5 Healthy Habits for the OTR driver

November 17, 2012

Over-the-road (OTR) truckers have the propensity to lead one of the unhealthiest lifestyles in today's working class. The very nature of the work is sedentary. The work in and of itself is somewhat monotonous. Speaking from personal experience, it is easy to eat when one is bored and that happens a lot! The very nature of the drive is charming. It draws us to this business and at the same time it is what makes us overweight. Here are five tips on how to make better and healthier choices and at the same time enjoy the job that we love.

1. Eating Healthy on the Go

Most grocery stores in my experience have sufficient parking for tractor-trailers, although you may have to walk an extra bit and what is wrong with that? Walking a little bit helps us

keep things moving and also are good for our hearts and body. Once at the grocery store there are so many pre-packaged items that we can stock up on.

  • Pre-washed bags of lettuce and spinach
  • Pre-washed and cut vegetables (to eat alone or put on your lettuce)
  • Pre-washed and cut fruit
  • Whole pieces of fruit those are easy to clean (apples, oranges, plums, bananas)
  • Grilling meat (especially chicken and turkey breasts, they also come in cooked already varieties to put on salads)

2. Exercise

I used this excuse all the time. exercise is hard when you are an OTR driver. You drive for 11 hours straight (at least that is all you are supposed to do) then take 10 hours off, and that is if you have the perfect day right? Tomorrow you are back at it again, repeating the cycle. When you push that hard, where do you fit in exercise? Let's look at that one. Running shoes are an inexpensive option and very easy to store. You can go walking or jogging in the same places you already stop at. When you hit the rest area, get out and walk for a few minutes. Job into the rest area, park in the furthest spot and jog in. We know there is not time in the middle of the day for much, but set aside time at the end of the day for exercise.

3. Sleep

Sleep is essential to good health. You live in the cab of your truck. Do not settle for the cheapest when it comes to a mattress and pillow. Choose one that is very comfortable. You need to get as much sleep as possible in your 10 hours off and to do that your sleeping conditions must be as comfortable and as quiet as possible.

4. Mind

The job can be boring. Mile after mile after mile of monotonous roads, trees and signs. You can easily become distracted or you can think too much. Do you know that sometimes thinking too much is a bad thing? A few suggestions on how to make every mile count and not be a distracted driver.

  • Audio books. Purchase or rent audio books and listen to your favorite authors or develop favorite authors. Use the opportunity to learn about subjects that fascinate you.
  • Language tapes. You do not have to have the goal of becoming fluent in another language, but you can learn some phrases. This is especially useful if you deal with a number of individuals who speak a different language. Learn a few of things to say in their language. The amount of respect you will earn will be insurmountable. Taking back to the tape can keep you engaged, awake and alert.
  • Music. Branch out in your taste of music. Do you listen to country music? Try listening to Bach or Tchaikovsky. Is rap music your taste? Try listening to world music. Your options are numerous.

5. Family

OTR work does not always lend to the most family time. Take the opportunity to talk to those who mean the most to you. Taking to them makes you feel connected and keeps you active and interested in their lives, it also gives you an opportunity to see what your life is like and why you fell in love with driving. Driving may not be the most healthy of professions, but if we take the time to understand its weakness and work with it we can make it a healthy option for new drivers too. I know that when I first started I added quite a few pounds. Most rivers have, but once I got onto a system and understood how I could make changes and fit in exercise it all made sense.

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