In the August edition of The Trucker, I promised to walk you through seven steps that will help boost your energy levels. As a bonus, all seven steps will also help improve your physical and mental health.
- Create an action plan.
Once you’ve done a checkup from the neck up, as they say, and committed yourself to making improvements, write down exactly what goals you want to achieve. These goals could include weight loss, strength building, endurance and even relieving depression. The following steps will help provide the energy you need to achieve your goals.
- Find the right food.
Food produces energy. Be prepared — the biggest mistake drivers make is not having energy-packed foods within easy reach while on the road, especially when you’re stuck and sitting still in traffic, or waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Almonds, cashews, dates and water are all good choices, and easy to keep in the truck. Do your best to stay away from all processed foods. In addition, I suggest researching to find a quality multivitamin. A good vitamin regimen can help you get the necessary nutrients you may be missing from foods.
- Get exercise.
Workouts provide energy! Figure out which exercises boost your energy without draining your body’s “battery,” especially if you are a beginner. Walking is always going to be the first choice; it doesn’t require equipment, just a good pair of shoes and can be done pretty much anywhere, any time. However, it’s important to walk “with intention” 15 to 20 minutes each day. When possible, incorporate some simple exercise-band resistance training.
- Improve quality of sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be both the most important and the most difficult challenge for professional drivers. Your brain needs to reset, and your body to slow down and recover. When you don’t get the proper rest, you become fatigued, your brain short circuits and it’s easy to make bad decisions. Make sleep a priority and make sure your bunk is sleep-friendly — find the best pillow and mattress and the proper lighting. Most importantly, make sure the space is clean and sanitary.
- Reduce stress levels.
We all tend to drive our own stress forward and often worry about things we can’t control. I remember a famous quote from Mark Twain :“I’ve known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” There are many techniques for reducing stress. Check out operationbroga.com, for one that requires no medication.
- Fight fatigue.
We know muscle fatigue can come of overexertion, either from work or exercise. But what about fatigue caused by health factors, such as celiac disease, which can cause poor absorption of nutrients? Prevention is key. Be sure to get regular medical checkups (not just your DOT certification exam).
- Try natural energy-boosting drinks.
Drink plenty of water (you knew that was coming) rather than commercially produced energy drinks. Water doesn’t have to be boring! Here’s the secret: Drop one or two flavored green tea bags into your bottle of water. There are lots of flavors available — blueberry, orange, raspberry and others. This gives you about a third of the caffeine of some other drinks, but it’s but loaded with energy and antioxidants.
Known as The Trucker Trainer, Bob Perry has played a critical role in the paradigm shift of regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers to understand the driver health challenge. Perry can be reached at [email protected].
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.