It’s one thing to keep your health in check at home, but drivers confront additional challenges when on the road for extended periods. Did you know that obesity is twice as common in an over-the-road truck or car drivers? This puts you at risk for hypertension, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.
Whenever you’re driving, always remember that your health and safety should be the priority. Fortunately, there are health tips drivers can adopt, and they include the following:
1. Maintain a healthy diet
Drivers are advised to avoid fast food they want to stay in good shape. Instead, the option of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, nuts, and seeds is highly recommended. You can also visit your dietician to design an effective food plan. In summary, you should also reduce the intake of fast foods and junk, while eating more healthy foods.
2. Get regular exercise
Exercise helps reduce stress and weight gain. It’s also proven to help improve sleep quality in drivers who spend a long time on the road. There are tons of simple exercises that drivers can do regularly.
3. Drink enough water
The average human drinks about 2 liters less than what they need each day. One way to ensure you’re adequately hydrated is to carry a bottle of water with you at all times. Apart from drinking water, there are many other healthy ways to stay hydrated.
4. Monitor your blood pressure regularly
High blood pressure is more likely to occur when you’re tired or stressed. Therefore, drivers may want to consider taking an antihypertensive medication if it becomes necessary. Stress can be a significant factor in poor driving habits. Take a break from driving and do something that doesn’t put you on the steering if you feel stressed out.
5. Don’t smoke
Smokers, they say, are liable to die young, and this doesn’t exclude drivers. But, unfortunately, smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. So drivers should think about how long they intend to live for when they’re craving a stick.
6. Use cell phones safely
Texting while driving is dangerous because it takes your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel. Yet, about 660,000 drivers try to use their phones while driving at any given point during the day.
According to the National Safety Council, cell phones while driving cause 1.6 million crashes per year. Each year, about 390,000 people are injured in incidents caused by texting while driving. What you can do if you don’t want to ignore a call is park your car!
7. Take care of yourself
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by repetitive motions. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), motorists should pay special attention to sore, numb, or tingly hands and fingers when driving.
The early signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are frequently caused by a continuous grip on the steering wheel along with the car’s vibration. But, according to specialists, driving for long periods of time can cause more than just stress; it can also develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Fortunately, it can be treated with rest, stretching exercises, and massage.
8. Never drink and drive
A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above is deemed legally intoxicated. After just one drink, though, alcohol can begin to alter many of your senses. Therefore, it’s best never to drink and drive under any circumstances. It’s not worth the risk of endangering yourself or others.
9. Take breaks to clear your mind and destress
Driving can be a monotonous and stressful job, especially when you’re on the road for long periods of time. Taking regular breaks is crucial for maintaining your mental and physical health, and for avoiding burnout.
When you’re feeling stressed or fatigued, it’s easy to make mistakes on the road that can put yourself and others in danger. Taking a break to clear your mind and destress can help you stay focused and alert, and reduce the risk of accidents.
You can stretch your legs, take a quick nap, or just stop to enjoy the scenery, whichever one you do, taking a break can help you recharge and stay refreshed for the rest of your journey.
So, don’t be afraid to pull over and take a breather when you need it – your health and safety are worth it!
10. Don’t consume too much caffeine
Coffee and energy drinks are often seen as essential for long haul truckers, but consuming too much caffeine can actually have negative effects on your health and safety.
While caffeine can help you stay alert and awake on the road, it can also cause restlessness, anxiety, and even caffeine intoxication.
Caffeine can also interfere with your ability to get good sleep later, which can lead to fatigue and impaired driving performance. Furthermore, caffeine can cause dehydration, which can lead to headaches, dizziness, and other health problems.
So, while a cup of coffee or energy drink may be helpful in moderation, it’s important to be mindful of your caffeine intake and not rely on it too heavily to keep you going.
Driving can involve sitting for long periods of time, which been shown to carry significant health risks. However these health tips for drivers discussed above can help you negate the health risks and improve your well-being.