Maintaining A Healthy Lifestyle

Topic 20099 | Page 1

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Jonathan M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone, I'm about to begin this CDL training thing here this coming Monday and while this is something I've never really looked into before or even considered. I'm actually a little excited to see more of the country while being OTR. (Hopefully its as great as everyone here makes it out to be)

Anyway, there is one issue that has been on my mind this entire time and its...Food... What do you folks eat while on the road? I dont want to stop at every place I go to and be limited to unhealthy/greasy/high caloric meals. Also, sitting down all day for 8-12 hrs at a time? How to maintain a healthy body? Is working out between stops with calesthenics sufficient enough for all the sitting down you'll be doing?

Sorry if I come off as difficult. I just dont want to ruin my body, and I wondered whether there are people who have experience with this and are able to juggle maintaining good health and driving OTR.

Thanks in advanced.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Jonathan!

There are a ton of discussions on this subject buried down in the many pages of our forum. I know when you first come here it's a little overwhelming to navigate your way through our vast storehouse of information, so here's a tip. Go to the main menu for the Trucker's Forum, then scroll down to the category titled "All Topics by Tag." Click on that heading and look through all the topics that will show up in that menu. You will be able to find a lot of our past discussions on this very subject by searching for them that way.

You can also just put something like "healthy eating" in the search bar at the top of this page. That search engine searches this site only, and will lead you to our many discussions on that subject.

That will get you started, and it will probably stir your curiosity with more questions. I'd start there and then jump back in here with some more specific questions that you come up with.

We're glad to have you in here!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

I prepare most of my meals in my truck. I have a dometic brand personal freezer. It can be set to either fridge or freezer mode. On weeks when I want more salads and fresh fruits and veggies I put it on fridge mode. When I want to cook, I stock it with fish filets, shrimp, chicken breasts, tiny roasts and mini meatloaves, frozen veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and so forth.

I keep a portable grill in my sidebox and have an aroma cooker which can steam, be used as a crock pot or a pressure cooker. I make all kinds of great meals in it. I use the Reynolds brand crock pot liners in it so clean up is super easy.

I keep the pre-grated tubes of fresh ginger, garlic that you find in Walmart at the produce section, as well as a variety of cheese, dried spices, olive oil, canned broth, dried rice and pasta, soy sauce, honey, peanut butter, a few small cans of crushed tomatoes and other veggies.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

So far, I've been living off of salads, keeping the greens, vegetables, and dressing in my plug-in Coleman cooler, which says it's not a refrigerator, but I abuse it as one. I top the leafy greens w/broccoli (veg of choice), can of tuna or salmon, then add raisins for sweetness and smoked almonds for crunch. I haven't gotten tired of it yet... breakfast is wheat or whole grain bread + bananas or a Clif bar, and snacks include apples and a mix I enjoy which is a blend of peanuts, raisins, and pnut butter M&Ms... I NEVER eat out. I definitely see myself getting some sort of crock pot like Old School has when it gets colder. I've actually lost weight since I've been OTR , because I just don't feel I need the calories as much when I'm driving, sitting still.

Exercise? There's time; if you don't bring equipment with you, you can walk/run, sit-ups, push-ups, planks, whatever. I highly recommend stretching, for your back and legs.

Good luck with your CDL school, look forward to your joining us on the road!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, what is the brand of crock pot you use? Would you recommend it or has it let you down? You wrote about cooking several Cornish hens in it once, so the size seems perfect. Thanks!

6 string rhythm's Comment
member avatar

As for exercise, bring dumbbells. The ones where you can adjust the weight with loose plates so you can save room in truck by stacking the plates. You can do a full body workout with dumbbells. Lifting weights is more beneficial than cardio.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bradley M.'s Comment
member avatar

I am in my 2nd month of team driving I saw the instant pot discussions. Got the Faberware one at wally world for 60.00. Best purchase ever. It is 1000 watts. Also got elec tea kettle and pour over coffee mug. It is 1500 watts. Got a 2000 watt inverter to be on safe side. You can control your diet!

Wally World has several choices of individual salads, just use half tbe dressing. We get 2-3 days of groceries at a time. Gallons of water as well as bottled.

