With everything that you have to deal with, never overlook truck driver health. That can be your own personal health, the welfare of your driving team, or just your fellow drivers. Truck driver health is the key to the overall success of your trip. Oh, I am sure you don’t think that’s true, but it is.
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I always push for you to maintain proper truck/ trailer maintenance; well truck driver health is equally (if not more) important! Just like you have to keep your truck in working order by:
- Using the better quality fuel;
- Maintaining the proper fluid levels and oil changes;
- Checking to make sure your tires are good;
- Inspecting the lights, mirrors, and everything else.
The very same way you MUST to maintain your body and mind! Keep yourself healthy! When I say that, I am not just referring to getting sick, after all no one wants the flu; I am speaking more about keeping healthy weight, getting some exercise, and eating as healthy as possible.
Even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recognizes the importance of truck driver’s health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are working hard to help improve awareness so that drivers can improve their overall health.
If you are wondering just how important good health is, the short answer is very. This isn’t just about you and your well-being; this is about the bigger picture. If you aren’t fit you can’t work, if you can’t work you can’t get paid. If you are the owner of a trucking company and you have a driver who is out for health reasons, how long will they stay on your duty roster?
I know it sounds cold, but time lost due to health issues impacts more than just you, -the driver. It impacts the whole operation because now trips need to be adjusted or other drivers need to fill in. Lost wages can greatly affect your recovery as well. The increase in insurance premiums takes its cut. The ripple effect is far reaching. You might be physical fitness nut, but because others are not, your rates are adjusted to meet the insurance claims.
To put this in proper perspective, The Department of Labor (DOL), have released their findings in regards of missed working days due to truck accidents and illness. According to their Bureau of Labor Statistic study, truck drivers were among the highest to miss work due to this. Not saying they were the highest, but only occupations like police officer or firefighter had higher absentees. Though, they were beaten out by those in the janitorial field as well.
I hope you know just how important maintaining your health truly is. As I stated earlier, it is comparative to keeping your vehicle maintained. Because if it breaks down you won’t be able to work, likewise if you breakdown the truck won’t be able to work. So keep yourself healthy and do everything that needs to be done so you can be in good shape.
How can you do this? Well here is a long list (in no particular order) of ways you can help and/or improve your health.
Here is a video sponsored by Driver Solutions where they give some great driver tips.
1. Truck Driver Health – Drink Plenty Of Water
Not drinking water can cause serious health issues for every living being on earth. It is recommended to consume 1/2 your body weight in ounces. So many health issues arise from dehydration. There were recent studies from the MAYO Clinic where they suggest female drivers to drink approximately nine cups a day, and man to drink thirteen cups daily.
There are million and one reasons why water is good for you. It is regulating your body temperature, lubricating the joints, and helps you get rid of bodily waste. For the ones that are struggling to lose weight, drinking water will be a big benefit. It will make you feel full and that way you will consume less calories.
Try to always have with you the needed amount of water that will last you through the day, and sip on it every chance you get. Don’t wait to become thirsty. If you don’t like water that much, you can try eating watermelon and celery; they are reach with water.
2. Truck Driver Health – Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables
Eating fruits and vegetables can gladly improve your overall health. It is recommended that you eat ten to fifteen pieces a day, and the best option will be raw, frozen or canned. Another good option will be to make a mixed shake or smoothie!
Besides the fact that they contain lots of great vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies help digestion, too. Eating them on a daily basis can help you lose weight, have a better sleep at night and gladly boost your immune system!
With all the antioxidants and vitamins they contain they are well known for perfect way to fight fly and cold, and the one that contain vitamin C, (like tomatoes, berries, kale, broccoli) are great germ fighters!
3. Truck Driver Health – Avoid Unnatural Stimulants
There was a time where use of stimulants in our industry was very common. I am not saying that now is not, but at list is not to the level it used to be. It is well known that stimulants are acting bad on the professional drivers health or anyones health in matter of fact.
There are different types of stimulants, from coffee and red bull or other energy drinks, to some drugs like cocaine. Avoid those! They might give you the immediate energy and alertness you need, but the use of these artificial boosts will cause some serious issues with your health, sooner or later.
You can’t fuel your body with stimulants! Your body knows when rest is needed!