Whether you only drive long distances occasionally, or it’s what you do every single day, it’s important to keep yourself fit and healthy. But in such a physically and mentally exhausting job (that’s a lot more demanding than your average 9-5), it can sometimes be difficult to remember to take care of yourself. The knock-on effect is driver burn out, which leaves drivers and businesses alike sad to see fantastic employees go. So today, we have 4 tips to help you stay healthy and happy on the road, and keep you in the driving seat for longer.
Eat A Balanced Diet
It’s an old adage – you are what you eat. But it’s true. People who eat healthily are generally in better shape, have more energy, sleep better and live longer. But for an HGV driver, healthy eating is something you really need to work at. Rest stops aren’t known for their wide selection of healthy options, which can lead to HGV drivers relying heavily on processed fast food. But this will leave you sluggish, tired and piling on the pounds, eventually leading to an increased risk of diabetes and heart problems. So one of the biggest changes you could make is in your diet. Make time to schedule in times for meals, and make sure your meals include a mix of healthier food types. This might mean you start packing meals for on the road, making sure you have healthier snacks like fruit and nuts in your cab, or just choosing the healthier option from the rest stop menu.
Get Into Exercise
Before you say it, no, you don’t need to become a gym rat. We know how difficult it can be to muster the motivation to go the gym after a long day behind the wheel – and that’s not what we’re recommending. Instead, simply try and make room in your schedule for some light exercise. Something as simple as some push-ups, a few squats and a 5-minute jog around the car park can do wonders for your health, and it will help prevent spinal and neck problems common in drivers.
Did you know that 75% of the UK population is classified as chronically dehydrated? As a nation we don’t drink enough even when we have easy access to it, so it’s no surprise that those who aren’t water-cooler-adjacent are also suffering. This one is easy to solve though – simply make sure you always have water within reach. Buy yourself a reusable water bottle (because disposable plastic is expensive and hurts the earth) and make sure it is always filled up and in your cab, so that you can rehydrate yourself anytime. The important bit is water here – not anything fizzy or sugary. Good old-fashioned water will keep you hydrated, aid digestion and wake up your brain, without leaving you feeling bloated or tired in the long run.
Get Your 8 Hours Every Night
Sleep is a big one. As a driver in charge of an 11+ tonne lorry, it’s your job to be as awake and alert as you can be. That means getting a minimum of 6 hours restful, deep sleep every day. This can sometimes pose a challenge to drivers who work unsociable hours, frequently have to sleep away from home or just have tight deadlines to run to. But there are rules around how much rest you need to have for a reason. So one of the biggest changes you can make is making sure you’re getting the right amount of sleep every day. Even this little change will make a huge difference in how you feel and make it much easier to tackle your everyday tasks. So grab your fluffy pillows and hit the hay!
At Surrey And Hampshire HGV Training, we are proud of the fact that our trainees aren’t just taught the basics of HGV driving and sent out into the world. Instead, our instructors cover all aspects of the HGV driving life, including legal aspects, safety issues and most importantly, self-care. To find out more about our training programmes, or to take the first step on your HGV journey, just get in touch with us today.
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