HGV driving is an incredibly demanding job, which can be a challenge to maintain healthy habits. We’ve put together some advice on how you can look after your physical and mental health and wellbeing whilst you’re on the road.
Studies have shown that 84% of drivers are overweight or obese, compared to 75% of men nationally. Aside from eating and drinking healthily, regular exercise is a core component in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of developing further health conditions.
The NHS recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, which can be incorporated into even the busiest of schedules. We suggest taking a couple of 15-minute walks during your breaks each day, investing in a foldaway bike that you can bring with you on journeys, or travelling with weights to train with during your breaks.
Another important step HGV drivers can take to increase their mobility, relieve muscle stiffness and improve awareness while driving is to do lots of stretching before and after shifts as well as during breaks. This helps to increase blood flow and promote proper circulation.
Whilst comforting, a diet comprising foods that are high in fat and sugar is likely to lead to feelings of fatigue and a lack of energy as the day goes on. Instead, you should opt for a balanced diet, containing fruits, vegetables, proteins, wholegrains, high-fibre foods and more.
To ensure your diet remains balanced, consider preparing your meals at home so you can avoid drive throughs and stay in control of what you’re eating.
Foods like jerky, dried fruit, mixed nuts, hummus and vegetables, and yoghurt make perfect snacks if you’re trying to stay healthy on the go. Keep your cab well-stocked with healthy snack choices to reduce the temptation to stop off for unhealthy foods at a local truck stop.
It’s also important that you stay hydrated – dehydration can contribute to tiredness and reduced alertness, which are two things every haulage driver needs to avoid for obvious reasons. You should aim to drink at least two litres of water daily at regular intervals to avoid your driving performance to become impaired.
Research from the National Office for Statistics shows that drivers of large goods vehicles have a suicide rate 20% higher than the national average, so it’s critical that professional drivers look after their mental health just as much as their physical health.
Staying active is one of the best things you can do to look after your all-round health. Although the long hours and nature of the job can make it difficult to fit exercise into your daily routine, it’s definitely worth taking the time to go for a walk or jog, a cycle, or do some weight or resistance training.
Beyond the required rest periods set out by the law, you should always try to get between six and nine hours sleep each night. Not only does this improve your physical health, but a good night’s sleep can also help to support your mental health and wellbeing.
We’re always on the lookout for new subcontractors to build partnerships with, if you’re interested in excellent terms on fuel and trailer hire, and weekly payment from the outset, get in touch with us today.