Tips for Truck Drivers to Stay Fit and Energized

For us truck drivers, finding balance can be difficult. With the FMCSA only allowing up to 11 hours of driving and 4 hours of other tasks, we need to maintain our health to stay focused on the road.

Personally, I’ve found the biggest challenge is getting enough exercise, keeping a regular sleeping schedule, and eating meals that provide the proper nutrition.

But how exactly can us truck drivers do all that while being expected to drive for the majority of the day? In this article, we’ll go into the top tips for truck drivers to stay fit and energized.

If you’re ready to stay healthy, read on down below.

5 Ways for Truck Drivers to Stay Fit and Energized

1. Stay hydrated

WebMD recommends a total of 13 cups of water each day, or 3 liters, for the average male. For women, they recommend 9 cups, or a bit more than 2 liters. 

Beverages with sugar and caffeine are not a good idea to drink while you’re on the road, as you’re going to end up having a caffeine crash which can cause you to lose focus.

For some truck drivers, it’s mandatory to take a break after every 3 hours or 150 miles. Managing your fluid intake is important as a truck driver because you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom every hour; otherwise, you’ll lose out on road time. 

If you can, try to drink closer to your rest periods so you don’t have to stop more than necessary to go to the bathroom.

2. Eat healthy 

Eating healthy can mean a lot of different things, but for a truck driver who is on the road a lot, cooking your food for every meal may not be an option. However, that does not mean that you cannot choose to eat healthy; there are plenty of healthy options even while on the road.

Some staple foods that you can bring with you in your truck to snack on are:

  • Fruits
  • Salads
  • Green drinks
  • Protein shakes
  • Smoothies
  • Nuts
  • Cheese

While it may be tempting, fast food is often high in fats and carbs and often sugar if you decide to go for dessert. 

Fast food can be enjoyed seldomly, but if you are always deciding to go for unhealthy fast food, you’ll suffer from your body not having the proper nutrition.

If you find that you’re reaching for sugary soda every trip, then just removing soda from your diet can have a huge impact. If you have an unhealthy diet, try to make small changes that, over time, will add up and greatly benefit your health and focus while on the road.

3. Find time to exercise

When you’re waiting at a rest area or truck stop, you can go for a walk, do pushups, or even go for a run if you have the energy. You can install a pull-up bar inside your truck, which can help aid in getting upper body exercise in.

Buying a yoga mat can help provide a surface for you in the back of the truck to stretch and release built-up tension that can cause pain while driving. 

Another option is to look into gyms that service your routes and get a membership so you can get a proper workout a few times a week.

Even if you only have time to walk 30 minutes, it’s going to help reduce body fat, increase muscle endurance, and give you a better chance at staying focused for longer periods. It can be difficult to start exercising from doing none, but any amount of exercise is going to be beneficial over the long run.

4. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a day

Getting 8 hours of sleep every day is going to be one of the biggest factors that keep us focused and healthy for long periods. Sleeping less than seven hours a night has been shown to lead to chronic sleep problems and increase a number of health issues.

Sleeping as a truck driver can be tricky, but investing in a proper mattress can help aid in relaxing you to sleep. 

It can seem tempting to have a drink before bed, but alcohol has negative effects on rapid eye movement sleep, which leads to tiredness and less ability to focus.

5. Speak with your employer 

Another option to staying fit as a truck driver that’s often overlooked is using the resources that are available to you. 

Many trucking companies are investing in their drivers, as fewer drivers are willing to do the job every year. With each truck driver being so important, companies have started to reinvest in their health.

Joe Webster from a1autotransport.com states: “Truck drivers need to stay focused on the road, otherwise they are at risk of getting into accidents. What they are hauling is important, but the lives of the truck drivers are invaluable. It’s paramount that any companies that rely on drivers start to focus on educating their drivers to make healthier options, and even setting up facilities for them to make it easier to stay fit while on the road.”

In Conclusion

Driving all day takes a toll on your body. You must learn how to stay healthy and fit while on the road. It’s tempting to eat junk food and drink soda all day, but the impact it has on your overall health is going to be a net negative.

The other benefit of fixing your diet, and getting enough exercise and sleep is that you’ll be able to keep your focus stabilized for longer periods. Better focus leads to fewer accidents, and less risk of anything happening along your journey across the country.