How to Stay Healthy as a Truck Driver on the Road

The Garmin Instinct® 2 – dēzl™ edition was designed to simplify life on the road for professional truck drivers, but also to help the maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long haul.

Making healthier choices can be a struggle for anyone, but those who work as truck drivers likely don’t need to be told that their profession comes with unique challenges. From long hours sitting in one position to limited dining options, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can feel unachievable, and it’s easy to get discouraged. In reality, though, there are a few simple ways to prioritize your health and wellness on the road and with tools like the Garmin Instinct 2 – dēzl edition, staying healthy as a truck driver will feel more attainable than ever.

Make healthier food choices.

Eating healthy on the road can be tough, but it’s more feasible than you may realize. Instead of heading straight for the nearest fast food joint or the prepackaged junk food aisle, try to choose foods for their nutritional value. Most truck stops have packaged items like protein bars, almonds or dried fruit, and many also have selections of fruit, yogurt or smoothies. No matter your profession, it’s always recommended to eat a healthy breakfast to get your energy levels up, and prioritizing frequent, nutritional snacks throughout the day as opposed to heavy, greasy meals may help you feel more alert behind the wheel. If your truck has a refrigerator, you can even stock up on healthy, high-protein foods from home to keep you fueled throughout the drive.

In a rush to grab your food and go? The Instinct 2 – dēzl edition features Garmin Pay™ contactless payment through participating providers, and you can check reward point balances and other loyalty program information with Love’s Travel Stops and Pilot Travel Centers LLC®across the U.S. At Pilot Flying J Travel Center locations, you can even redeem your points right from your wrist. The less time spent in line, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your breaks.

Drink more water.

The ideal water intake should be individualized, according to Harvard Health, but generally healthy people should aim for four to six glasses throughout the day. Frankly that can be easy to forget, especially if you resort to chugging coffee or other caffeinated beverages to stay alert behind the wheel. The Instinct 2 – dēzl edition comes with built-in hydration tracking, so logging your water intake is as simple as tapping your wrist. Drinking an adequate amount of water can help to normalize blood pressure, stabilize your heartbeat, protect your organs and tissues, and aid digestion, among many other benefits, so tracking your hydration can be a critical step in maintaining a healthier lifestyle on the road. 

Prioritize exercise on your breaks.

According to the CDC, truck drivers are twice as likely to be obese compared to other U.S. workers, and three of four truck drivers report not getting the recommended amount of physical activity — which is 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The benefits of exercise are endless but include weight control, the prevention of many health conditions and diseases, improved sleep and more energy.

But we get it — it’s hard to work out when the nature of your job requires sitting for long stretches of time. Enter the truck driver workouts on the Instinct 2 – dēzl edition, with exercises specifically designed to fit within the standard break times and the long-haul lifestyle in general. Even better? You can view detailed workout tutorials on your compatible smartphone via the paired dēzl™ app.

Need more workout inspiration? Check out the series of body weight, dumbbell and resistance bar-based workout sets created with the help of longtime owner-operator Kevin Rutherford. You can access these workouts along with detailed tutorial videos in the dēzl™ app.

Pay attention to your sleep habits.

The National Sleep Foundation advises that healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and this is just as applicable to truck drivers as it is to anyone else. First and foremost, you’ll want to find a quiet and safe place to park, and it can be helpful to follow a nighttime routine. Whatever helps you to destress at the end of a long day, try to be intentional about doing this prior to going to bed. Make yourself comfy, use ear plugs if you are frequently awoken by noise from other trucks and get intentional about your sleep. To know just how well you’re doing, look to the sleep monitoring features on your Instinct 2 – dēzl edition. You’ll find a comprehensive breakdown of your light, deep and REM sleep stages that will help you to determine what’s working and what isn’t.

Staying healthy on the road can be a challenge, but the good news is that there are plenty of resources to support you. To learn more about the Instinct 2 – dēzl edition and how to make the most of your health and fitness routine on the go, cue up this episode of the Live From Exit 24 podcast, produced by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). To purchase your Garmin Instinct 2 – dēzl edition, click here.

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