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Life on the road can become all-consuming, with quick stops and irregular sleep patterns that take a toll on one’s health. TheFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, requires all commercial vehicle drivers to have a DOT medical card, showing they’re fit for the road.

A 24-month card will usually be issued to drivers in good health after the screening is complete. For some drivers with new or preexisting medical conditions, shorter-term cards may be issued that give the driver time to address the issue at hand.

Statistically, truck drivers have more health problems and shorter life spans than their peers in other careers. Making changes to your lifestyle can be difficult, so start by incorporating one change at a time and see where the road down a healthy lifestyle can take you!

Eat Clean

By preparing your meals ahead of time and buying fruits and veggies instead of candy and preserved foods, you’ll help yourself stay healthy while on the road. With an easy-to-install fridge, you can store up to a week’s worth of healthy meals.

Some healthy snacks available at most truck stops include:

  • Hummus and veggies
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Dried fruits
  • Mixed nuts
  • Jerky
  • String cheese
  • Dark chocolate
  • Yogurt

Stay Hydrated

Your water intake can impact your alertness while on the road. Make sure you keep a water bottle with you so you can drink up as you drive throughout your day. Soda and coffee can further dehydrate you, so try to limit your intake of those beverages. How much water should you drink every day? Doctors recommend drinking roughly half your weight in ounces of water daily, so if you’re 200 lbs, you should drink 100 oz of water or 12.5 cups of water every day!

Wear Sunscreen

With up to 70 hours on the road, it’s important to keep sun protection in mind. Most standard truck windows don’t protect your face from ultraviolet light, so you’re facing some heavy sun exposure. Dermatologists recommend using at least SPF 15 and reapplying every two to three hours. But what does an SFP number mean?

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
  • SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB rays

Exercise

Nearly 52% of drivers face challenges of obesity. Luckily, there are tons of short, free workouts that can be done anywhere. Some basic exercises include:

  • 5-minute sprints
  • 4 sets of 10 squats
  • 4 sets of 10 heel rises
  • 2 sets of 12 pushups
  • 4 sets of 15 crunches
  • 2 planks for 30 seconds each
  • 4 sets of 12 abs—touch your feet with your chest
  • 15-minute walk to cool down

Get Plenty of Sleep

A regular sleep schedule helps you to stay alert and focused on the road. With ten consecutive hours off, you have plenty of time to rest. Try to decompress without a screen for at least 30 min before sleeping so that you can fall asleep more easily. Studies have shown that screen time before bed may increase difficulties in falling and staying asleep. Ensure you have a good mattress and pillow in your cab and consider investing in a white noise machine or noise-canceling headphones to help block out noises on the road.

At the time of publication, the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting the U.S. Please be mindful of this disease and be sure to maintain social distance when available.