Like many jobs, being a truck driver has its risks that could lead to major health issues if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Similar to how you’re in charge of your truck, you’re in charge of your own health, so be in the driver’s seat on your own self-care.
Care When You Need It
When driving constantly, it can be difficult to schedule a doctor’s appointment but not when you’re working for TanTara. We provide virtual care for our employees so they can be treated no matter their location.
“Virtual Care with United Healthcare is a tool anyone should take advantage of,” said Ashley Sink, TanTara’s Human Resources Administrator and Executive Assistant. “It’s a great tool when you’re sick, whether you’re a driver on the road, far away from your primary care doctor, or you’re a busy office employee who can’t get away for several hours, like me. After downloading the app to my smartphone, within 20 minutes I had been diagnosed, and the nearest pharmacy had received the prescription I needed. If you’re on TanTara’s medical insurance, I’d recommend using Virtual Care.”
Enjoy the advantage of having accessibility to healthcare whenever you need it, wherever you are while you’re working. Having a variety of doctors available means you can get the help you need instantly such as eye care. If your vision is impaired so is your ability to drive so once eye issues arise, pull over and be in contact with your doctor through Virtual Care to have a remedy immediately.
Be on TanTara’s benefits plan, including Virtual Care, only after 60 days of working with us. We want our employees to be healthy, so we connected with United Healthcare’s Virtual Care, so the doctors come to you.
TanTara values its employees, and we encourage you to stay as healthy as possible which is why Virtual Care is an offered program. Not only will you experience health benefits from TanTara, but you’ll live a fuller life by having care at your fingertips. Of course we want you to always feel well so you don’t have to use Virtual Care but the option is always there if you need it.
Pack Your Own Meals
When driving past fast food restaurants, it’s tempting to eat unhealthy because it’s easily accessible which will easily turn into obesity, but if you prep your own meals before hitting the road, your health will reflect the difference.
One of our drivers, Brandon Heard, spends his Sundays prepping his meals for the week with his girlfriend. He prepares four dinners and packs salads with fat-free dressing for lunch. To keep all the food fresh, they vacuum pack every meal by using their Food Saver.
“It’s so fresh every time,” Brandon said. “I just poke a couple of holes in it, warm it up and it tastes oven fresh. It keeps the truck cleaner because you don’t have straws and wrappers, and it smells better. It also makes you feel better.”
When Brandon is hungry while driving, he has healthier options than eating at truck stops and saves time on his route by not waiting for his food to be prepared at a fast food restaurant.
“You save so much money being able to meal prep and get your own food,” Brandon remarks. “I make grilled chicken breasts, grilled salmon, brown rice and of course, veggies. The point of all this meal prepping and eating well is to ultimately live longer and being able to do the work I am being asked to do.”
Brandon is grateful that TanTara provides a quality refrigerator so his prepared meals can stay fresh.
“Outside of loving my job, I also have to love myself,” Brandon shared. “That starts by taking care of myself.”
Another driver, Bill Rogan, packs his own BBQ pork ribs, chicken breasts and numerous other meals. Cooking his meals in the bunk of his truck, Bill makes his truck his home away from home to create delicious, healthy meals on the road.
“I like to cook out of the truck because it saves me money,” Bill said. “I have a little grill I use to make steaks and grilled veggies. Not only does it save me time but it’s convenient because everything I need is right there.”
In addition to meal prepping, it’s important to keep your body moving. Because your job requires a lot of time sitting, your body will slowly lose its muscle mass and gain more fat if you aren’t exercising regularly or eating healthy.
Here are some tips on how to prep:
Be Hydrated When working out, you burn through calories quickly and could become weak if you haven’t drank enough water. It’s important to stay hydrated constantly because water is good for your body but also, so you don’t become dizzy when working out.
Pack Equipment If you prefer to incorporate weights into your exercises, pack weights that you’re capable of lifting. When you’re first starting to lift, start with lighter weights or weighted objects and as you feel stronger over time, lift heavier weights.
Stretch Whether you go for a jog or lift weights after you’re done driving for the day, you need to stretch before you exercise to loosen up your body after sitting in a rigid position all day. Stretching your muscles afterwards will also help them decrease the amount of stiffness and improve your body’s flexibility which will impact your physical improvements.
Environment Be aware of your surroundings to know if it’s safe to go for a run or exercise outside your truck. Avoiding suspicious areas and high-traffic roads to exercise is safer and can help you feel more relaxed throughout your workout.
Time Management Since you are a truck driver already, you know how to manage your time to meet deadlines, but when you start exercising, you need to start planning your break time. Making time for working out, eating healthy, showering and sleeping are important to your well being and self-care is always the priority.
Log Food and Exercises To keep track of growth and to know what food and exercises make you feel fulfilled, bring a notebook to take notes in at the end of the day on what you ate and what exercises you did. Based on the details you log into the notebook, you can see over time what you were feeling when you did or did not follow a healthy diet.
Once you have what you need, decide when you’ll exercise throughout the week andstick to a schedule to get your body used to it but mix up your exercises to work every part of your body such as doing cardio, weight lifting and yoga. You can do exercises while you’re laying or sitting down or standing. To find workout ideas for you, check out the video below.
Staying fit is important for your health as is wearing sunscreen. As a truck driver, your body is exposed to the sun more than a normal driver, since you drive for long periods of daylight hours and are outside when checking or loading your truck. Without the proper use of sunscreen, your skin could face the harsh rays of the sun resulting in skin cancer. If you develop anything out of the ordinary, make sure to contact a doctor right away so your diagnosis can be confirmed.
In addition to healthcare, learn how to self-care. In order to accomplish your health goals, be organized; plan your meals, pack any exercise equipment you need and bring a notebook to log your habits. Manage your time well to accomplish delivering your truckload while maintaining your health.