18WT #082 -  Tips And Hacks To Stay Healthy On The Road!

September 19, 2023  Patrick Heller / Janet McCue

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Episode #082


I don't know. Anything's possible. Well, do you want me to rewind it? No, just go. Go, go, go, go, go. Welcome to the 18 wheel talk podcast show. Welcome welcome Take 10, 003. Well. Action. It happens. Especially with pugs. Often imitated, never duplicated. The one. The only. It's over there. Shit, I did it again. It's over there. The green. The blue. The big rig. Oh, I got it right.

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com. That's T H E H O S T S at 18WheelTalk. com. Oh my God, did you hear that, people? He went to school in New York, and he can spell. Okay, folks, that's the show. See you later, bye! Ha ha ha! Ba dum bum! Anyways so What are we talking about today, Ms Janet? Well, for about 45 minutes. Oh, you mean subject? I said, what are we talking about?

Not how long are we going to talk about. Well, it could be, consider what? Tips and hacks for truckers to stay healthy on the road. Oh, okay. I like hacks. If I can hack it, I'm going to. You're a hacker. Not that type of hacker. I like hacks. You're a food hacker. Yes, I am definitely a food hacker and a clean hacker.

Anyway, get the hack on. Get, get it? Get your hack on. Ha, ha, ha, ha. I poke you, look. Alright, so, maintaining... Hey, look. ouch... Okay, go ahead. ouch quit it. ouch, quit it. I did. ouch, quit it. Stop. I did. Stop. Patrick. Oh, okay. My goodness. Alright, anyways. Heavens to Murgatroyd. On with the show. Heavens to Murgatroyd. Get on with the show.

Alright, so we're doing tips and hacks for truckers to stay healthy on the road. Yep. Alright, so maintaining physical and mental health while on the road is critical for truckers to ensure their well being and performance. Correct. Alright, here are some tips and hacks for you. Yeah, yep. Alright, so prioritize your sleep.

I agree. The doctors always say you need a minimum of seven, seven hours. That's quote what the doctors are saying. Yep. Me, I, I can, I've functioned on six. I've functioned on four. I, I think Janet's functioned on three. Yeah, it just depends. You know, it all depends. Everybody knows, you know your body, you know what they say to ensure that you get between seven and nine hours of quality sleep a night, creates comfortable sleeping environment in your truck cabin, and, and stick to consistent sleeping schedules.

So it's like, if you get yourself on a routine, and you do it often enough, it becomes a habit. Yeah. And once it's a habit, Yes, it just happens. But now if say you don't get enough sleep like I did when I drove because it's a familial thing Wait, my family. Story time. Go ahead. My family gets from my mother an inability to sleep or really not.

The insomniac? No, not needing a lot of sleep. My mom didn't sleep a lot, and my brothers for the most part didn't, especially when we were a little younger, and I didn't up until my accident, sleep very much, and I still don't a lot. I did 20 minutes behind the steering wheel when I was over the road.

Yeah, but you still would sleep now and then, but when it came to... But even at home, sleeping at night, like three to four hours, if I got a solid four hours, I was doing good. Yes. And it was really hard for me to adjust my schedule to come up with more sleep, even if I tried. I'd be like, okay, poof, I'm awake.

So... Yeah, sometimes the body just says, that's it, enough, I'm well rested, and go. Yeah, and 20 hours of go, go, go, go, Janet, as you call me. Yeah. And then pass out cold for four. And then you turn off the light switch. Yeah, I do, I have a light switch. Snore, snore, snore, snore. Yes, you snore. Anyway... So some of the ways that I adjusted to be able to get a solid five to five and a half is about what I average now.

Although there are days when I, when I'm tired, I just, my body says, okay, I'm sleeping. Um, was to things like wear a sleep mask or put a cold cloth across my eyes. Make sure I'm in a darker room. Soft music to drown out other noises. But when I drove, I pulled a reefer. Okay. When the reefer was humming, life was good.

I could pay attention to it cycling, you know, but if it was too long between cycles, my body knew, and I would wake up. What? Something's wrong? Yeah, something's wrong. I'd wake up, like, one time a guy turned my reefer off. Why someone would do that to another driver, I have no clue. Because they're stupid, they couldn't sleep, so they decided, ah, I'll fucking just turn it off.

Yeah, they were messing with a lot of people's rigs. So they turned mine off, and I woke up, and so then I noticed that they had left my door open a little. It wasn't latched properly. So then I went, saw that it had been turned off, had it changed like one degree, turned it back on. Then I went and saw that some others had been messed with, and I called the cops, because someone was still in the parking lot messing with reefers.

