Life on the road is not easy. You’re away from family, there are deadlines to meet, unknown territories to navigate and weather to overcome. It’s important to look after yourself as well as you would your vehicle.
Mental and physical alertness are critical when you get behind the wheel, and there are a number of factors that contribute to both.
Fast food restaurants and travelling seem to go hand in hand, but where you choose to stop can make all the difference. A grocery store has plenty of healthy options for people on the go and many foods are offered in snack or individual serving sizes. When you do reach for nourishment, keep these things in mind:
- Eating smaller portions more often and including protein will boost your energy, improve concentration, keep you strong and help burn calories
- Remember to grab healthy snacks; revving your metabolism keeps your mind and body functioning in between meals or over long distances
- Steer clear of high sugar, high fat or chemically laden foods—they deplete your energy and diminish your mood.
Hydrate for Health
Fresh water is our most vital source of fuel. Staying well hydrated has many benefits, including helping prevent fatigue, high cholesterol, unhealthy cravings and weight gain. Here are a few ways to keep your fluid levels up on the road;
- Carry a supply of water in your cab— it will come in handy between breaks or unexpected stops where it may not be readily available
- If you’re trying to cut down on costs and waste, bring your own bottle to refill
- For those who aren’t keen on the taste, adding a splash of real fruit juice will boost the flavor and nutrients.
Moving on the Move
Staying physically fit on the road is equally as challenging and perhaps even more important than usual. A healthy body will stand up longer and stronger through the twists and turns of driving and help reduce fatigue. The trick is to stay moving:
- Be sure to take breaks every two hours or 100 miles.
- Get out of your vehicle and go for a walk or a jog and do some stretches to help with circulation; it will keep you limber and more alert.
- When you are driving, relax your shoulders and squeeze thigh, stomach or butt muscles together to help reduce stiffness.
- Staying active with exercise on your days off will help, too
Sleep is a body’s time of rest and repair. When you’re not getting enough sleep, cognitive functions such as concentration and memory, as well as physical health and abilities, are all compromised. Here are some ways to avoid driver fatigue before it starts:
- Try to get seven to eight hours of solid sleep a night
- If possible, keep your driving times during normal waking hours, and the earlier in the day the better.
- Make sure your cab is cool and comfortable while driving and avoid soft music
- Take regular breaks and if necessary, pull over for a nap—20 minutes tops to avoid grogginess.
It takes effort, but awareness can help improve your habits and ultimately your safety. Working with a fuel distributor who is a fleet owner means they understand what it takes to get the job done and what it means to look after their own. They’re in this industry with you, sharing the same roads, and that means they’ll look after you, too.