Many people now use their cars and trucks to make their living. Cab drivers, delivery drivers, haulage, driver’s ed instructor, even just a really long commute twice per day (or living the RV/van life…). We’re spending more and more time in our cars.
Every style of working comes with its own effect on your health that you need to try and combat. For instance, office workers often develop problems from hunching over a screen all day or sitting in unsuitable chairs for long periods. If you’re an office worker… get a standing desk gosh darn-nit! Most employers will even pay them them.
Long periods of driving can have a hugely negative effect on your overall health and fitness if you don’t follow a healthy lifestyle. Sitting in a small space all day, concentrating on the road, and (usually) eating fast food from service stations can add up WAY faster than you thing, and will leave you in poor health and overweight.
But, here are some ways that you can stay healthy, even when doing a lot of driving.
Build activity into your day
Sitting down for most of the week and not moving much isn’t going to be undone by a gym session over the weekend. Movement is important in our everyday lives. Schedule some time every day to do something, whether that’s hitting the gym, doing a home workout, or going for a walk. We have been living in a Sprinter van for three years and have done countless rest stop workouts. Just get a couple dumbbells (or a kettlebell), which will take up virtually no space in your rig.
Pay extra attention to your core when you exercise, a strong core protects the back and improves your posture, making you less prone to head and neck pain from driving. You can even do some work while you drive… get in the habit of pulling your lower stomach in when you feel the seatbelt. This by itself will improve your core strength and potential back pain.
Take regular breaks to move & exercise
Driving for long stretches isn’t just bad for your overall health, it can be dangerous too. You need to be fresh and alert to drive safely. Schedule regular breaks. If you work for a haulage company or taxi service, they probably already have their own rules around how you need to take a break.
We recommend taking a break every 2 hours. Take just 10-15 mins, and during that time DO NOT STAY IN YOUR RIG!!! At the very least, get out and walk around. At the most, do a hard dumbbell workout. And somewhere in-between, do some burpees, air squats, push-ups, and planks.
Does a driving job sound fun?
Driving jobs can pay well, help you see the country (or city), and provide good pay, and great benefits! Now that you know how to stay in awesome shape while driving for a living, checkout Shiply’s load board to see what’s available in this fun, fast moving industry.
Make sure to plan your meals
For some reason… diet is what trips most drivers up. You’re in the car all day, often a long way from home so when it’s time to eat you head to the nearest gas station or drive through for food, drink soda or sugar filed coffee to stay alert, and pack on the body fat like nobodies business. News flash, this is exactly why you are packing on the body fat, and in turn completely throwing your health off a cliff.
The cumulative effect of this type of lifestyle will wreak havoc with your health. And much faster than you thing!
You’ll not only be getting a few of the nutrients your body needs, but you’ll likely gain weight and begin to feel sluggish and fatigued.
Conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, and heart attacks are all more prevalent in people who spend long periods sitting every day and don’t eat right. BUT they are all preventable.
If you find it hard to track down healthy food on the road… you are simply looking in the wrong places or failing to plan. We’ve spent 3 years on the road, so you can’t tell us that we don’t know what we are talking about.
The main issue is usually willpower or lack of knowledge.
Learn how to meal prep at home (we have a huge list of great tasting meal prep options) and take it with you in a bag or cooler that will keep everything at the right temperature. Also, don’t forget to include plenty of water and healthy snacks. By having this food available, you’re less likely to be tempted to stop for fast food. And, in fact, you will completely stop craving the fast food once you’ve detached yourself from the chemicals they use to get you addicted.
All careers impact our health in some ways. But by being aware of this, you can work to make diet and fitness a priority and keep yourself healthy in the long term. Even when spending the majority of your waking hours driving.
If you have ANY questions please let us know!