Being a professional driver is hard work. Our bodies were never meant to sit for 8-10 hours per day. Life on the road can make it difficult to maintain a good routine of scheduled exercise and healthy eating habits.
How can you overcome this challenge? Here are a few ideas to start you on a healthier journey:
Think of a physical activity you enjoy. Do this for 15-20 minutes each day and consider that time as part of your job. The pay you will collect will be a positive attitude, better sleep, and a healthier you. Remember, if you truly enjoy the activity, you’re more likely to follow through with it each day.
After you’ve reviewed your load assignment, work your activity into a fragment of your day. Weather permitting, take a walk. If the conditions outside aren’t great, use your bunk area to lift dumbbells or do a few squats or sit ups.
Some think, “I can’t exercise because I can’t get to a gym.” While a gym would be great, you don’t need one to get in a great workout. Body weight workouts are effective. Tension bands or a set of 15 lb. dumbbells are easy to keep on hand. Follow a simple upper body routine and stick to it for two weeks, then change to lower body workouts. Try the app Down Dog for examples on yoga moves which are fantastic for your mobility and great for beginners.
Eventually, you’ll end up in a motel. Never pass up the opportunity to use the indoor swimming pool, walk on a treadmill, or use whatever they have available to get your pulse going for at least 15-20 minutes.
Healthy Eating Habits
The fuel we put into our bodies is important because like fuel in an engine, it directly affects your performance. Choose lean cuts and veggies. Buffets are often convenient when you’re on the road. However, it’s easy to fall into the “get your moneys worth” mindset there. If you must eat at a buffet, choose an item from the menu instead of hitting the buffet line.
When you eat, take your time chewing and enjoying each bite. You will find that you are satisfied with a smaller portion if you slow down and really be present.
Keep quality snacks such as almonds, slices of lean turkey, fresh fruit, and veggies on hand. You’re more likely to be satisfied longer with these healthy options than if you munch on a bag of chips.
Set a goal to incorporate movement and stretching into your everyday activities. Eat quality lean foods. Think of this as just as essential as brushing your teeth. You will feel better physically and mentally, and you will sleep better from the very first day.
All habits take time, so start small. Take a five minute walk each night, and then build on that. Small changes will yield great results. Give it time. You can do it!