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4 Ways To Stay Healthy As A Long Distance CDL Driver

The demand for CDL drivers is high, with companies in the United States expected to create upwards of 115,000 CDL jobs by the year 2016. But with all of the opportunities available to create a long distance driving career, comes special considerations that have to be made in order to maintain a healthy body and mind.

After all, you'll be spending a lot of time behind the wheel and away from modern conveniences, the companionship of friends and family, and access to healthy homemade meals. Here are four easy things you can do to stay healthy and productive as a long distance CDL driver:

Schedule Real Power Naps

Chances are that you'll be expected to drive long distances between resting points. Your allotted down time probably won't be enough to get ample sleep, clean yourself up, and eat a good meal before having to get back on the road again – so you may find yourself lacking in one or more of these areas. Packing a cooler full of snacks will take care of food needs whether you're on the road or not, and taking advantage of fully stocked rest stops will give you an opportunity to shower when you have time to take a break while on the road.

Scheduling power naps at break time during your driving shifts is a great way to catch up on missed sleep, keep yourself alert while driving, and maintain a positive frame of mind when things get boring or stressful. Just ten or fifteen minutes of sleep at a time can make a big difference in your mood and your energy levels.

Get Moving on Foot Every Day

Sitting behind the wheel all day can have a dramatic affect on your overall health with problems like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and elevated cholesterol levels to worry about. Hitting the gym is tough to do as a long distance CDL driver, but you can still keep yourself active by making sure that you simply move on a daily basis. Park your truck half a mile from the restaurant you plan to eat at, or spend most of your break time briskly walking around a truck stop.

Every time you stop to get gas, take a few laps around your truck and do some jumping jacks before getting back in the cab. Take a little time to stop when you pass by a park so you can do a few pushups in the grass and pull-ups on the monkey bars. The idea is to stay in motion as much as possible to offset the amount of time you spend sitting behind the wheel.

Keep Your Tea Thermos Full

Coffee might keep you awake on the road, but it can also make you jittery, raise your blood pressure, and leach calcium from your body. A better option is green tea because it still has some caffeine to keep you alert and provides a host of phytochemicals and antioxidants to take advantage of, like catechin, that fight off disease. The beneficial components of green tea also work to improve blood flow, prevent heart disease, and boost brain activity. So fill your thermos up with green tea in the morning and don't feel bad about refilling when you want a little extra pep in your day.

Forget Commercial Fresheners

Because you spend so much time in the cab of your truck, it makes sense to maintain a fresh and clean space all the time, which is something air fresheners can help you do. The problem is that commercial vehicle air fresheners are typically loaded with concerning ingredients such as pthalates, which are associated with reduced production of testosterone and reproductive complications. It's a good idea to play it safe and make your own air fresheners by rubbing fresh lemon juice or essential oils on pieces of cardboard and hanging them from your rearview mirror.

You'll find that these tips and tricks will help you to feel good about your job, your health, and your lifestyle and you'll be ready to work as a CDL driver. To learn more about job opportunities in your area, visit