FIVE TIPS TO KEEP TRUCKIES HEALTHIER
Australia’s truck drivers are out on the roads, day in, day out, keeping the country running smoothly.
It’s a big job, and anyone who’s worked from the driver’s seat of a heavy vehicle knows it takes time and care to make sure your truck is up to the job.
That’s why you’ve got such a rigorous schedule of daily checks on your truck – because you know it could save headaches down the road.
In this, your mind and body operate in similar ways to your truck. Spending a bit longer making a few tune-ups here and there can dramatically improve how everything’s running. And shouldn’t you treat yourself as well as you treat your truck?
Below are five ways truck drivers can go about improving their health.
Taking stock of what you’re eating is a great first step towards boosting your work-life balance. Consider the portions you’re eating, what you’re snacking on and the drinks that you’re washing it all down with.
Look for food and drink that you enjoy the taste of, that doesn’t have as much sugar, salt or fat content as some of the usual offenders like chips, flavoured milk or soft drinks.
The siren song of fast food is always going to be tempting when you’re facing off against a long stretch of highway, but resisting it will help boost your mood and stamina, and you’re going to feel a lot better in the long run.
There are plenty of helpful resources online about healthy eating for truck drivers.
You don’t need to be running marathons after every delivery to achieve a better work-life balance. Start with small things like proper stretching.
Sitting in a cab all day places strain on the lower back, hamstring muscles and neck – the correct stretches are going to have you feeling less tense and cooped up in the cab.
Other small changes can make a big impact on your well-being when you’re out on the road too.
Going for a short walk after you park at a truck stop is a great idea, or you could get a small set of weights for the cab so you can pump a bit of iron when you’re not driving.
A quick web search will uncover lots of exercise programs created specifically for truck drivers, but setting some achievable goals and starting small is likely to put you on the right path.
If you have to stare down a particularly long stretch of road all day, getting a good sleep the night before is vital to helping you maintain your well-being out on the road.
Drivers should consider any beneficial addition to their sleeper cab as a worthwhile investment. Comfy mattresses, heaters or fans… anything that’s going to make you more comfortable and help you get better rest out on the road is worth its weight in gold.
Staying mentally occupied
When every new highway starts to look almost exactly like the last, it’s time to switch up how you stay engaged out on the road.
A Florida State University study released last year showed a lack of workplace stimulation can have a detrimental effect on employees’ mental health.
Drivers can find mentally engaging activities that they enjoy to help stay alert and fresh. If you like reading, why not switch up the radio for an audiobook?
If you want to have a good laugh it might be worth investing in some comedy CDs or downloading some podcasts.
There’s so much content available online and a lot of it is free.
Prioritising home life
This list has focused on the work side of the work-life balance so far, but that’s only half the equation. Staying engaged with friends and family, even when out on the road, is going to boost drivers’ well-being by helping to ward off the isolation that can set in out on the road.
Luckily, now it’s easier than ever to stay connected with people thanks to technology.
The more you engage with the people you hold near and dear when you’re out on the road (though not while driving of course), the more comfortable you’re likely to feel when you return home.
There are a lot of perks to the truck driving lifestyle. Taking a bit of time to consider your habits and making a few small tweaks here and there could have a huge impact on your work-life balance, and keep you happily trucking along for years to come.