These are extraordinary times and our truckers; it has to be said, are some of the unsung heroes of those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. They, at great risk to their own health and well-being, continue to provide the essential service of shipping goods, no matter what and we salute you.
We have fairly extensively dealt with what truckers are facing directly associated with COVID-19, and have given advice accordingly, but facing this pandemic is not the only time that truckers have to deal with health hazards.
We have all learned that building one’s immunity and regular exercise are good ways to try to prevent Coronavirus, but let’s look realistically at the difficulties that Truckers face in that regard…
Health hazards Truckers face
- A lack of exercise generally due to long stints on the road
- Cramped spaces – not unlike airline travel, for extended periods
- Un-balanced and unusual sleep cycles due to shift driving
- Inhalation of unhealthy fumes – like diesel fuel
- Excessive stress through high levels of concentration for extended periods of time
- Generally an unbalanced diet, due to the visitation of too many ‘fast food’ truck stops
Add Coronavirus to this, and it becomes a pretty scary prospect. We all know how we feel after long spells of driving – now imagine how your health can be compromised due to these factors.
Some solid solutions
Fortunately, there is a lot of realistic advice we can give in this regard. This is taken from seasoned truckers who have faced and overcome these issues for many years and managed to maintain at least a reasonable level of health.
It is essentially about replacing these health hazards, one at a time, through forming good health habits. Forming a habit takes approx. 30 days so, just as we will all have formed healthier hand washing and other hygiene habits during the time of the lockdown, in the same period, Truckers can change their health habits.
It is quite a big subject, so this is only the first part, but here are a few good habits to fight health hazards for truckers…
Fight COVID through flu resistance
This is not one that is usually on the list, but at this time, we are being told by health authorities that getting a flu injection is a good idea and can assist in resistance to Coronavirus. We heartily suggest that trucking companies, or lone truckers, should ensure that all drivers (and other staff) have the advised flu vaccine injection ASAP!
Good nutrition builds immunity – and good health
It is said that ‘we are what we eat’ and not only does proper nutrition make for general good health, but it also builds a stronger immunity to viruses and other dread diseases. It may feel like a pain to have to pack a healthy meal for the journey, but it is probably the most vital first step to make to change from facing health hazards to good health habits.
Use whole wheat or rye bread when making sandwiches and include fruit and vegetables in your food offering. Plenty of vegetables and at least some fruit are the essential immune fighters – especially citrus fruits. So even if you only pack sandwiches, include tomato and lettuce and make a vegetable smoothie for the ride, plus a couple of items of fruit and nuts to snack on if they are in your price range.
The main thing is at all costs to avoid pies, fast foods and anything with a lot of sugar – like sweets and biscuits etc. Rooibos tea, 100% fruit or vegetable juice (watered down a bit) and plenty of water will all stand you in good stead and help to build immunity.
Some things never change
Yes, we are facing extraordinary times, but one thing that never changes is that FAW trucks are well built, strong vehicles built in South Africa for Africans and we, as a company, will always be there for our trucking companies and their drivers.
Contact a dealer near you or directly contact us to find out about our Driver training programs and our wide range of new and used top-quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which come standard with competitive warranties and 24hr roadside assistance.
Remember we have just touched the tip of the iceberg in this article, so do look out for Good habits to fight health hazards for truckers – part 2 – and in the meantime stay healthy and stay safe!