Whether you’re a truck driver, a road trip junkie, travel often for work or take a lot of sporadic weekend excursions, learning to stay healthy on the road is essential. If you spend a lot of time on the road, the hours you spend in your car eating fast food, sitting still and staying awake from drinking copious amounts of coffee and energy drinks can have a negative long-term effect on your health. Even when you’re on the road, you can maintain healthy patterns.
Not sure how you can stay healthy while still living your on-the-road-again lifestyle? Check out these 4 easy ways to stay healthy even if you’re frequently behind the wheel.
1. Make Healthier Food Choices
Sure, coming across healthy food on the highway is nearly impossible – but it’s not entirely out of the question. There are still ways you can make healthier food choices. Ask for fast food salads without the cheese, bacon, breaded chicken, creamy dressing and croutons. Keep an eye out for farmer’s stands on the side of the road or grocery stores that aren’t too far off the highway. Grocery stores often have prepared salads, a salad bar, pre-cooked lean meats like fish and chicken and pre-washed and sliced fruits. Whenever possible, opt for fresh fruits and veggies instead of fast food and water instead of soda. Avoid salty snacks and sugary sweets or candy.
2. Take Frequent Breaks
Sitting all day long is bad for your health, especially when you’re driving. Even if it’s the middle of the day and you’ve slept all night, driving for hours and hours at a time without a break is likely to make you more tired. Stop every few hours, even if you think it’s putting you behind schedule. Take time to stretch your legs, take a walk, clear your head, get fresh water and re-fuel with healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits or bananas. Rest areas are ideal for taking quick breaks.
3. Squeeze in a Few Minutes of Exercise
Finding time to exercise while you’re on the road isn’t easy, but it’s essential for your health – especially if you’re on the road often. Walking and jogging is an easy exercise to do on the road. All you need is a good pair of shoes and enough land for 20-30 minutes of activity. Even if you can only squeeze in 20 minutes of brisk walking around a truck stop or rest stop parking lot, you can still burn calories and get your heart rate up. You can stretch and strengthen your muscles with yoga or Pilates while easing your mind and reducing stress.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Not only do trucking companies use state-of-the art fleet tracking technology to keep track of their trucks at all times, but truck drivers are also required to log their hours using an Electronic On Board Recorder. Why? Not because companies don’t trust their drivers, but because they know that a sleepy truck driver is a danger to himself as well as to every other driver on the road. When you start to get sleepy, it’s time to pull over. Though you might not have anyone tracking your car or looking at your logged hours, it’s still important that you sleep 7 to 8 hours a night while you’re traveling on the road.
With these 4 tips, you can stay healthier while you’re on the road. Even if you can’t do all 4, any small changes you’re able to make can greatly impact your health, happiness and mindset. But, in order to change, you must make your health a priority. Getting healthy requires effort and results take time. Stay dedicated, make a genuine effort and you’ll eventually see results.