain ‘empty out’.
Tip: Make the time for relaxation.  Just 5-10 minutes each day is beneficial to your physical and mental health.
10.  Set ‘Health Goals’ Suited to Your Needs - Set some realistic goals for your health. Don’t try to do everything you should do all at once.  You’ll become frustrated and set yourself up for failure. Try mastering one thing at a time.
Good health for a truck driver is possible. Be willing to change, but make the changes at your own pace.

This article was originally featured on North American Trucking Alerts.

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Comments (3)

Sean Bryant

Sean is a graduate of the University of Iowa where he received a Bachelor's of Arts degree in economics. After beginning his career in banking, he found his love for marketing. Before arriving at ATBS in 2014 he spent time working for two different technology startups as well as his own freelance marketing company.

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Some good ideas, but we've all heard them hundreds of times, nothing new or more practical for truck drivers. Something we don't hear about a lot? We have to shop foods at WalMart a lot of the time, and those foods are the bottom of the health barrel. A couple of ridiculous items. #6 "Sleep 8 hrs with a regular bedtime and wakeup time?" Does this guy know one single thing about driving a truck? OTR anyway. #9 "Reduce stress?" Who wouldn't love to do that? We drive trucks between shippers and consignees on public highways, we deal with FMCSA, DOT, CSA, medical and CDL issues every single day. We have to maintain our trucks so we can work. Reduce stress? Reduce regulation, improve logistics, improve parking and road conditions, then talk to me about stress reduction. Man. Do what we can? Who isn't, just to survive? Maybe Sean could get a CDL and go out for a while, it would help his credibility.

March 01, 2015 6:37:26 AM

I find the exotic fruits (Dragon Fruit, Ram Bu Tan, Noni, Mangosteen) make a great change to apples and bananas and are available in most Grocery and Walmarts.

February 20, 2015 17:46:34 PM

Each day I try to take 5 minutes to meditate. Sounds easy right? 5 minutes to sit, relax, and regroup and I find this nearly impossible. More often then naut I crawl into bed and realize I forgot to take my 5 minutes.... Unbelievable how hard it is to make ourselves come first in the day.

February 19, 2015 4:13:31 AM