As a van or lorry Driver, having a healthy lifestyle and creating positive habits during and in-between shifts is vital, as those who forgo physical activity, or who don’t sleep or eat properly, can get ill or cause a driving accident.
Here are our tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle as a professional Driver:
Leading a healthy lifestyle whilst driving
There are a wide range of shift schedules and working patterns available in this industry, so finding a job with shift times that suit you will allow you to create a good work-life balance.
Managing your stress levels and preventing road rage when driving professionally is very important. As a brand ambassador for your employer, your actions should always reflect positively on them. Click here to learn more about managing road rage.
Eating nutritious foods during long shifts and when driving long distances will help you to remain healthy. Many of the types of foods traditionally associated with truck stops are high in fat, sugar and salt, and low in vitamins and minerals. Try taking a selection of healthy snacks with you such as fruit, nuts, seeds, chopped raw vegetables and granola bars. Click here to find out more about cooking healthy meals on the road.
Drivers who dislike the repetitive nature of their job can use their time more productively by listening to interesting or educational podcasts, the radio or audio books. To ensure you are not distracted whilst behind the wheel, make sure your podcast or audio book is lined up before you pull away, keep the volume at a reasonable level so that you are still aware of surrounding traffic noises, stay hands-free, no headphones or earbuds, and don’t listen to anything that is likely to get you riled up, such as a football match.
Being away from family and friends can be hard on those who drive long-distances. That’s why looking after your physical wellbeing and your mental health when you spend so much time in your own company is imperative. By eating nutritious meals, getting regular exercise, establishing sleeping patterns, keeping your brain active and your stress levels low will greatly contribute to good mental health.
Leading a healthy lifestyle in your down time
It might be hard to know what to do in your downtime when on the road, as your options may seem limited. Here are our tips on how to improve your wellbeing when out and about making deliveries:
- Rest stops – when it comes to using hygiene facilities and having a bite to eat, stopping at a designated rest stop can be a better option than at a layby on the hard-shoulder.
- Sleep – fatigue can be a serious issue when you’re a professional Driver. To avoid causing an accident, make sure you get enough regular sleep. Black out curtains, ear plugs and a comfy mattress on your cab bed are essential.
- Work-life balance – make sure that on your off days you do something interesting and stimulating, making the most of your life in your downtime.
- Regular breaks – plan your day to allow for breaks and avoid energy drinks or too much caffeine to keep you going. Eat well instead and stay hydrated.
- Physical health – look after your health by getting regular eye tests and check-ups with your doctor.
- Physical activity – from stretching your legs on a 15-minute break to cycling on a foldaway bike or weightlifting during a longer rest stop, will allow you to get a good mix of physical activity.
- Environment – keep your cab clean and tidy, as your environment can have a big effect on your mental wellbeing. To prevent any mechanical issues with your truck, always carry out your safety checks before hitting the road.
- Family time – video calling your family and friends when you’re on a break will help you to remain connected and help you to feel less isolated.
- Driving community – be an active member of an online driving community forum where you can chat with other drivers, share a joke, and have some fun.
- Hobbies – allow yourself to unwind between shifts by taking up a hobby that can be done on the move, whether this is playing a musical instrument, working out, or learning a new language.
- Entertainment – there are lots of ways to pass the time when you’re on a break. Binging on a series, reading books, researching your next holiday or adventure, and listening to podcasts are all good options.
Driving jobs can often entail long hours behind the wheel and this can have an adverse effect on your wellbeing. By instilling these healthy habits into your driving routine, you can maintain a good life-work balance, learn something new, remain connected with your family and friends, engage in a hobby you love and stay physically active and mentally healthy.
For more career advice, tips and guides click here.