As a driver, working conditions create unique barriers to reaching health-related goals and keeping healthy habits. Long-haul drivers are more likely to smoke, be overweight, and are less likely to be physically active compared to other US workers, according to the National Survey of US Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury: Health Behaviors. But Prime driver James “JC” Rose says there are ways to combat these barriers to ensure you are taking care of your health.
In December 2023, JC provided valuable insights on how to accomplish goals with an attitude of servitude. This week on the Prime Good Dads Blog, he provided advice specifically for healthy habits while you’re on the road—how to keep them and why they are important.
Leading by Example: JC’s Healthy Habits While on the Road
JC served in the Marine Corps for 30 years before becoming a driver for Prime and he takes his health very seriously. “It cannot be stressed enough that drivers should exhaust every effort to ensure they are active and healthy because it ultimately benefits a healthy long life,” he said. “Too many drivers don’t make it back home to their families because they neglect to stay active and stay attune to what is going on with their body. If we listen, our body gives signs and warnings when something is not right.”
JC keeps these healthy habits on and off the road:
- Eat well – Be mindful of your eating habits. JC suggests eating less fast food and more leafy greens.
- Stay active – JC keeps resistance bands and dumbbells in his truck to keep in shape. Some of his favorite exercises include push-ups and ab workouts, neither of which require any special equipment.
- Stretch – JC says stretching is extremely important and can help with pain in the back, sciatica, shoulders, neck, wrists and elbows. People with jobs that require a lot of sitting, like drivers, often experience back and shoulder pain, and stretching is one way to help relieve pain or tension.
- Go for a good stroll – Good opportunities to go for a walk are while your truck is getting loaded or unloaded and before/after 10-hour rest breaks. JC attests that this will help maintain blood pressure, cholesterol, flexibility and stress.
JC sets a great example for drivers who are wanting to take better care of their health. These are some excellent healthy habits that JC encourages other drivers to partake in regularly.
How does practicing healthy habits help you to be a better Dad?
JC is a father of four and a role model to many. “Practicing healthy habits gives my family, friends and most importantly myself the reassurance that I am doing what it takes to stay healthy,” JC explained. “I do my part to be around for as long as I can to create great positive memories. I want to set the example for others to follow, no matter what career path they choose!”
Practicing healthy habits sets a positive example for your children to follow. When they see you taking care of yourself and your space, they will naturally want to do the same. When you are practicing healthy habits, you will feel more rested and energized which will help you show up for your kids, JC says.
The Importance of a Clean Space (Your Truck!)
Keeping his truck clean is an absolute necessity for JC.
“It helps provide that home away from home feeling,” he said. “It’s a space where I can meditate, pray, decompress and relax after completing a day of driving.”
There are many reasons why keeping your space clean is important, as JC pointed out. Keeping your space clean can:
- Make you feel rejuvenated and ready to work after a 10-hour rest break
- Leave a good impression on customers who can see into the truck
- Potential to avoid DOT inspections – “Most times it’s the trucks that you see with a dash full of clutter that are the ones the DOT inspector have pulled into inspection areas,” JC explained.
Keeping your space clean is important for your own mental and physical health, but it also leaves a good impression on those who can see inside your truck, including your children and family. In many ways, your space reflects who you are and how well you take care of yourself.
“I just love setting a high standard,” JC said. “The way I speak, the way I carry and present myself; first impressions are imperatively important. I want everyone I come into contact with to have a positive impression of me, but most importantly a positive impression of who I work for and represent: Prime Inc.!”
It is evident that JC’s main motivation is making his family proud and setting a good example. He believes in doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Sticking to healthy habits while on the road can be more difficult than when you are at home, but prioritizing your health can have a great impact on the standard you set for your kids.