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Another driver writes, “the more stressful I get, the more I eat. The more I eat, the more weight I gain. Then I get stressed-out because of all the weight I’ve gained.”

Yep! I think it’s called “catch-22”. Few jobs are more stressful than truck driving. The effects of stress are well documented. These include insomnia, hypertension, ulcers, back pain, sexual dysfunction and gastrointestinal problems. Stress will drain your energy and is responsible for the release of the hormone cortisol, which inhibits fat burning while causing the body to store more fat. In other words, stress will make you fatter!

Here are some tips on reducing stress as it relates to truck driving:

  • Most importantly; work for the right company! If you are forced to take a load you cannot legally deliver on time...you are working for the wrong company. Never take a load you cannot pickup or deliver on time!
  • Plan your trips. Know where and when you will stop for food or rest. When you do stop, do some stretching exercises. I stretch every time I step out of my truck. Especially in the shoulders and neck.
  • Learn to breathe. Take slow deep breaths through the nostrils filling the diaphragm, then exhale slowly and as smoothly as possible. Breathe from the belly into the chest. Be sure to breathe slowly so as not to hyperventilate. Learn to charge the body with energy through the breath. Repeat 5 times.
  • Don’t tailgate! You won’t get to your destination any faster and you are creating more stress. Understand you may not get to your destination at all if you tailgate. Not only is tailgating the number one cause of truck related accidents, but you could also lose your license in some states.
  • Drive with the flow of traffic. Notice I didn’t mention anything about speed limits. It is the variance of speed and lane-changing that cause accidents. It also causes stress.
  • Get a satellite radio. It is very relaxing to listen to the music you love from one coast to the other without ever having to change channels.
  • Learn to meditate. There just isn’t a better way to deal with the most stressful situations. Pull over in a safe place, (rest areas are perfect), and meditate for 10-20 minutes. Many of you may think, “what’s the point. Nothing really happens when I meditate.” That’s the point! Relaxing the body while invigorating it with breath, perhaps with an occasional moment of peace / stillness...is the point.
  • Rather than getting stressed-out when loading or unloading seems to be taking too long, exercise! You could knit or write a book, but exercising releases endorphines. These “feel-good” hormones can eliminate stress entirely.

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The information on this web site is provided as a public service only.
Randy Pollak is not, nor does he claim to be, a doctor, a nutritionist, nor a dietitian.  The only safe diet or fitness plan is the one you discuss with your personal physician. The information on this web site is not intended to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a health problem. 
Please consult your health care advisor about your health care concerns. 
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