And then I went door to door and said, Hey, someone's messing with your reefer. Someone's messing with your reefer. Waking people up, got on the CB, started yelling at people. Someone's out there messing with reefers. Wake up. Wake everybody up. All of a sudden you heard, you know. Air horns going off, you know, horns, truck horns going off and everything, but my body was that way.

So when I was trying to learn to sleep more, I cold compress made my rig a little darker, blackout curtains a little better, um, sleep mask, um, I kept my rig a little cooler. Mm hmm. Even though I'm the original cold person. I know, right? You know, you're always cold. Those are just some of the things they tell you.

Plus, if you're used to going to sleep at 10, whether it's AM or PM don't be one of those. If you gotta be asleep by 10 to get your required... Sleep or bunker or birth time. Don't get in bed at 10, get in bed at 9 45 for a week or two weeks. Mm-hmm. until your body starts winding down at that time. Then try nine 30 and, you know, wind your way down to it so that you start relaxing earlier.

Yeah. Start, start getting outta your, your routine, phone routine and got outta your, you know, routine. Yeah. Spend a little more time out of your electronics and everything. Yep. So, so yeah, that was, that kinda helped. But yes, prioritize your sleep. Sleep should come first. Everything else will fall into play.

That's correct. Once you have a good sleep schedule, it really helps your body, mind, everything. Re energize. Helps you get through the day. Yes. And that's what we need. We need our drivers to get from point A to point B. Safely. Yes. Yes, indeedy. Yes, indeedy. Next up, stay hydrated. Stay hydrated. Water. Water, anybody?

Ice, cold water. Good water, not the stuff out of a tap that most people have. Some people have good water, you know, that's good water. Most bottled, there's some bottled water that's bleh. What do we got, what's this, Costco water? That's Costco water. It's not bad. Yeah, it's not bad. It's wet. Yeah, it's wet.

Which is good. And it doesn't taste bad. No, it tastes like water. Okay, so, some people say, and guilty, been there, done that. When I drove, I drank coffee from sunup to sundown. Yep. And when I wasn't drinking coffee, it was iced tea. And it was caffeinated, I assume. I drank, I drank coffee till about, I, I, I started out, it was like coffee till noon, and then I'd switch over and drink Mountain Dew the rest of the day.

And then, and then at night, I'd start coffee again. You know, like after I got done eating, eating my meal, I'd have coffee. Oh, I gotcha, yeah. To go with my pie. Of course you had pie. It's like you gotta top the day off, right? Well, I drank, coffee from September till May, usually 24 hour. I mean, just all the time, but usually during the summer I drank tea, you know, from like noon to five or six.

And then I went back to coffee and there's no such thing as cream in coffee. It was always black coffee, just some sugar in it. But that kind of went up and down. Sometimes sugar, sometimes not. Well, as, as my years progressed, I stopped. I quit smoking, so I also stopped drinking soda, so my coffee intake increased.

Yes, it did. A lot. But I'm very proud of you for quitting smoking. And as an ex smoker myself, I can, I have every right to say that. I did two and a half to almost three packs a day, depending on the day. Mm hmm. And... That's very common with truckers, is heavy smoke and a lot of coffee or caffeine of some sort.

Yep. So yeah, but yeah cold turkey and then like I said just increased my caffeine intake. Yeah I haven't had that need to choke a little bit of shit out of anybody lately Lately That's okay I didn't quit smoking. I went on a hiatus. Yes, you're not a quitter. I'm no quitter. I won't quit anything. I'll, I'll take a pause, maybe.

Yes, you're on. I could start up tomorrow. Well, we have paws. We have eight paws in the room. So, anyways, now that that's out. Stay hydrated. Okay, dehydration can lead to fatigue and reduce your concentration and if you What were we talking about?

And if you get up in the morning or, or after napping and you stand up quickly and you tend to feel a little bit light, lightheaded, don't automatically think that there's a medication or something wrong physically that's causing that. It could just try increasing your water intake first before you call your doctor or 9 wine wine I mean 9 1 1.

nine wine wine I meant 9 1 1. I swear, I meant 9 1 1. I really did. What do you need? A whambulance? I need a whambulance. Anyways along with this Hy Hydration mm-hmm we did a episode with Hope Avara from Mother Trucker Yoga. Mm-hmm. And one of the three things she says is that one of the items that, that she talked about was hydration and drinking a bottle of water first thing in the morning.

Mm-hmm. before you get outta bed, before your feet touch the floor. You know or, or have a bottle of water near you at night. So as you, as the night progresses, if you wake up and you feel thirsty, it's there, it's ready. Yes. You know. Oh, I know one other thing I wanted to point out. Go ahead. Hidden, hidden caffeine.

