Keeping healthy on the road

DG60 OUD 01 MANKeeping healthy on the road

Lorry driving might not seem to be an immediate candidate, but it might in fact be quite punishing on both mind and body. Yet staying fit, healthy and mentally alert is important to the way you do the job and to keeping yourself and other road users safe.

Here are a few suggestions, therefore, about keeping healthy on the road:

Driving hours

  • the maximum number of hours you may stay behind the wheel is prescribed by law, so do not be tempted to exceed driving hours or fail to take the required rest breaks – not only is that breaking the law but might also risk the validity of your HGV insurance;

Rest and exercise

  • though you may be required to take a rest from driving, that does not mean that you spend the whole of the break still sitting doing nothing behind the wheel;
  • a little exercise – even if it is barely more than a short stroll – is good for your body and helps to relax your mind, too;
  • you do not need a whole lot of kit to experiment with even further exercise regimes, some of which you might practice when you are still at the wheel;
  • hand stretches, shoulder shrugs, abdominal crunches, as suggested by the RE Resource Group for example, may sound potentially exhausting but are nevertheless some of the least demanding exercises you can carry out while still being seated;
  • if there is more storage space in your cab, you might even consider carrying a folding bike or set of weights;

Fuel for you

  • it is not just your rig that requires refuelling – food stops are for you to take on fuel, too;
  • you might have heard or read quite enough about the benefits of healthy eating, but it really does make a big difference to your well-being – and even life expectancy;
  • although breakfast may be one of your most important meals of the day, for example, it does not have to be the finest fare of the nearest greasy spoon;
  • indeed, there might be a lot to be said for preparing your own meals before you set out in order to make sure that you have healthier choices than the fast food alternatives at service stations along the way;
  • whilst you are on the road, you might also want to keep the hunger pangs at bay – or simply indulge your appetite – by having something to snack upon;
  • crisps and chocolate bars apart, maybe, not all snacks are necessarily bad for you – as the website Milestone Operations suggests, alternative snacking on raw vegetables, nuts, fruit and cereal bars may be just as satisfying;
  • if you are snacking to help stave off boredom then that is certainly a healthier choice than reaching for a cigarette –smoking is probably one of the least advisable ways of passing the time.

Many people might think that lorry driving is an intrinsically unhealthy way of life. It is true that the temptations may be there unless you pay a little attention to staying fit and healthy behind the wheel. With that modicum of attention, however, it is unlikely to be so very difficult.