Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a professional truck driver use to be a difficult task but steps are being taken all across the country to help truckers uphold healthy lifestyles, which has numerous benefits both on and off the road.

A professional truck driver from 25 years ago might have found it hard to live a healthy life. Truck stops served great tasting food, but had few items – if any – that were kind to the waste line. Today, hundreds of truck stops are including healthier eating options, such as salad bars, grilled meats – rather than fried – and selling health food items that truckers can take with them while on the go. A few truck stops are even experimenting with small produce markets.

Many truck stops and trucking facilities are also installing fitness facilities and gyms. Some truckers have chosen to join a nationwide gym, like the YMCA, but even those facilities aren’t found everywhere. With more truck stops building fitness facilities it is becoming easier for truckers to maintain a regular fitness routine while on the road. There is even a Satellite Radio program aimed at truckers that encourages healthy living and offers daily encouragement to truck drivers, and other listeners, to follow healthy practices.

Trucks are also being retrofitted and constructed with refrigerators and other light kitchen appliances that are making it easier for professional truck drivers to keep healthy food items onboard with them. It is always healthier to make your own food, but many truckers don’t have that option while on the open road. Some truck stops also include kitchen areas that allow truckers to cook their own food.

The need to maintain a healthy lifestyle is very important because health problem can lead to a shorter lifespan and increased risk for accidents while on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 87 percent of accidents involving commercial trucks were caused by driver error, and 12 percent of those accidents were caused by a driver falling asleep, going into diabetic shock or having a heart attack.

A healthier lifestyle can help a truck driver stay more alert, feel better and avoid cardiac problems.

Even if truck drivers find themselves in a part of the country without a fitness facility there are still ways to maintain an exercise routine. Just going for a walk and avoiding fatty foods can go a long way.

One-third of current truck drivers are expected to enter retirement sometime over the next 25 years and a new generation of professional drivers will be counted on to take their place. It is vitally important that these new drivers are not only safe and cautious behind the wheel, but that they are also safe and cautious with their own bodies.