Staying Healthy Behind the Wheel
As drivers we all fall into the trap of not eating healthy, the temptation of a burger king or McDonalds as you pull into services when you’re having a bad day, glancing down at your lunch and thinking “Nah, ill eat it tomorrow” next thing you know its 3 days old and needs throwing in the bin, don’t worry though, we’ve all done it and because of that I’m writing this blog to help keep yourself and other drivers healthy whilst at work.
Start your day with a large meal
Making your breakfast large, lunch moderate and your evening meal just enough to tide you over until breakfast again. Your metabolism slows when you are sleeping, so eating late at night is going to pile on the pounds. I know its tempting to have a snack at night whilst in your cab or at home but its not going to help in the long run!
Ideas for a filling healthy breakfast - 100g mixed berries, 60g of oats, 1tsp maple syrup, 1tsp peanut butter, Stir the frozen raspberries into your oats with 150ml water and a pinch of salt, then cover and chill in the fridge overnight. In the morning mix in the peanut butter and maple syrup
Strech your legs
Going for a walk during your break, lunch or even if your parking up for the night. Now I know that doesn’t sound very appealing have a stroll around Birch services at stupid o’clock but honestly if you have even a 10-15 minute stroll everyday or if your parked up for the night even 30 minutes, it gets you moving as well relieve stress and ultimately help you sleep better
Tip - Whilst walking around, incorporate a few stretches, this will give your muscles a well needed treat after being sat around in the a truck all day. Stretching Increases flexibility and your range of motion, allowing you to move better, increases blood flow to your muscles, reducing stiffness or tightness and improves circulation, thereby lowering the chances of blood clots.
Getting your head down
Sleep is the single most important factor in our lives as drivers, if we are tired we are very dangerous, heavy, large, fast moving object on the road, which just spells bad news doesn’t it? Ensure that on a night you park up in a quiet place with no light glaring through you’re curtains, you’re then giving yourself the best chance at a good nights sleep.
Tip - if you find yourself parked up and out for night more often than not, invest in a memory foam pillow to ensure you aren’t woken up in the night by a stiff neck. Also invest in some ear plugs, there is nothing worse than hearing outside noise all night and disturbing your beauty sleep
Watch what you are eating
Avoid relying on the services for food as 9/10 the option is going to very unhealthy and full of salt, if you have to get a quick food fix from one of these places ensure you go for a salad, substitute white bread for brown and avoid salty items such as sides and condiments. Begin preparing your own meals, it does not have to be every day, though you might find that you enjoy it (and it’s cheaper). Pre cook some fresh meat and vegetables, that’s all you need. Fresh food contains less salt and chemical additives.
Exercise is key, you might think that you’ll look a bit foolish having a run around a service station or doing squats and lunges around your wagon, but I’m sure you’ll feel more foolish if you can’t go into work due to ill health. There’s plenty of videos of workouts on youtube which require no equipment be sure to check them out
Water, Water and more water
Swap out fizzy drinks and coffee and start drinking water, being hydrated will give you more of an energy boost than drinking lots of coffee all day. Best thing about this is, its cheaper!
De-stress and relax
Find ways to really relax and ‘de stress’ each day. This could be exercise or reading even watching a little TV….. find things you can do to really let your brain switch off. Get out of the truck for breaks at least a few times each day and wonder around. Nothing de-stresses as well as holidays, It allows the driver to get away from the job and be with family and friends. You may think you can’t afford time off, but the truth is, you can’t afford not to. Mental health is just as important as your physical health