I walk walk walk. At the shipper , consignee , truck stop, rest area et al. Also got a jump rope. If you see an old guy jumping rope say hi.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Bradley M.'s Comment
member avatar

Susan do you use the liner in pressure cooker mode? I had that idea too but was scared by warnings in the manual. t.y.

I prepare most of my meals in my truck. I have a dometic brand personal freezer. It can be set to either fridge or freezer mode. On weeks when I want more salads and fresh fruits and veggies I put it on fridge mode. When I want to cook, I stock it with fish filets, shrimp, chicken breasts, tiny roasts and mini meatloaves, frozen veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and so forth.

I keep a portable grill in my sidebox and have an aroma cooker which can steam, be used as a crock pot or a pressure cooker. I make all kinds of great meals in it. I use the Reynolds brand crock pot liners in it so clean up is super easy.

I keep the pre-grated tubes of fresh ginger, garlic that you find in Walmart at the produce section, as well as a variety of cheese, dried spices, olive oil, canned broth, dried rice and pasta, soy sauce, honey, peanut butter, a few small cans of crushed tomatoes and other veggies.

Jalapeno's Comment
member avatar

When discussing this career change with friends and family one person pointed out a health risk that never crossed my mind: backpain. How do you guys take care of your backs?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Lifting weights is more beneficial than cardio.

This is absolutely true. A guy named Mark Lauren, who is (or was) the head of fitness for the U.S. Special Forces, finally got this idea across to me in his book. I used to do a ton of jogging, until I read that book, and haven't gone since. That was probably 8+ years ago. This is his website:

Mark Lauren

He focuses on bodyweight training and I did that for quite a long time. Actually I bought pretty much everything he offers at some point - book, DVD's, and his iOS app. Amazing stuff.

The critical thing he taught me was that you can reach fantastic cardio levels by incorporating cardio into your strength training. Once I understood that I realized that jogging was a nice meditative exercise, but falls far short of what a much shorter strength training session will do for you.

When discussing this career change with friends and family one person pointed out a health risk that never crossed my mind: backpain. How do you guys take care of your backs?

A well rounded fitness program will keep your back healthy. There is no silver bullet, unfortunately. I've done a lot of hiking over the years, up and down mountains with a pack on, and for a few months I slacked on the bodyweight training. My lower back started bothering the heck out of me. I started thinking it was my bed, or the position I was sleeping in, or all kinds of things. Finally I realized I probably just wasn't getting well rounded exercise, and joined a gym. Honest to God, after the first day of a solid 30 minute total body workout I felt 100 times better. Within three sessions all of my back pain was completely gone and it never returned for a moment.

Diagnosis? I'm an idiot. I know better than to do too much of one type of exercise because that causes problems.

The human body is meant to do hard physical work. We've evolved over a million years to hunt and gather, travel long distances over land, and fight and farm. If you don't give yourself a well rounded hard physical workout you're simply not going to be as healthy as you could be.

Finally, Yoga is amazing. Beyond amazing. It's one of those things that appears very simple on the surface and it's very easy to do. But the benefits go far beyond the effort you put into it.

If I had to give one final answer, like what could a truck driver do in 30 minutes per day or less, I'd say a combination of bodyweight training and yoga. You can do bodyweight training 3 - 5 days a week, yoga 7 days a week if you like, and do them in any combination totaling 30 minutes a day. That would do it right there.

And the hardest lesson of all that I learned over the years is that you never, ever try to lose weight with exercise. You control your weight with calories, you exercise to be fit. That's two completely different things. I beat myself into the ground for years trying to exercise the extra weight off me and never got the results I wanted. It wasn't until I focused on caloric intake for weight and simply exercised to be fit that I got the results I wanted. Exercise doesn't burn nearly the calories you would think it does. You simply can't exercise hard and then eat what you like. It almost never works unless you're really, really exercising for hours a day, which almost none of us are.

Count calories to control weight, exercise to be fit, 30 minutes of some combination of Yoga and bodyweight training per day. The beauty of this plan is not only is it incredibly effective, but it costs nothing. You don't need to join a gym or buy 75 fad diet books or anything.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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