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How to be a healthy HGV Driver

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How to be a healthy HGV Driver

HGV Driving is physically and mentally demanding and can be very intense. Being a HGV Driver is a lot more than just driving a truck – it’s also about how mentally alert, healthy and happy you are. These are the elements that keep you and others safe whilst you are on the road.

Eating healthy on the go

This can be difficult if you’re not an organised person, but that’s all it is – organisation. The day/night before your shift you can prepare a healthy meal such as a chicken salad. If you don’t have time to meal prep, then most popular super markets have HGV friendly car parks so you can quickly park up and run in to buy a healthy meal. HGV Driving is a sedentary job so it is important to have a healthy food intake. Fast food can seem like the quick and easy option, especially when you are working long hours, but it can just leave you feeling lethargic and can lead to a number of overall health problems. Good snacks to eat on the go are:

  • Pre washed & cut vegetables
  • Pre washed fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Hummus and vegetables (i.e. carrots and cucumber)
  • Mixed nuts
  • Fat free yogurt

colourful fruit

Staying hydrated

Water should be your best friend. Dehydration can be a main factor of loss of alertness and tiredness. So for a HGV Driver – staying hydrated is essential. HGV Drivers should consume around two litres of water each day in order to stay hydrated. Instead of buying multiple expensive plastic bottles, buy one large (gallon/2L) water bottle and sip on it throughout the day.

We also suggest staying clear of fizzy drinks – they dehydrate you quickly and therefore the result is tiredness and lack of being alert.

big bottle of water to keep hydrated

Get plenty of sleep

If you're driving for a long period of time, it is vital that you make the most of your rest periods and break times. Brake UK says that 1 in 6 deaths or serious injuries on major roads are fatigue related. A major cause of fatigue is tiredness and drowsiness. For the safety of yourself and other road users, you have to get enough sleep.

lady getting enough sleep

Stay active

In addition to the occasional stretch of your legs at rest point, another one of our top tips is to stay active and incorporate exercise into your days/nights. This can easily be done by walking for 15/20 minutes when you reach your rest stops. Another good way to incorporate exercise is to store a fold up push bike in the HGV and go for a cycle at your rest points. Some rest points may even have a track for you to follow.

man riding a push bike to keep fit

Mental health

Even though physical health is essential, keeping your mind healthy is equally as important. Driving all day/night can be very tedious (especially when there is traffic), so it is essential to keep your mind stimulated during your driving hours. There are multiple ways this can be done, for example:

  • Listen to the radio – radio presenters converse with each other so it can feel like you are in the conversation with them. You can take part in quizzes and competitions too.
  • Have an AUX cord/Bluetooth to listen to a playlist (click here to check out the soundtrack we have put together for HGV Drivers).
  • Have an audio book play whilst you are driving.
  • Remember that it is illegal to use a hand-held device whilst you are driving so ensure you have sorted this out before you set off on your journey.

mental health for HGV Drivers

Keeping your body and mind healthy whilst on the road is vital. These health tips for HGV drivers are a great way to stay on top of your physical and mental health whilst you are travelling away from home. Driving can be a long, solitary and challenging job, but there are always ways to stay on top of your fitness and wellbeing.