Winter is right around the corner, which means cold and flu season is quickly approaching. Being sick is never enjoyable, especially when you are out on the open road. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older is the single best way to avoid getting influenza. But there’s more you can do. These stay-well strategies can help keep you from getting — or passing along — a cold or flu bug.
Tip #1: Be Germ Free
One of the best things you can do to prevent a cold or flu is to stay away from germs that could lead to a virus. While it is impossible to avoid bacteria and germs, there are many ways to kill the bacteria around you. We have all been taught from a young age to always wash our hands with soap and warm water and this is something we should not forget. In times when soap and water are not available, it is a good idea to use anti-bacterial hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands. You should also consider keeping disinfectant wipes in your truck to frequently wipe down the surfaces in your truck or public areas that are touched by many people. Remembering to fight the germs around you is a great way to help you stay healthy.
Tip #2: Get Your Vitamins
Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs is essential to ensuring your health. Many truck drivers find it difficult to eat a balanced diet that provides them with all the nutrients they need while they are on the road. If this seems to be the case for you, you should be taking a multivitamin every day to fuel your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. During cold and flu season, it is always a good idea to take a Vitamin C supplement to give your immune system extra protection. Vitamin C supplements come in many different forms, including drink mixes, which makes it easy to stay healthy.
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated
We have all heard that when we are sick, we should drink plenty of fluids, but it’s also important to stay hydrated before you get sick. Not drinking enough water causes dehydration, which can lead to headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. It is recommended that you drink at least eight cups of water a day. Drinking plenty of water every day helps keep your body healthy and is an easy way to stay in top condition. Keep several water bottles with you on your truck to ensure that you always have access to the coveted H2O.
Tip #4: Sleep Soundly
As a truck driver, maintaining a regular sleep schedule can be difficult but it is important to get quality sleep. If you feel like you may be getting sick, try to get some extra sleep so you can allow your body to recover and fight the virus. To get quality sleep while on the road, make your truck as dark as possible and avoid using electronics before bed, as the blue light from screens can interfere with your sleep cycle.
Tip #5: Know Your Limits
If you are in the situation where you have become ill, it is important to know what your limits are. Never push yourself to the point where you are putting your safety at risk. You should always inform dispatch when you are feeling under the weather so they can check in with you and make scheduling adjustments if needed.
As the cold and flu season approaches, follow these 5 tips to stay healthy and avoid a winter sickness. If you do happen to get sick, remember to read the warning labels on your medicine and never take anything that will make you drowsy. Being safe on the road also includes being healthy, so take these preventative measures so you can work safe and return home safe.