Drivers, in these uncertain times you need to protect your personal engine (your body) from infection, making sure it doesn’t lock up and shut you down.
Proper personal hygiene means taking care of every aspect of your body. Personal hygiene practices include bathing, washing your hands, keeping your hair clean and brushing your teeth. This also includes your personal surroundings — your cab.
By now I’m sure you have heard all the necessary precautions you should be taking. We are all experiencing a run on supplies, and many organizations are working hard to provide protection for high priority personnel, including you, the professional driver. America is counting on CDL drivers to deliver the medical supplies needed. In the meantime, we all must do our best to stay safe.
Hands and wrists should be washed with soap and water, using a brush if your fingernails are dirty. Dry your hands with something clean, such as paper towels or hot-air dryers. You should always scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because hand-washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. If soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
Professional drivers are at a high risk of contracting the flu and other viruses because of the environment in which they work. The constant contact with fellow drivers going in and out of terminals and travel centers heightens your risk. The life of a driver means using multiple public restrooms, standing in fuel lines as others cough and sneeze around you, and using different showers on a daily basis. Keep your distance!
Following are my Top 10 suggestions on how to provide yourself with added protection against illness.
- Take a good multivitamin. It may improve your overall well-being. Vitamins are essential for professional truck drivers due to the difficulty in finding proper nutrition from foods on the road.
- Take extra vitamin C. It will support your immune system and may reduce the severity of a cold.
- Utilize garlic, my favorite natural immune booster. Garlic is a natural antibiotic, and one of the best forms of supporting your immune system. Don’t worry about offending anyone with the odor — in this case it’s a blessing to be able to keep everyone at a safe distance. Garlic is available in pill form, but pure garlic is most effective. Slice up the cloves into small pill-size pieces and swallow with water like a vitamin; this way it will not give you the aftertaste or odor that chewing it does.
- Be sure to eat in the mornings, and include a good lean protein source in your breakfast.
- Don’t go long periods without eating. Your body will become weak and your immune system will lower its protection.
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day, and wear gloves when fueling your truck.
- Exercise and keep your circulation running strong; walking works.
- Use the crook of your arm to cover your mouth when coughing.
- Rest. Make sure you are getting good, valuable sleep.
- Stock your cab: Make sure you have sound nutritional food in your cab. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for a grocery-shopping list.
Be careful, be safe and drive strong.
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.