Hidden caffeine. Oh, like in yeah. Crystal Light. Like your little drink beverage there. Well, not all of my drink, not all of my Crystal Light has caffeine. Some of it does. One of the flavors does. What? Yes. Most of them don't. One of them does. One flavor. And it's the one you like the most. One of them that I like the most.

Well, it does help with my... migraines. Right. So I do tend to lean towards it. So, so, so pay attention. So yeah, you have to pay attention to the labels. But other than that, you know, it's like hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You know, if you, if you went to the baseball field and you're drinking beer you know, they say dehydrate, then dehydrate now, hydrate later.

And he'll have a beer in one hand and a bottle of water in the other. So while he's yelling it, it's really cool though. But it's true. If all you drink, if all you drink is coffee or soda, start out by buying the little bottles of water. Yeah. Little, little eight ounces. The little eight ounce bottles of water.

And after you drink, whichever you know, soda, I mean, or coffee, trade it off for a little bottle of water. Yeah, that's all. Start off with those. Start somewhere. We call it, we, we, we call 'em baby steps. Yes, baby steps. You know, start off small. Do you know why we call 'em baby steps? Why we're four? Well, no, we call them baby steps because we want people to succeed.

I know, I was trying to be funny. Take that, take that baby step and then, then take another. Yeah, and you'll eventually take giant leaps and be good at it. So. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because believe me truck drivers starting to be a dying breed. Oh God, yes. Unfortunately, so. Alright, so, so we got, we got, prioritize your sleep, stay hydrated.

Balance Nutrition. Balance Nutrition. Pack healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and granola bars. Mm hmm. That'll, you know, and avoid, avoid relying on fast food, basically. Yeah. I mean, truck stop food is not bad. Mm hmm. You know, once in a while. If you eat it on a daily basis, you gotta try to balance yourself out a little bit.

Yeah, and if you are the type of driver where you're always Not where you're not in a route where you're by truck stops and you end up stopping it, you know Circle K's convenience Mart quick stops, whatever they are or a little convenience stores Yeah, or you're in by all the fast food joints, which a lot of truck stops have nowadays Usually there's yeah, usually a Walmart either.

I'll have a Subway a McDonald's or Or Wendy's. Yeah Now and nowadays or you're you're on a route where all they have is fast food joints. Yeah You know, down like 9 in New York. It's your 9W. All they have is fast food, you know, or quick stops. So, anyway it's... Your choices are to either eat something from there or bring something from home that you made up yourself, you know?

Yep, nothing wrong with that. And if you're making it yourself, just do the best you can to start off with. And then, once you're comfortable making your own food, you know, then it's time to start looking at... Alternate healthier meals. Yeah, aim for balanced meals with lean proteins, whole grains, and vegetables.

Yeah, I always liked cooking in my crock pot. I can't even pretend I didn't. Nothing wrong with that. I've done it too. Yeah, I had the small one. I know my nephew when he drove over the road, he did too. And you Know. I had one. A lot of drivers learn to cook in those small crock pots. King Road something.

It was Road something. It had a strap on lid and everything. Yep. Yeah, and then I... Roadmaster, I think it was. Yeah, and then I strapped mine to the front of my jump seat. Like, because... Oh, yeah, I did mine on the side. Well, I didn't because of Taz. Yeah. You know, my Rottweiler. Keep it from moving around. Yeah, didn't want her to get hurt by it, so.

Yeah, no, my little crock pot was great. Bringing like, I would cook, well, I take it back. I take that. Oh, sorry. Story time. That's like the quickest bell ever. I'm sorry. Here. Is that better? Is that better? Yes, that's better. Story time. When growing up, Dad used to buy chicken breast. By The sleeve I remember and bake it in the oven different flavors like he would do like 20 pieces of chicken breast all barbecue flavor or 20 pieces with like he would use like Italian dressing as a marinade and Individually wrap them up and put them in the freezer.

So I used to when I was over the road Hey dad, can I get a couple chicken breasts from you? So I would take one of those put it in my crock pot with a can of like mixed vegetables Mm hmm, and just let that stir all and and it would fall apart So I'd have like shredded chicken almost like a like a stew.

So like this mixed vegetables It's got like the potatoes and carrots. Yeah, the potatoes. Yeah. Oh, that's yummy. Oh, yeah So I ended up being like a stew with some chicken in it. Oh nice, you know shredded chicken So you're cooking dinner? That's all I heard. Wasn't on the agenda, but I can. I know, right?

