2024 is the year to achieve your goals!
Every year, millions of people start the year with great intensions to make and stick to their New Year’s resolutions. If you give up on your goals- you are not alone. 64% of those that make New Year’s goals, end up giving up in the first month1!
Research2 shows that the top three aims are all fitness and self-improvement related, such as improving physical health, doing more exercise and eating healthier. Family and money are also important goals.
In the UK, over half of those that made resolutions (53%) last year, planned on exercising or improving their fitness during 20233.
What will your New Year’s Resolution be for the coming year?
Keeping yourself healthy should be a long-term commitment. Courier drivers have busy working lives on the road, which can sometimes lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Driving is a demanding job that requires physical and mental stamina. Getting the job done requires concentration, hand-eye coordination, and stamina – to name a few. However, your personal well-being may be overlooked.
As we start 2024, here are some top tips on how you can take care of yourself.
If you are wanting to improve your health, set a specific target to exercise a set number of days a week, or join a sporting group. Just the goal of ‘improving health’ is too vague. Measure your progress, focus on one goal at a time and be realistic.
Almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related and 40% involve commercial vehicles4
If you begin to feel tired, find a safe place to stop and drink a cup or two of coffee or a high-caffeine drink and have rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Bear in mind this is a last resort fix to keep you going for a short while and it’s vital that you do take a break.
According to ROSPA, young male drivers, truck drivers, company car drivers and shift workers are most at risk of falling asleep while driving 4
The RAC recommends that drivers avoid making long trips between midnight-6am and 2-4pm when natural alertness is low .
Road safety charity Brake 6 recommend that when planning your routes and schedules you include 15-minute breaks for every two hours of continuous driving. Stretch your legs at least once an hour.
Keep active and exercise
Prolonged sitting can cause obesity, heart disease, depression, and joint/muscle problems. Adopting a more active lifestyle generally is beneficial. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits. Fitness doesn’t take hours and hours; it just takes good planning. To make it easier, schedule time to exercise as you would any other appointment.
It’s all too easy to rely on fast food or skip meals altogether. Taking your own packed lunch and healthy snacks will be healthier and save you money too. In the UK, 60% of professional drivers eat and drink the majority of their food in their vehicles and 56% consider themselves overweight 6.
Drink lots of water
a survey funded by the National Institute for Health Research7 in 2018 revealed that 27% of drivers drink just 1.2- 1.4 litres of water per day and 19% drink less than half the recommended volume. Prevent dehydration symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and lack of focus by consuming a minimum of 2 litres of water each day. If plain water isn’t really your thing, simply add a dash of cordial or a few slices of lemon to add flavour.
Tight schedules, being stuck in traffic, getting lost and being on the road can contribute to psychological stress and sleep deprivation. Chronic fatigue, concentration issues and experiencing frustration on a regular basis are some of the signs of stress. Other signs include a sudden change in weight.
Make sure that you don’t overstretch yourself and build in break times during the day. Get out of your vehicle for some fresh air and a brisk walk. Use a route planner to get organised. Allow yourself time away from work as “me “time.
Look after your mental health
As with stress, relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga can be helpful. Play music while you drive or listen to podcasts that you enjoy. Avoid tobacco, excess caffeine, and alcohol as they can all make matters worse. Talk to someone. Building a support network such as driver groups on Facebook or other online communities can help. A problem shared is a problem halved!