It’s fair to say the reason most truck drivers start a diet or exercise plan is to see physical changes. But how about the mental changes that come along with it? While mental changes are rarely the driving (pun intended) force, they often prove to be the most beneficial. Why? Because it’s the mental changes that carry on in between meals and long after exercise is complete for the day. Many truck drivers begin a diet/exercise plan with one outlook on life and end up completely shifting their viewpoint as things progress. Suddenly “I can’t” becomes “I will” and “I don’t have time” becomes “I will make time.”
For a truck driver, the transformation to a healthier lifestyle is an incredibly satisfying experience. We all know truck drivers are faced with many additional obstacles that others aren’t, but that just makes the rewards more gratifying. Take a look below at 4 of the mental benefits of healthy living. To get additional insight we took to The Healthy Trucker Facebook Page and the Truckin’ Runners group to get these perspective on these benefits as well. Let us know what you think!
You know what they say — exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!
It’s no secret that physical activity can actually improve our mood. Exercise can even relieve symptoms in those who are clinically depressed. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants!
“Cutting out sugar greatly improved my bouts of depression. Also a much easier person to get along with now that I’m not constantly having wild sugar spikes and crashes.” –Carrie Dow
Not only can regular physical activity improve a truck driver’s mood, but it can also combat feelings of low energy. So put down the energy drink and do something healthier instead like taking a walk or jog around the truck stop parking lot. Just remember, because exercise can give you a jolt of energy, it is not recommended to work out too close to bedtime.
Starting to feel a little lull in the middle of a driving shift? Take a 30 minute break and get a quick workout in for a little pick-me-up in the afternoon. Might as well make good use of that mandatory 30 minute break!
“Generally happier, more energy, positive mind frame, quicker to strap and tarp my loads, easier to throw the tarps on deck…and I smile more!” –Tom Tom Sinclair
Ever wonder why exercise feels good after a particularly sucky day? It’s because physical activity can significantly reduce the amount of stress we feel on an everyday basis by taking our minds off daily worries. Exercise increases the brain’s production of norepinephrine, the chemical that moderates our response to stress. Having problems with a dispatcher? Tired of waiting to get unloaded? Get a quick workout in for an opportunity to de-stress.
Healthy Brain Activity
Exercise and a healthy diet can help maintain healthy brain activity. Chocolate, grape juice, extra virgin olive oil, apples, and spinach (as well as exercise, obviously) all help ward off cognitive decline and improve memory.
Let’s not forget one of the most important benefits exercise brings to the table, and one of the benefits most people strive for — the increase in self confidence and self-worth that almost everyone experiences after starting a healthy living regimen. Whether it’s two pounds lost or 20 pounds, being active just makes someone feel better about themselves.
Here’s what fellow healthy truckers had to say about some mental changes they’ve noticed since getting healthier: