Simple Tips to Fend off Holiday Stress

The holiday season has arrived!  For some, the season rings of sentimentality, joy and family tradition. For others, not so much.  Folks who are lonely, dealing with health issues or struggling financially, often feel worse this time of year.

According to the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people report a noticeable increase in stress during the holidays. Lack of time, living up to the hype, and pressures associated with gift giving are at the top of the list of stressors.  Perceived responsibilities to create a joyful experience for family adds to holiday stress with half of men (49%) and women (51%) reporting pressure to make sure family members are happy.

Thankfully, there are some simple techniques you can use to lower your stress level and stay healthy this holiday season.  To help keep the “Happy” in your holidays, here’s what to know.

  •  Just Say NO

When the holiday invitations start rolling in, saying “yes” to them all can create feelings of overwhelm, resentment and anxiety.  Even the gatherings that sound like fun ahead of time can end up compounding your stress when you suddenly find yourself with too many things to do and not enough time to get it all done. Accepting the invitations you find most appealing and kindly saying “No” to the rest will help you keep your peace and joy.

  •  Unplug

The constant connectivity to our screens can make it difficult for our brain to slow down and allow us to relax. Try choosing one day a week to turn off your devices.  Ignore those emails and spend your unplugged time on a fun project, a relaxing walk, cooking a yummy meal for friends and family, or reading a great book.

  •  Acknowledge your Stress 

Trying to suppress stress just causes the pressure to mount. By acknowledging and expressing those feelings in a healthy way, you can transform the negative to a positive. Focus on a good outcome AND acknowledge the stress simultaneously.  For example, “I feel exhausted and overwhelmed by all I have to do but I am so excited about all the people coming to our holiday dinner”.  

  •  Do something nice for someone

In the midst of all the parties and shopping, take time for small acts of kindness — you’ll be glad you did!  Studies have shown that both you and the recipient of your kindness experience reduced stress and improved emotional well-being. Acts of kindness can be as simple as paying a compliment, holding a door open, or expressing gratitude toward someone you appreciate.

  •  Walk it Off

A brisk, walk provides a repetitive rhythm that soothes your brain, relieves anxiety and helps you sleep. The busier things become, the more important it is to make time for physical activity.  A short walk can be done anywhere at any time and can make a big difference in your mental health.  Breathe in the fresh air and the sites and sounds of life around you – it’s like pressing the Reset button!

  •  Laugh Often

Laughter reduces stress hormones AND boosts your immune system. Keep your sense of humor as much as possible during the holiday rush and laugh whenever you get the chance.

  •  Let it Go

With the holidays constantly romanticized on TV and social media, there’s a lot of pressure to make them perfect. Over the years, traditions and family can multiply, leading to even more preparation and less time for decompressing. Realistically, you cannot do it all — and that’s okay.  Choose a few things that matter most to you and let the rest go, guilt-free.

  • Maintain your Routine

When our schedules become too crowded, routines are often the first thing to go. During stressful times, healthy eating, staying active, and getting a good night’s sleep are more important than ever. Maintaining your morning ritual, that daily workout, and your wake/sleep schedule will ease the load on your physical and menta/emotional bodies. Nobody likes a grumpy holiday guest!

  •  Add a Little Citrus

Researchers have discovered that the citrus scents of lemon and orange can increase your levels of the mood-influencing hormone norepinephrine, which amplifies feelings of well-being. Citrus-scented soaps, essential oils, or simmering a mixture of lemons, cloves, and rosemary on the stovetop can make a big difference when you find yourself feeling tense.

  •  Don’t Do it Alone 

Even though you may feel that no one can do it as well as you can, you’ll experience more joy if you start delegating or asking for help.  It is often one of the most empowering things you can do and can go a long way toward relieving stress. You don’t have to do it all!Slowing down to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa (add the marshmallow), watch a holiday movie or make a call to a loved one can go a long way to help make the holidays feel merry and bright! 

Fall Seasonal Driving Tips

Fall weather can be erratic with temperature fluctuations and conditions often changing by the hour. Preparation is key to safe driving during the Autumn season.

With all of the beauty and festivity that Fall brings each year, this season also comes with its own unique driving risks.  Slippery roads, decreased daylight, fog and sun glare are to be expected. Autumn weather conditions can change quickly.

Here’s how to plan and prepare for all that this season brings to the road.

The Nights are Longer…

As the days get shorter, you will likely be driving in the dark a lot more.

  • Keep your headlights clean and in proper working order; dim or misaligned headlights can decrease your visibility. Never drive faster than your headlights can illuminate your way.
  • Pedestrians walking, jogging or biking through the streets may be more difficult to see, especially if they are wearing dark clothing.
  • School is in session so use caution and be mindful of children walking to and from bus stops in the early morning.
  • Seasonal animal behaviors create moving obstacles for drivers, especially at night.  There is increased wildlife activity on the roads with small animals like squirrels busy storing food for winter, and large animals like deer, boar and moose out looking for mates.  Be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to wildlife crossing signs.  Slow down in areas wildlife is known to frequent.

 Cold Weather

Cooler temperatures bring frost, ice, and even early snow to the roads

  • Fall weather can change rapidly from warm to cold, causing roads to ice. Be on the lookout for black ice and remember to drive slowly and brake gently on bridges and overpasses as these surfaces tend to frost over before others.
  • Check your tire pressure daily. Extreme changes may lead to a loss of tire pressure causing your tires to become less stable and lose their grip and traction. 
  • Before starting your vehicle, scrape away any frost on your windows and check to see that your defrosters are working properly.

Driving in Fog

With cold autumn mornings often comes fog.

  • Driving in foggy weather can be disorienting and dangerous.  When you encounter fog, set your headlights to low even though it may be counter intuitive. Low beams aim down toward the road and improve visibility.   High beams on the other hand, bounce off of fog and reflect back at you, further impairing your ability to see the road.
  • Slow down and leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you so that you have ample time to stop if necessary.
  • If the fog is especially dense and your visibility is severely reduced, it may be better to pull of the road and wait it out.  Pull a safe distance off the road and turn on your hazard lights as other drivers may not see you.  Call your dispatcher, they will help you stay safe.

Glare

Autumn’s sunrises and sunsets can cause a large amount of glare, making it difficult to see other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lights or the road.

  • Be mindful of the time of day. Sun glare tends to be the worst in the early morning and late afternoon. …
  • A clean windshield inside and out is a priority. Grime, streaks and smudges can become magnified when the sun hits your windshield making it even more difficult to see. 
  • Keep a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle at all times to help deal with the glare of that strong sunshine.   If you frequently drive at night, consider anti-glare polarized glasses to reduce that blinding sensation from oncoming headlights. 
  • Slow down and leave more room.  Your visibility and reaction time will decrease due to glare, so it’s important to give yourself a greater gap to react.

 

Wet Conditions

Fall often brings increased rainfall, which creates the danger of wet leaves, an experience like driving on ice.

  • Large amounts of wet leaves make roads slippery and cover up potholes, road bumps, and ice which can lead to accidents. Slow down in wooded areas after a rain shower to avoid hydroplaning.
  • Before starting your car, remove any leaves from your windshield to prevent them from getting stuck under your wiper blades. Also, be sure to replace your windshield wiper blades if they show signs of wear.
  • When driving during heavy rain, slow down, especially around turns. Wet conditions increase the time it takes your vehicle to come to a complete stop, so keep a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Avoid sudden movements with the steering wheel or slamming on the brakes, as this can cause you to hydroplane. If you feel that you are losing control of your vehicle, steer straight and gently release the gas pedal until you feel the tires make contact with the road surface again.

How to Stay Safe on the Road During Springtime

Spring is officially here, and with nicer weather comes more traffic on the roads, new construction projects and busy schedules. With more distractions to deal with, we all need to keep safe driving and safe work front of mind. Even though you know what to do, reminders can be helpful.  We want to be sure you arrive to your destination safely!
 
Here’s what you can do:

Get enough rest.  Plan your day with your hours of service in mind so you’ll be alert when it’s time to drive.  Still, if you feel drowsy, pull over and take a rest and let someone on your team know how you’re feeling. Don’t risk driving while sleepy.

Prevent allergies. If you are prone to seasonal allergies, be sure to always have allergy relief in your cab. There’s nothing worse than constant sneezing during your trip while you’re just trying to focus on the road. Always ensure that whatever kind you get, that it is non-drowsy!

Beware of work zones. Lanes are often moved or redirected during construction; adjust your speed so you can follow the provided signage without endangering yourself, other drivers, or the workers.

Be aware of your blind spots. Small cars can be easily missed. Signal your intention to change lanes or turn well in advance, so that cars have enough opportunity to get out of your blind spot.

Maintain a safe distance from the cars in front of you.  You know that it will take you much longer to stop than an average car.  But does the driver of the car know it?  Defensive driving is a critical skill.

Regularly inspect your brakes. There isn’t always a convenient runaway truck ramp nearby to catch you if your brakes go bad.  Inspect your breaks frequently!

Follow suggested speed limits.  And when you’re in construction zones, remember that the speed limit may be further reduced and the fines for speeding increased.

Avoid aggressive drivers.  When you see a driver whose driving appears to be unsafe, sporadic or aggressive, avoid them or move out of the way whenever possible.  Also, call for the highway patrol to report this driver so they don’t cause injury to anyone on the road.

Thank you for your continued dedication and professionalism.  We appreciate having the best truck drivers in the nation on our team!


. . . and a Lily reminder:  keep Safety First!

Adjusting Your Travel for Spring

March is the time of new beginnings. For many of us in the northern areas, it’s the time we look forward to spring. Daylight savings time starts, which will make for longer daylight hours to enjoy. Just the ability to get out and about in milder weather makes for more enjoyable days.

As we begin this new change of season, it’s probably a good time to review some safety tips before we even begin our daily trips. Becoming a successful and safe truck driver doesn’t end when you obtain your CDL. We should all have an always-learning and “Safety First” mindset to further skills and confidence. Each season brings in a new challenge for truck drivers. Luckily for you, this time around is typically more mild when it comes to seasonal changes! But, we must always stay prepared and refreshed for the roads ahead.

The following Pre-Trip safety tips for truck drivers are great reminders no matter the season or how much experience you’ve had. Please take a moment to review:

5 safety tips before you hit the road

“How can I be a safe truck driver?” It all starts before you even get in the driver’s seat!

1. Take care of yourself.

The most important asset in the truck is you, so do all you can to become a healthy truck driver by eating, exercising and sleeping well. With allergy season coming up, it is a good idea to keep non-drowsy allergy medications in your cab at all times. You never know when you, or your driving partner may need it! It is also a good idea to apply sunscreen. With more hours of daylight, you will be exposed to more sun than before. Your future self will thank you!

2. Plan your route with care.

Make sure you stay up to date on weather, road conditions, traffic patterns, construction, low bridges and regulations that vary by state. These are just a few of the many important to check before you hit the road.

3. Adjust for bad weather.

According to the Department of Transportation, inclement weather is responsible for roughly 21 percent of all vehicle crashes. Check the numerous weather reports available to stay safe. March can be a more rainy time depending on your location. Be sure to perform a thorough pre-trip inspection before you hit the roads, and if you feel the roads are getting too slippery, pull over until the conditions are safer!

4. Get comfortable.

Adjust the steering wheel, seat height and back rest to stay comfortable during long driving periods and get your in-truck device’s navigation ready before you turn the key. Then plan to take breaks every few hours, and get out of your truck to walk around.

5. Hang up.

Put down the phone. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration restricts mobile use while operating a commercial motor vehicle.

. . . Enjoy the sights and sounds of spring and remember to keep safety first while you’re at it!

Show Love to your Heart this Valentine’s Day

With valentine’s day approaching, many of us often think of chocolates, flowers, and spending time with your partner. But what about your physical heart? Let’s shift gears for a moment and think about what we can do to make our heart happy. What can you do this valentine’s day to improve your heart health? We are giving you some top 5 things you can start implementing into your daily trucking life to be a keep a happy, healthy heart.

Quit Smoking

Many people correlate smoking to strictly lung issues. Such as lung disease, lung cancer, emphysema, COPD and so on. But no one seems to talk about the major toll it takes on your heart. Smoking not only increase your heart rate, but it can also cause permanent damage to your blood vessels, potentially leading to CVD (cardiovascular disease). This is caused by inhaling the cigarette smoke, which then contaminates the blood vessels with harsh chemicals and pumping that contaminated blood throughout your body. CVD is currently the leading cause of death in the US. However, it is never too late to quit! Give yourself something productive to do whenever you feel the urge to smoke, perhaps take up a new hobby or express your urges to friends and family to help stray you away. If you are over the road and you are getting that cigarette craving, allow yourself something else you enjoy. Tell yourself if you make it through your route without any cigarettes, you’ll buy yourself those new sneakers you wanted, or eat a piece of candy instead! It may also help to keep a calendar of how many days you have gone without smoking to keep motivated, you got this!

Eat Hearty Foods

When packing snacks for the road, some heart healthy but tasty options are dark chocolate covered almonds. The Journal of the American Heart Association, found that almonds, dark chocolate and cocoa significantly reduced the number of low-density lipoprotein particles in the blood. LDL is often called “bad cholesterol” because of the negative effects of clogging arteries!

Other snack options include crackers & hummus, nuts, raisins, veggies with greek yogurt, and apples with peanut butter, or any fresh fruit or vegetable! I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying before, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Even though that might be a stretch, apples do provide great nutrients for your heart and body. They are a staple super food and will keep you full for longer, promoting weight loss.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, it is important to avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup, sodium, and salt. Try incorporating vegetables, whole grains and oily fish. When you’re on the road, It may seem like the options for healthy meals are very limited. A good fast food tip is to switch out any fried sandwich for a grilled sandwich instead. Fried food contains high levels of sodium and cholesterol, which overtime can lead to high blood pressure. Fast food chains like Mc’Donalds or Wendy’s sell a grilled chicken sandwich that has significantly less sodium and fat, making it a healthier option all around.

Prioritize your Mental Health

According to the American Psychological Association, People diagnosed with clinical depression are more than twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease or suffer a heart attack. In addition, people with a more stable mental health have healthier levels of fibrinogen and cortisol in their blood, which makes them less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Clinical depression is very intense on the depression scale, if you are suffering, we highly recommend you consult with your doctor on a plan to get you on the right path!

Find an Exercise you Enjoy

Staying active for at least 30 minutes a day is key to a healthy heart. Exercising your heart means getting your heart rate up, and the best way to do that is cardio. Some effective cardio exercises that can be done on the road are jump roping, walking/running, and body weight exercises. If you have a gym you can stop by, even better! If your gym has a pool, swimming is an excellent form of cardio. Swimming works the majority of muscles in your body, while also burning a lot of calories and working your heart muscle. If you can’t seem to fit any of these in your schedule, even taking a 10-minute walk can be effective. Next time you’re at a truck stop, get out and walk around! But most importantly, make sure whatever form of exercise you choose is something you enjoy. Consistency is key! Working out here and there will not strengthen your heart. But consistently working out overtime for 5 days a week will, and whatever form of exercise that is, its up to you!

Our driver John from Manchester, CT demonstrating body weight exercises on the road!

Prioritize Your Sleep Routine

Catching quality sleep can be difficult, not to mention how it is for truck drivers. Sleeping in a truck, moving or not is definitely something you need to take time to adjust to. If you are new to trucking, or have been struggling with your sleep lately, take these tips into consideration!

Invest in quality pillows and blankets

Sleeping in your truck may not be ideal, but make the most of it by investing in quality blankets and pillows. You will be surprised at the difference it makes! Even if you are a local driver and don’t sleep on the road, you will then look forward to coming home to your comfy bed and appreciate your sleep time more.

Use a sound machine

Something a lot of folks use to fall asleep is a sound machine. It plays calming noises helping put your mind at ease and into relaxation mode. It can also help cancel out any noise going on outside of your truck. It’s worth a shot!

Avoid electronics before bed

Studies have shown that using your phone before bed keeps your brain engaged and suppresses the melatonin levels in your brain, causing you to stay more alert and awake. Try reading a book, or plan out your day for tomorrow instead!

Even though Valentine’s day is a one day event, maintaining a healthy heart is a lifestyle. Take everything you learned from this blog into account that you must stay consistent! Your heart is a lifelong muscle that is working for you. Treat it right! With anything you wish to accomplish, consistency and hard work is key. As long as you don’t lose site of your goals or give up, you are golden. Slip ups will happen, but don’t let it affect your entire journey to healthiness.

How To Lock In Your New Year Resolutions in 2022

Setting a new year resolution is always the easy part. Sticking to it is the real challenge. Statistics show that it takes 21 days to form a habit. If you can get yourself to perform your goal for 21 days, you’re golden! But how do I stick to my goal for 21 days?

Set realistic, small goals

Don’t set yourself to such a high standard where you go into it feeling like you won’t be successful. The goal here is long-term change. A lot of people will fail at their new year resolutions because they went on too strong in the beginning and began to feel it was too much to handle. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, don’t start running every single day. You will burn yourself out. Start out slow at jogging a couple days a week. Slowly increase the running overtime and you will begin to see a huge improvement.

Get support

Hold yourself accountable with the buddy system! Explain your goals to a friend or family member, maybe they have similar goals as well. You can hold each other accountable and stay motivated together. That way you will always have backup support if you begin to feel discouraged. Make sure to talk through your thoughts and concerns together and set a plan of how you two are going to get through it!

Keep working on your goals

By March, many people have lost that initial spark of motivation. Keep that spark alive by continuing your goals even if you have faced some setbacks. Keep positive by setting small goals, and creating new ones if you can’t seem to jump the hurdle on one. Re-evaluate your goals if needed and don’t give up!

WHAT SHOULD MY RESOLUTIONS BE?

Now that you know how to set goals and stick to it, let’s ring in the new year with a fresh set of goals and resolutions! 2022 is giving you the opportunity to turn over a new leaf and reset. We all know the trucking industry can be tough, and you probably have a lot on your plate. New year resolutions may be the last thing on your mind, but we are here to give you some goals that you can incorporate to your everyday trucking life! Here are some new year resolutions ideas you can start with:

Become an elite driver in 2022

In 2022, take it to the next level and become an elite driver! This means no accidents for the whole year. If you are already elite, awesome! Continue that pattern into 2022. Not only will you feel accomplished, Lily Transportation will enroll you into our Elite Driver Program and you will receive an annual bonus which increases each year you are elite, as well as elite gear. Talk about motivation!

Stay hydrated and eat clean

We all know that truck stops are often limited to unhealthier options. But there are usually always fruits available. Make your health a priority and switch out that cookie for a piece of fruit once or twice a week. It is important when trying to eat healthier to slowly incorporate healthy changes to your diet. Quitting sugar, or carbs cold turkey can often result to binge eating or a failed diet. It is also highly important to stay hydrated. Try purchasing a water jug that contains all the water you need for the day and set goals to finish half of it 4 hours into your route. Or make it a priority to switch that soda to a water a few times a week. Small changes lead to big results!

Prioritize safety

Safety has always been the #1 priority, especially in the trucking industry. Take some time this January to really look at your safety procedures and truck inspection checklist. Are they as thorough as possible? If you aren’t already doing truck inspections before every trip, start a new habit of putting safety first. Contrary to popular belief, drugs and alcohol abuse are not the highest cause of truck accidents. It is mechanical issues often in tires and brakes. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of pre and post trip inspection!

Make time for your friends and family

Being a truck driver is often associated with having no time to spend with family due to traveling for weeks at a time- make them be wrong! Family should be your #1 priority. Take time out of each day to stop and call or facetime your loved ones and let them know how your day has been. It is important for your own mental to express how things are going on the road, especially if you drive solo. It can get lonely! Plan something nice to do with your family or friends so that you will have something to look forward to. This will help you get through your time the road.

Exercise at least 30 minutes each day

Truckers often neglect exercising due to lack of time or access to a gym. Don’t make that excuse this year! Learn to adapt to your environment and work with what you got. For example- buy a couple pairs of dumbbells, do bodyweight exercises, or start skipping, running, or walking. Any form of exercise is better than no exercise. Take those few minutes at a rest stop and get your exercise in. Getting your heart rate up once a day is so important and beneficial to your overall health! This will not only benefit your health, but exercise also releases endorphins in your brain causing you to be in a better mood, and feel more energized.

Overall, try to head into 2022 with a fresh mind. Think positively, mindset is everything! If you are feeling down about anything, try to focus on the positive by thinking of 1-3 things you’re grateful for, even if it seems impossible. Think of all your years to come and remember that if you don’t start implementing your goals now, when will you? If you start now, you will be so glad one year from now. Remember to keep your goals realistic and re-evaluate if needed! Good luck truckers and Happy New Year!


