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7 Ways to stay healthy on long Journeys

stay healthy on long Journeys

Long journeys are exciting. Few things are more exhilarating than taking to the open road as new sights and countries unfold around you. That said, spending a long time driving can be tiring. Fatigue behind the wheel is dangerous and a major cause of accidents, so here are a few tips to help you stay safe.

#1 Don’t do too much

If you’re driving for business, you might find that you’re bombarded with one job after another, with little space for resting in between. This can be especially true for lorry drivers delivering freight, but breaks are essential. Lorry drivers nowadays use services like Shiply to source their truck loads, which gives them a degree of control over their schedules. Sourcing work from job boards allows drivers to work as and when they want and factor in downtime.

#2 Get a good night’s sleep beforehand

This might be the most important tip of all. A good night’s sleep before you set out can make all the difference. Eight hours is generally considered the optimal amount, but some people will naturally require more. Keep this habit up, too. Building a sleep debt over time makes you tired for days, if not weeks, which can be disastrous if you’re driving long distances.

#3 Watch your diet

Everybody knows that a cup of black coffee will perk you up, but certain foods can have the exact opposite effect. Anything that’s heavy or calorie-dense will put you to sleep as your body exhausts its energy stores digesting the meal. Unfortunately, most food outlets that you’ll find on the road serve unhealthy meals of this nature, so it’s best to meal prep before you set out.

#4 Travel in the day

Your body has its own, inbuilt circadian rhythm that dictates sleep patterns and feelings of tiredness. In simple terms, this means that you’ll feel more awake when the sun is out and sleep after dark. There’s no point trying to fight against this natural impulse, so drive in the day wherever possible. This gives you an advantage and means that biology is already on your side.

#5 Plan the route

Preplanning is essential for long journeys. Study the map carefully and choose a route where there are ample places to stop and take a break. This is worthwhile even if it takes the cumulative length of the journey longer. A quick, 15-minute power nap is often enough to leave you feeling recharged.

#6 Share the driving

If at all possible, you should try to split the driving between at least two people. Even if you aren’t tired, taking a break can make a big difference, leaving you feeling more mentally alert for the next leg of the journey. Having one person drive while the other sleeps in the back is good practice and makes long journeys much less arduous.

#7 Heed the signs

Finally, if your body is telling you that it can’t go on: listen. Yawning, sore/heavy eyes, and a wandering mind are all symptoms of driver fatigue. Worse still, you might find yourself drifting into short microsleeps that only last for a few seconds, leading you to jerk suddenly awake. If you notice any of these, pull over straight away.

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