As we cruise through January, it seems like a favorite topic of discussion are New Year's resolutions. It probably comes as no surprise that the number one resolution across the country is to adapt a healthier lifestyle, whether that means weight loss or simply becoming more active. By now, many have already abandoned their New Year's resolutions, but we’ve compiled a list of easy ways to be healthier.
As drivers who spend dozens of hours on the road every week, it can be difficult to find time to exercise, and it takes extra effort to locate healthy food options when convenience foods and fast food restaurants are so easily accessible. So how can we strive to be healthier this year on the road?
We all know the importance of a pre-trip truck inspection. If we can be dedicated to ensuring our trucks are running well, we need to be just as dedicated to making sure our bodies are in shape and capable of performing our day-to-day duties. This means taking a little extra time to both mentally and physically prepare for a healthier lifestyle.
One tip for becoming more active on the road is to simply start small. Set a goal of being active 15 minutes a day. Take a couple laps around a rest stop or even your truck. (Did you know walking around your tractor-trailer 32 times is equivalent to one mile?) Several rest stops also offer greenspace with sidewalks for stretching your legs. Additionally, do a little research on your destination location and identify any walking trails in the area.
For those who enjoy lifting weights, most national gyms offer memberships where you are able to work out at any of their gyms across the country. No time to find a gym and lift weights there? Resistance bands are inexpensive, lightweight, and can easily fit in a grocery bag or shoe box to carry in your truck. These bands can be purchased at most big box stores like Walmart and Target, or online on Amazon. Virtually any exercise you perform with dumbbells can be converted into a resistance band routine. YouTube and Pinterest have thousands of resistance band routines for beginners and experts.
In addition to getting your body moving more this year, adapting healthier eating habits can make a world of difference. There is a saying, “Abs are built in the kitchen, not the gym.” This really stresses the importance of consuming healthy foods for physical health.
“Time for a meal break? Skip the fried, fast foods and instead seek out a local supermarket,” said Rachel Amundson, Ruan’s Sr. Benefits HR Representative. “Many offer grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, soups, and pre-cut and washed produce. Add a bottled water to complete your meal. Or better yet—pack your own healthy lunch at home.”
Preparing healthy foods for your trip doesn’t have to take a long time. Pack a cooler with bread, lunch meat, fruit, veggies, string cheeses (and okay, maybe a small sweet treat)—and you’re set! You can also stock a small pantry in your truck with healthy non-perishable items like trail mix, jerky, nuts, and protein bars. When you find yourself at a gas station looking for a snack, try to stay away from fried chips and calorie-dense candy bars. Instead, grab baked chips, a granola bar, or plain/salted popcorn. Many people find success with simply reading the nutritional information on the packages of their favorite snacks. Sometimes just seeing the high calorie or fat numbers can help you make the decision to opt for something healthier.
While it may take a little more effort to live a healthy lifestyle when so much of your time is spent in the cab of your truck, it is definitely possible and absolutely worth it. So take an extra few minutes to prepare healthy food options and make an effort to move your body a bit more every day. Your body and mind will thank you!