Trucking In The Winter- Tips For Truckers

The winter season is just around the corner, meaning new climate challenges will be faced in many parts of the country. The job of a truck driver becomes increasingly more challenging when handling something as large as a loaded tractor trailer. Even if you are a highly experienced driver, you can never be too prepared. If you travel through sunny states like Florida, lucky for you! But, for those of you who will have to truck through the snow this year, these tips are for you.

  1. Bundle up

You can never be too prepared for the cold. Make sure you are bringing extra gloves, hats, scarves, with you on the road. You never know when you may need them!

  1. Give yourself extra space

Truckers should always have ample space to maneuver, and leave plenty of time to break smoothly. In winter, make sure you emphasize this even more! Black ice is very dangerous and can be nearly impossible to spot.

Here are 5 driving tips for dealing with black ice:

  • Resist the urge to hit the brakes.
  • Keep the steering wheel straight.
  • Slow down by decelerating or shift to lower gear.
  • Head for areas of traction.
  • Stay calm.
  1. Pay attention to the tire spray

This is one of the most important (and commonly forgotten) winter driving tips. A good way to assess the road condition is to observe the water coming off the tires of vehicles around you. If there’s a lot of water being sprayed, the road is definitely wet. If the tire spray is relatively less, it means that the roadway has started to freeze and you need to exercise additional caution.

  1. When in doubt, pull over

If the weather conditions are too severe to drive, think about your safety first. Delivering a late shipment is such a better option than putting your life in danger. Find a safe way to get off the roadway and wait until the weather is clear and it’s safe for you to drive. It is also a great idea to check weather ahead of your route, plan for the cold/snow, and take all the right precautions pre and post trip. A nervous truck driver is just as dangerous as a careless driver!

Bottom line, , safety on the road should always be your #1 priority. It is crucial to take these extra steps especially when you will be driving in these unideal weather conditions. Winter driving can be nerve-wracking, but staying up to date on safe driving techniques will help you feel more prepared. A smart trucker is always prepared for bad weather conditions and uses their best judgment and common sense – remember, you are in charge of the truck. Stay safe!

Fall Safety: Tips For Truckers

 The fall season is here! The leaves will start to fall, kids are starting school, temperatures begin to drop, and so on. Just like the season is changing, so will your trucking lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you adjust to these seasonal changes. 

Leaves falling + rain= slippery roads! Falling leaves along with increased rain and fog are often challenging this time of year. Unfortunately, snow and ice start becoming issues in some areas as well. Piles of wet leaves can make your tires slide and potentially cause an accident. If you see leaves in the road, be on the safe side and slow down. Another thing to be mindful of is more frequent stops due to school buses. More children will be on the streets meaning you should take extra precautions especially around school zones and bus stops. Also, lookout for more children in residential areas as they may be playing in leaf piles! Summer is not the only time kids are out and about. 

Another tip to be mindful of is wildlife. During autumn, deer are more active as it is their mating season. And they are a problem to drivers during the dusk or dawn. Look extra carefully for deer crossing signs and keep that in mind when adjusting speed. Hitting a deer is the last thing any trucker wants! 

Shorter days along with the daylight saving time change put more motorists on the road at dark. Please adjust your driving habits to accommodate these conditions! Speaking of shorter days, also be prepared for a brighter morning. With the time change, there is more sunlight during the early morning hours. We need to be aware of the change, but just as importantly, we need to understand the challenges of lesser trained drivers who share the road. As the autumn and winter proceed, the sun travels more to the south. Roads that were not an issue in the past become a real problem when the sun is rising in the middle of the road. Less experienced drivers may not think about how this changes visibility on roads they travel frequently. Be prepared! Bring sunglasses on the road, and even sunscreen. Even in the fall, the sun can give you a burn especially when it is at its peak brightness like this. Some people will assume that since it is fall they won’t get burned, which is completely false! Especially for drivers who are spending consecutive hours on the road facing that bright sun. Sunscreen on your arms, hands, and face are still very important for drivers.

Overall, seasonal changes are a big deal for truckers. If you are an experienced truck driver, you probably know what to expect by now, but you can never be too careful. As for new drivers, take notes! There is more to fall than just some leaves changing and temperature drops,  think about these tips and how you can incorporate them into your daily trucking routine!

