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Truck drivers: A changing routine can help mental fitness on road

No one ever said being a commercial truck driver is easy.

There's all that time on the road, all that time away from family, all those fast-food meals devoured as drivers sit in the cab of their rig. Drivers often sleep in the truck alongside the road.

There have been suggestions made to help truck drivers with their mental fitness to counter those thousands of hours and miles traveled. Improving their fitness ultimately should improve their driving.

For drivers, it starts with getting their brains in shape. Mental sharpness falls off when people aren't challenging their minds with new thoughts. That would be easy for long-haul drivers whose routine consists of looking at mile markers.

Just how can drivers keep their brains sharp?

There are several tactics drivers can utilize. They include:

  • Taking a few minutes when stopping for a cup of coffee to walk around and experience all five senses. Taste the coffee. Smell the wildflowers. Look at the scenery. Listen to the noises. Pet the dog on a walk with its owner to use your sense of touch.
  • Closing their eyes and thinking about something that makes them happy. It could be imagining playing catch with the kids, remembering that hole in one on the 14th hole, or visualizing the house and all the painting projects awaiting that will transform the home. This helps both the imagination and the memory, and it also refreshes the brain.
  • Changing things up. That could be taking an alternate highway while driving or playing solitaire instead of poker on their phone during a break. Switching the routine stimulates the brain.
  • Eating well. A diet low in saturated fat can power the brain. Now, it isn't easy on the road, but there are ways to do it with some planning.

Truck drivers easily could fall into a daze on the road, their minds drifting off and losing focus. That might result in a big accident that injures other drivers. These suggested exercises could help to keep the brain sharp and the driver crash free.

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