Health on The Highway

It is very difficult for truck drivers, especially over-the-road drivers, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Days are long and meals are irregular, at best. Although it takes some training, thought and planning, drivers can sustain a healthy lifestyle by simply following three rules to good health. These rules are 1) good nutrition; 2) proper rest; and 3) moderate exercise.

Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is not easy to find on the road, however, with some planning and training it can be done. Meals should be spaced four to five hours apart. Avoid foods that are fired and breaded. Request baked or broiled meats, poultry and fish. Don't defeat your purpose by covering low-fat and low-calorie items, such as chicken or fish, in heavy creams or sauces. Ask for salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine and sour cream on the side and then apply them lightly to your food. Ask for dry toast and plain potatoes.

Eat Slowly

Allow yourself enough time to eat your meal slowly and to enjoy it - pace your eating. Chew your food well and put your utensils or your sandwich down between bites. Drink water throughout your meal. You should also drink six glasses of water every day. Don't overeat - stop eating when you are satisfied.

Proper Rest

Schedule yourself to take regular rest periods. Follow the Federal Motor Carrier Hours of Service Regulations. Plan your trip with normal driving periods. Do not wait until the last minute to leave on a trip and then extend your driving periods in order to meet a scheduled delivery time.

Moderate Exercise

Regular exercise is very difficult to do under normal conditions and creates a very complex situation when you are on the road. Get into the habit of stopping periodically at a safe location and briskly walk around the area for several minutes. Walking is a very good moderate exercise, but it must be done regularly to be effective. Aerobic exercises are also excellent, providing you can find an area to perform these types of activities while on the road.