Staying Healthy On the Road: Recipes for Truckers

Staying healthy while on the road for hours on end is a big challenge many truckers often face. When you’re constantly out driving, it can be hard to find the time to meal-prep healthy meals for yourself. Not to mention, the temptations of fast food and restaurants everywhere along the way. With all the time spent trucking, eating healthy and staying physically active can easily be brushed to the side. However, there are many quick, easy recipes you can follow, to improve your overall health.

One helpful tip when making a salad is to prepare ahead of time, but leave the dressing in a separate container to avoid sogginess. Lily has the perfect shaker for this. It has a container built in on top of the cup to put your dressing in, and the size is perfect to fit into the truck’s cup holder! We know eating healthy on the road all the time can be a huge challenge. It is best to start off small and maybe incorporate one to two healthy meals in your day rather than eating out those times. While using the Lily to-go shaker, you can easily store it in your bag for a healthy snack/meal!

 For this salad recipe, use your dressing of choice, and simply pour into the container which locks in to the top on top of the shaker. Divide the ingredients below among the shaker, layering in the following order: red onion, egg, mushroom, bacon, spinach. Twist on the top to seal your salad and refrigerate until you’re ready to go!

  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup  chopped red onion
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 4 bacon slices chopped
  • 2  eggs ( hard-boiled, chopped)

One thing you can also use the Lily shaker for is smoothies! You can quickly blend in fruits, protein powder, yogurt, or anything you want to make a smoothie to go. You can even use the top container for extra fruit toppings to keep them dry, and avoid them getting soggy in the smoothie all day, and top them off into the smoothie when you’re ready. The recipe below is for a nutritious,strawberry banana smoothie. These are great because they have a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, yet they are so quick and easy to make. Simply blend all the ingredients below into a blender, put it in the shaker, and you’re ready to go!

  • 1 frozen banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries, raspberries, or cherries
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey or to taste

Staying Active On The Road: Tips For Truckers

Truck drivers around the world are facing potentially serious risks in harming their body. Truck driving involves so much time in a chair, that you may feel a lack of motivation to exercise, or you may not even know where to begin. Follow these tips and tricks and get ready for a new beginning!

One way to improve your health is to incorporate exercise snacking in your work day. Exercise snacking is “fun-sized” portions of exercise that fit into a day, opposed to going to the gym and working out for a straight hour or two, exercise snacking is short bursts of exercise that can be done multiple times throughout the day. This would be great for truckers because it can simply be done at a rest stop in two to three minutes. Some exercises you could incorporate include push-ups, sit ups, squats, lunges, sprints, or you could even go the extra mile and install a TRX system outside of your truck to perform more body weight exercises. No matter how you exercise, it is most important to just get your body moving. You would be surprised how these mini exercises not only improve your physical, but mental health as well. Exercising releases serotonin in the brain, resulting in your mood improving, and feeling better about yourself. It also is a good way to stay motivated while on the road. Over time you will see how these small daily changes truly improve your mental and physical health.

One overlooked aspect of trucking that may take a toll on your body overtime is bad posture. Having bad posture along with long hours spent in the driver’s seat can cause lower back pain and sciatica. These conditions can become so severe that they can risk drivers careers or force truckers to rely on potentially addictive painkillers to get by. Some solutions to this common issue is to keep your seat up high, forcing your pelvis in the correct position and avoiding slouching. If you want to go the extra mile, you could invest in a seat with lumbar support. This will help support your lower back, which is a huge problem many truck drivers face. You will also want to keep an internal note to stretch every so often. It may also be helpful to write it down on a sticky note and leave it somewhere you will see it, or set an alarm on your phone for every two hours to remind yourself to stretch. You should also do a full body stretch every time you are able to pull over at a rest stop. Stretching will remind your body to stay in the proper position, while also keeping your back muscles active. Pictured below are some simple but effective stretches you can include in your daily trucking life!

Performing these stretches overtime, along with the rest of the tips mentioned, will overall improve your mental and physical health. Giving your body the care, and exercise that it needs will also give you more energy. You will begin to feel less fatigued, and more motivated to take on your day. It is also proven that starting your day with a form of exercise can uplift your energy and put a positive outlook on the rest of your day. Starting your day out productive can at least put you in the right direction no matter what the rest of your day may entail. It is all about mentality, and doing your best to make small changes everyday that eventually will lead you into a routine where you do not even think about it! It will become a habit. And a healthy one at that!