What is a Healthy Lifestyle…on the Road?
The work life of your typical truck driver is not glamorous. It usually involves long hours on the road alone. Cross country haulers specifically have a job that not everyone can do. To be able to drive for long periods of time, day and night, through adverse weather is not for everyone. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle under these conditions is not easy. When you get exhausted from sitting down for so long the very thought of exercise or having to cook a decent meal sounds like a cruel joke.
Still, there’s hope. Sadly, there’s no easy magical way to be healthy. Not if you’re rich, not if you’re an athlete and certainly not if you’re someone who spends long hours on the road. Achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will always require work. But, if you refer back to the first line of this paragraph, there is hope. There are many tips you can utilize to help improve your health.
Start with the Mind
Let’s start with the mental end of it. If you’re mind isn’t into it, you can bet this months pay that your body
won’t be either. You need to be dedicated mentally and physically to being healthy. It’s the easiest thing in the world to say, “I’ll just start tomorrow”. But guess what? You won’t. Start today, start right after you read this paper, start the moment you close the door and turn on the ignition. It’s a cliché yes, but attitude is everything. Here are some tips to get you mentally prepared:
- Start now, yes, I’m saying it again because there’s a reason for it.
- Set goals for yourself – make sure they are challenging yet reasonable. It doesn’t always have to be weight related either. It could as simple as at each rest area do 10 push-ups or walk around for 15 minutes.
- Track your progress. Things seem a lot more real when you’re looking at them and this also makes it easier to check yourself and make sure your goals are being met.
- Reward yourself. When you reach a certain goal celebrate it.
It’s All About the Physical
Now once you lay the foundation by getting your mind right it’s time to take action:
- Aim to do some type of physical activity every day, at least for 30 minutes.
- Vary what you do, there are many different exercises you can perform so switch it up, make it more interesting for yourself. Plus, workouts are more effective when you avoid doing the same thing every time.
- As a road warrior conditions might not always be ideal for doing things outside so improvise. If you’re driving a semi do something in the cab. For a van, get a pair of exercise bands and perform some movements inside.
- Stretch – this is very important especially due to the fact this job requires a lot of sitting. Don’t let your muscles tighten up. Stretch daily to avoid many common pains that come from sitting down too much you won’t regret it.
You Are What You Eat
Diet is another obstacle you will conquer. Rest areas, travel plazas and truck stops are filled with fast food. It’s cheap, easy, fast and tastes great. I’m not saying you have to give it up for life, but, to achieve a healthier life on the road you’ll have to greatly limit how much junk you eat. It’s possible to find healthier alternatives on the road, especially now when more restaurants are offering better choices such as fruits, salads and real meat. Avoid soda/pop and stick to water or real juice. You can also grab a cooler and stick some healthy foods in there. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads are all easily found and can last the trip no matter where you’re headed.
Your Health is Your Choice
When it comes down to it, only you can control what you do out on the road. You have to make the decision to live a healthy lifestyle and take action to do so. These tips are helpful but are meaningless unless you make a commitment to put in some effort. Whether you do it for yourself or a loved one, use whatever motivation you can find to get you started. Once it becomes a habit you won’t even need to think about it anymore.