Ten small actions with big impact …

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Driving can be tiresome and stressful sometimes, especially if you are a truck driver and have to spend many hours on the road. We’ve already talked about how important naps can be for truckers and drivers in general but are there any other small actions that can improve your driving experience overall? I decided that there are a few small things with big impact and I will share them here. Often it is important to:

  1. Shed a few pounds off

It is common for drivers to gain a few pounds overtime. That’s because being on the road most of the time doesn’t allow much room, and time, for exercising. But that doesn’t mean you cannot make a few changes to improve your lifestyle and lose a few pounds. Whether you lose five or ten pounds it can make a huge, I repeat, a huge difference. You will soon notice how your body will respond to a healthier diet. You will feel more energetic and capable as a driver, more powerful and more concentrated as well.

  1. Make healthier choices

Pick your truck stops wisely. There are plenty of truck stops all over the US that can provide you with everything you’ll need to make those small changes possible. Choose truck stops that offer you a good place to relax, a gym, and most importantly, a truck stop that offers healthy food. I know how hard it can be sometimes to stay away from fast food. I am not a big fan of fast food, but whenever I have to travel,(and I travel a lot) I often notice how I ditch my healthy meals for a fast food alternative. Every time, all the time! But I soon got used to being on the road and not having my own kitchen following me wherever I go. It can be a real struggle in the beginning, but with a little effort you can easily get in to the habit of picking healthier food and change your diet. One easy step is to start packing your meals and daily snacks. Whenever you get tempted by fast food logos grab your snack and start munching.

  1. Relax more and try to stay away from stress

As you know, stress can be harmful to your health and can cause various diseases that can put you life at risk. So you better stay away from stress for your own good. If you happen to be on the road for long hours with no companion, it is very likely that you will get lost into the world of your own thoughts. Sometimes thinking too much or replaying any ugly episodes from your past can not only be very stressful, but can make you lose concentration and distract you from the road, which may cause and accident. Try to think about happy times instead and play some of your favorite songs or find a great radio station to listen to if you don’t want to think at all. Listen and sing along! This way you will feel better, more concentrated and stay far away from stress and stress contributing thoughts.

  1. Exercise

Exercising is essential. We all know that. The saying nowadays goes that sitting is the new smoking that is killing us. Any kind of exercise will help. Stretching out, running and walking can help you lose weight and get in shape and feel better overall. But most importantly, exercising will make you feel better about yourself and about your life in general. Many studies have shown that people who exercise on a regular basis are happier and their chances of getting depression or feeling anxious are way lower compared to people who don’t pay much attention to exercising. Whenever you exercise, (it doesn’t matter what type of exercise as long as your body is moving and your muscles are working,) your body releases endorphin chemicals which are connected to your brain receptors and help improve your mood and increase your self esteem. Try to exercise before driving and if you didn’t know already, you can use your truck to exercise. Experts also say that by exercising regularly you can improve your sleep which further improves your health and concentration.

  1. Learn how to reduce neck pain

Don’t you hate it when your neck muscles get stiff and hurt so much you feel like robot? It does happen to all of us! If you drive for long hours every day, you have to get used to that kind of stiffness people say, it is a consequence that comes with the profession. Sometime neck pains come with headaches and migraines so you have to learn a few tips how to reduce neck pain and stretch your muscles everyday in order to have a pleasant trip.

Learn how to stretch your neck!

neckpain-streaches

  1. Stop smoking

Now, I know this one can be a very difficult task, but if you succeed on this one you will improve your lifestyle in every aspect. Smoking is very popular among drivers and truckers all over the world. Some start smoking because they want to have something to do while on the road. Some already used to smoke before becoming truck drivers. Whatever the case might be, by quitting smoking drivers can become healthier, more concentrated and increase their safety.

  1. Socialize

Loneliness can become your greatest enemy on the road. That is why it is important to socialize here and there whenever you get a chance. Be more open to new opportunities and creating new friendships. You never know where life will take you, so any connection and any new friendship can help you more than you think when you least expect it.

  1. Organize your sleep routine

Sleeping for truckers is as important as eating healthy and exercising. That is why you have to have a sleeping plan. Yes! You need to plan and organize your sleep as well. Look up for the best places to sleep before you even start your journey. By being prepared and already having a plan and maybe a few back-up plans, you will save a lot of time. And the more time you save, the more you can sleep. If you have a sleeper, then this is great and easy, but make sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillow.

  1. Keep your friends and family close

Truckers are often required to create a home away from home because they are faced with a job that demands them to spend long hours away from their friends and family. Seize any opportunity to call, Skype or text your loved ones (of course this should not interfere with your driving) and let them know you are thinking about them. You will feel closer to home and by keeping your relationships going will make you feel better and help you reduce stress and that uncomfortable feeling of separation too.

  1. Stick to your new healthy lifestyle

It is not a big surprise to see drivers get back to their old habits and unhealthy lifestyle once they leave their truck and go back home after a long break for example. That is why maintaining your new healthy habits is important. Overtime they will become your routine and choosing healthy food or exercising regularly will no longer be your ‘new lifestyle’. It will become your normality and a part of your daily life. So, write things down, record memos and place sticky notes everywhere if you have to, but make it stick!

Hope you found these 10 tips helpful. I guarantee that any of them can impact and make a huge difference in your everyday life no matter if they seem small and unimportant actions at first. With time you will learn to infuse them into your routine and by doing so you will eventually live a better and healthier life. Now, tell us, do you have any tips that we haven’t mentioned? Please let us know in the comments below. Thank you!

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About the Author:

Juxhina Malaj - a wanderluster and bibliophile who loves photography, nature, documentary films, re-watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and drinking green tea.
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