It’s easy to get the munchies while you are logging demanding hours behind the wheel. Although fueling the body is important for stabilizing energy and aiding in concentration, many of the on-the-go options do just the opposite. Gas stations and drive-throughs don’t provide proper sustenance for nourishing mind and body. Even the “lighter” options are often sparse in nutrients. Thus, we created a simple crash course on healthier habits that will help keep you energized and strengthen for the long hauls. Check it out!
At this point you might be asking, “what are healthy snacks anyways?” Anything that is nutrient dense (high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals) and low in saturated fats and refined-sugar content, according to drivingjobs.landair.com. Protein is one of the best go to options and can be found in a lot of balanced foods.
“Protein fuels the brain much like the diesel fuels your truck! It upgrades your focus and concentration and gives you energy too,” a blogger from smart-trucking.com explains.
Since it is a struggle to find food at road-side gas stations or drive-throughs that meet these qualifications, our suggestion is to start packing snacks from home. Not only will you have a wider-range of options, but you will know exactly what goes into your stomach. Here are some good go-to food groups.
Tip - Eat fresh or dried fruit on an empty stomach for easier digestion. Fruit is also the best remedy for sugar surges. Pop a handful of grapes into the freezer for a frozen treat!
Tip - Don’t go for low fat or low sugar foods. Often, they are low in one ingredient and high in something else that is bad for you.
When in doubt, a tub of protein is what it’s all about. Mixing protein powder with water can act as a quick, nutrient-loaded meal when you don’t have time to shop. Buy brands with natural or even vegan ingredients. “A simple ‘protein drink’ can provide loads of top notch nutrition and can have as much as 27 grams of protein, about 1/2 of the daily requirement for the average male,” smart-trucking.com relays.
Learning to establish healthier habits is a skill that takes practice. But it all begins with taking the first step towards choosing the best fuel for your body, your brain and being behind the wheel.
It could result from the endless miles that afford your mind the time to wander, or it may be the melancholy tune that strikes a chord in your heart. Whatever your trigger may be, you are not alone in the feeling. Homesickness is not unusual among truckers. Unfortunately, it can add stress to the job and become a detriment to a career. But don’t worry, we are here to help! Check out these tips below on how to overcome loneliness on the road.
“One of the hardest parts, if not the hardest part, of becoming an over-the-road truck driver is leaving home,” a blogger from truckingtruth.com claims. The key is to separate on-the-road and at-home responsibilities. Allowing your feelings to dictate your driving could result in an unsuccessful career. Part of becoming an excellent driver is learning the skill of coping with emotional and mental spikes. “When we talk about folks being top-tier drivers, people always think we are just referring to their ability to endure long bouts at the wheel turning lots of miles each day, but there really is so much more.”
To master emotions you must first master the task. Set daily goals and concentrate on using brain power to reach those targets. This will come in handy when sentimental distractions of home begin to swell. One of those daily objectives could be fitting in a workout. Exercising produces endorphins which boosts mood and attitude. “It will also keep your mind busy while you are on mandatory breaks,” a blogger from trucklogics.com relays.
Don’t forget to use the assets of this extraordinary profession to break the mood blues. As a trucker you travel through many unique places. Embrace your home away from home and take advantage of tourist activities while you travel. “You get the awesome perk of being able to see the entire country already because you are a truck driver,” the blogger from trucklogics.com says. “So why not get out of your truck and enjoy the sights a little more?”
Lastly, remember you are not alone out there. Other truckers experience the same hardships. Surround yourselves with partners of the road and create your own fellowship of freighters. Sometimes the best cure for emotional unrest is spending time with other brothers and sisters in the trucking industry.
Luckily, Baleka’s extreme fitness background kept him from completely spiraling. He created a fitness system (which includes intense 1-minute workouts at truck stops) that has kept his body in check. His suggestion for other truckers is to commit to four minutes of exercise a day, like walking, running or doing jumping jacks and crunches and eventually build up to 15 minutes.
Exercise should not be a solo act, however. Eating healthy is just as crucial. Baleka encourages drivers to consume wholesome snacks every three hours in conjunction to regular meals. “Limit carbs and stick to protein: a handful of almonds, a low-fat cheese stick and tuna are examples of between-meal snacks for on-the-go people,” Baleka says in an article on fredericksburg.com. As for meals, try to choose nutritious cuisine. Austin Haskew from everytruckjob.com says “it’s easy to grab fast food and often cheaper, too. But the money you save on that food will be eaten away by future medical bills!”
Also, Baleka emphasizes a third component that contributes to better health - sleep! Sleep deficiency leads to weight gain, he explains. “Without adequate sleep, your body can’t regulate food intake properly.” Make sure and get those “zzz’s.”
Multiple methods exist to halt packing on the pounds. For example, working various muscle groups simultaneously can achieve the most out of a short exercise. Just keep some small weights and resistance bands in your truck to supplement any activity, Haskew recommends. If getting sweaty isn’t your jam, try a few short yoga videos - it’s great for body and mind. There are a plethora of short tutorials on Youtube.
If you’re ever stuck on what particular exercises to use, Baleka launched the Active Trucker Fitness Program which can be found as an extension of the Skimble’s Workout Trainer program app. This will help remove the stress of preparing a workout and help keep you on track. Whatever your regime may be, always keep this in mind: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Our employees and drivers are our most valued and appreciated resource. We are committed to offering you a better quality of life. Oakley Cares is our online family network dedicated to providing our employees a resource of news and tips while they are on the road.