If you’re a truck driver, you don’t need us to remind you of the job’s daily demands and stressful situations. The busy nature of the trucking industry can make healthy choices almost impossible to integrate throughout the day. However, with prioritization and planning, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working on the road.
Wellness is often defined as having somewhere between six and ten dimensions depending on the scholar or organization. For simplicity, we’ll look at two of the six dimensions of wellness defined by the National Wellness Institute. https://www.nationalwellness.org/page/Six_Dimensions
In future posts, we’ll review the remaining dimensions.
Occupational wellness follows these tenets: Source: National Wellness Institute
- It is better to choose a career which is consistent with our personal values, interests, and beliefs than to select one that is unrewarding to us.
- It is better to develop functional, transferable skills through structured involvement opportunities than to remain inactive and uninvolved.
Source: National Wellness Institute
The trucking industry and transportation at large is the bedrock of the economy. It may be tough to draw the connection between trucking and economic growth during the daily grind but it’s especially true today. As a truck driver, you are a huge part of what makes modern society function seamlessly. Hopefully you can find inspiration in this work and the role that you are playing in advancing the quality of life for our society.
Physical wellness follows these tenets: Source: National Wellness Institute
- It is better to consume foods and beverages that enhance good health rather than those which impair it.
- It is better to be physically fit than out of shape.
It can be hard to find the time for a traditional workout when you are spending your days out on the road. But it is not impossible to find ways to increase your physical fitness. We’ve done some research to uncover activities you can do on your own to get on the right track.
A four step do-it-yourself approach: Source: DrivingHealthy.org
- Take a jump rope along with you and jump rope at rest areas
- Walk or jog around rest areas for cardio
- Carry resistance band or use water bottles or cans as weights for conditioning activities
- Take advantage of truck stop resources like StayFit from TA and Petro. As part of the StayFit program, select locations now offer fitness rooms and walking/running trail maps.
Additionally, there are hundreds of applications, blogs and web resources to help you stay fit on the road. One of our favorites is TheHealthyTrucker.net or @healthy_trucker on Twitter. He has developed many resources for truckers who want to stay fit and eat purposefully on the road.
Eating Healthy on the Road
Another challenge on the road is finding affordable, healthy food. It is convenient to stop and dine out but, today, many restaurants offer low-fat or low-sodium alternatives like fresh fruits and salads.
Three healthy eating tips on the road from: Source: DrivingHealthy.org
“Eat more: Salad, non-cream-based-soups, baked or lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat salad dressings, and dessert alternatives (like Jell-O, pudding, and fresh fruit)
Eat less: Mayonnaise-based salads, full-fat salad dressings (like regular ranch dressing), fried foods, foods with gravies or cream sauces, and sugary desserts
For a look at recommended serving sizes, check WebMD’s interactive and downloadable portion size plate.”
Physical and Occupational wellness are two of six interlinked categories of overall wellbeing. Finding a balance for optimal wellness may be different for each of us. What’s important is understanding that wellness is something that requires thought and focus to improve.
The occupational challenges of the trucking industry create a difficult environment to focus on wellness. We support drivers with our products and services and hope to increase peace of mind during your working days.