Driving is a sedentary job which can lead to obesity and poor nutrition which is detrimental to your personal health. The key to staying healthy as a driver is to make time for breaks, eat healthy meals and get enough sleep. This blog will guide you through the key points of a healthy lifestyle while on the road, as well as provide some stretching exercises that you can do while on break or parked at your destination point.
Drivers are susceptible to obesity and poor nutrition
Drivers are at a greater risk of obesity and poor nutrition due to their sedentary lifestyles. Drivers often lead a lifestyle that does not include regular exercise. Drivers also tend to have unhealthy diets due to road stops for fast food or convenience stores where junk food is readily available. This lack of physical activity and poor nutrition can lead to obesity in addition to other health concerns. Obesity is associated with an increased risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
To stay fit: eat healthy meals, get enough sleep, and stretch regularly
Did you know that diet, sleep, and exercising are deeply intertwined with one another? A good diet gives energy for regular exercises and improves the quality of sleep you are receiving. Sleeping sufficient gives you energy for exercising and decreases the appetite for high-calorie foods. Exercising regularly improves the sleep quality and decreases appetite (Source: Sleep Foundation)
Eat healthy meals:
- Keep a well-stocked pantry with fruits, veggies, whole grains, high quality protein (e.g. Fish), and healthy fats (e.g. Olive Oil). Then prepare your meals beforehand by cooking in advance and by packing the meals for the road.
Get enough sleep:
- Set a bedtime routine that helps you relax so you can fall asleep quickly at night. Your body needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health. If you’re unable to get that much sleep on workdays, try going to bed earlier on the weekends.
- Stretching improves circulation throughout the body while also reducing stress levels—both of which are key ingredients for staying alert behind the wheel! Read on to find exercises, which drivers can do on the road.
Stretching Exercises for Drivers
Stretching should be an important part of your health and wellness routine. It helps improve flexibility, balance, and posture while reducing the risk of injury. Stretching can be especially beneficial for drivers who spend many hours on the road each day. That is why we talked with Alia Wellness Centre, a local expert for muscle pains and stiffness, about stretching exercises for commercial drivers.
Before you begin driving: Stretch for at least 5 minutes before hitting the road to help prevent stiffness that could arise from sitting in one position for long periods of time.
Example 1: Shoulder blade squeeze
- Stand or sit with your shoulders relaxed. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together, hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat the movement several times. Doing this keeps the shoulder blades in their correct position and the upper back to function optimally.
Example 2: Leg swing
- Stand facing a wall or a sturdy object for support. Hold onto the wall with one hand, and swing your right leg forward and back, then side to side. Repeat the movement with the left leg. This exercise will help to loosen up your hips and legs before driving.
Example 3: Triceps stretch
- Stand or sit with your right arm extended behind your head, with your elbow pointed up. Use your left hand to gently pull your right elbow towards the left side of your head. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds, then switch sides. This increases your flexibility and range of movement.
While driving: If it’s possible, take regular breaks so you can walk around and stretch properly. If this isn’t possible, try some stretches in your seat.
Example 1: Chest stretch
- Stand or sit with your arms extended behind you, and with your palms together. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, stretching your chest muscles. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds. This reduces the stiffness of the upper body from driving for hours.
Example 2: Neck stretch
- Sit comfortably in your seat, and slowly tilt your head to one side, then the other, then tilt your head forward and backward. Repeat the sequence several times. This loosens up your neck muscles, which can be very stiff after a long time on the road.
Example 3: Seated spinal twist
- Sit comfortably in your seat, and twist your torso to one side, then the other. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds, then release. This stretches your back muscles and encourages the flow of blood.
Drivers should plan their trips carefully so they can benefit from a healthier lifestyle while on the road. Make sure to plan and prepare healthy meals so you don’t get hungry while on the road. Preparing your food beforehand isn’t just healthier, but also cheaper compared to buying pre-cooked meals. Eating high-quality food helps you stay alert, happy, and healthy while driving. Taking regular breaks and doing stretching exercises is also important because it helps keeping your mind focused on driving safely instead of being distracted by hunger, muscle pains, or fatigue from too much sitting in one place without moving around enough.
It’s important for drivers to take care of themselves and their health, so they can continue enjoying doing their job in a safe and efficient manner.
We at Numode Delivery Solutions see the health and safety of our drivers as our priority. That is why we promote a work/life balance and provide gym membership subsidies.
Numode Delivery Solutions has been the leading voice for same-day courier and trucking in Metro Vancouver since 2016. Explore the individual delivery options we offer, or get in touch with us.