Okay, show's over, dinner time. All right, gotta go. Gotta go, lunch time. All right, story time's over. Anyway, so So yeah, balance out your meals. You know, lean, lean proteins. Yeah, try and go for healthier Whole grains. I, I'm really a big fan of quinoa. Okay, and I, well this story time,

I have to mention it because I introduced your family to quinoa. Yes, it's a nice alternative. It's a nice alternative and I made red beans and rice, I air quote rice. Instead of rice it was quinoa. Instead of rice it was quinoa. And I did that for thank, my, my dish I brought for Thanksgiving dinner and everybody's like, what is it? And I said, well, it's kind of like red beans and rice, but it's my version because I don't eat rice as much anymore. Right. And everybody did these little tastes at first, and then it was gone, and then Dish disappeared and everyone wanted the recipe and they, everybody likes it.

And I think your whole family, pretty much, well, you know, you could do it eats quinoa. Now, , you could do, you could do the red beans, quinoa with like a a little bit of hamburger even, mixed in. Well, I already do it with, I already do it with chicken in it and sausage. And when I brought it that day, it had sausage in it.

So, oh yeah. Was it's like, mm. It just pick, pick whatever meat you wanna put in it. Red beans, quinoa, the spices I already put in red beans and rice. Quinoa and meat. Quinoa, they got brown and white or brown and, or it's red. Red and white. Red and white. And the white is actually kind of cream color. Yeah.

And then there's a blend where you can get 'em blended. And the red takes a little longer to cook than the white. But either way, either way. But I, I like it. It's they, they've come out with more varieties. Yeah. Since, since then. But yeah, I'm a big fan of it. Next one's up your alley. Oh, yeah. Portion control.

Yeah. Yeah. I'm, it kind of goes with balancing your nutrition. It's like when you're making, well, they go, they kind of go hand in hand. That's what I'm saying. It's like when you're making your stuff in your crockpot, I used to like fill that little crockpot up because if I made it for the evening, then I could refrigerate the leftovers, you know, cool it down quick and then put it in my little.

Cooler inside my truck. Okay, and then I would take and put it back in the crock pot the next morning because you know I'd wash my crock pot and add just some more broth or whatever I needed to and heat it up for two days in a row Depending on what it was because there's some stuff it was if it was just like I say a barbecued chicken or something that I'd I'd take and just heat that up and then I'd have myself a barbecued chicken wrap or Barbecue.

Like a sandwich. Like a sandwich. A sandwich, exactly. Or roll it up in some lettuce or panini. They get those panini makers, you know? Well, I didn't, back then, I didn't have that in my truck. But nowadays, I know people that have everything in theirs. But just, but that would, whatever week that would come in handy though, you know?

Oh, yeah. I would. Or if I would, I would've made a, I would've made a panini out it. Oh, yeah. Or if you had whatever was left over meat, or if you had the meat the first day. Mm-hmm. the second day. Turn it into the stew, you know? Yeah, no, the meat wouldn't have lasted. Whoops, wait, wait, what did I just do? I don't know, what did you do?

I bumped my mouse. And a whole nother screen came up. Everybody despaired. You were still here, you didn't go nowhere. You went away. No you didn't. On my screen. Oh, oh, I went away. I get it. But, so, some of the ways to, to start by portion control, as opposed to going to the options that Patrick did with me at Christmas a couple years ago, is to use smaller, smaller plates and to avoid supersizing.

If you do go to McDonald's, you don't have to supersize everything. No. My favorite is the person that goes in and orders, I'll take three Big Macs, extra large fries and a Diet Coke. That Diet Coke's gonna make the difference? No. I'd change mine to a Sprite. That's fine. But you know what I mean. I would eat the three Big Macs in the supersized fries.

I know you would. No, I'll go in and order a in a heartbeat. I will go in and I will order a Big Mac and a small fry and I'll order a soda. And you'll eat two bites outta the Big Mac. No, I'll eat a and and maybe two fries. No, three. I'll give you three. I'll eat like a third of a Big Mac. And, alright. Three bites.

No, that's more than three bites for you. And then I'll eat like half of a small fry and drink part of my soda if I drank soda. Usually I don't drink soda, so that's kind of an iffy thing. You could buy her a Big Mac and cut it in half and then in half again. And that would last her four days. No, four meals, but not four.

Four meals for four days. Yeah, as long as there's something else to go with it. Yeah, but yeah, well, it's got lettuce and something else, you know Like a side. Well, you'd divvy up your fries to go with it. You could make it if I had a medium fry I could do that. No, no, you do that with a small fry. Maybe anyway anyway, but so you see joke with her to tell her She was cheap date A big, a big mac and a beer.

Hey, we're good to go! I love you, baby. I love you too, baby. That's why we make a good team. So, um... I know. If you just start with a smaller plate... I know how to get to your heart. If you just start with a smaller plate... Just start with the big mac. And salty fries. It. Um,

sorry. I'm sorry. All right, hold on. Story time's over. Okay, go ahead. If you just start with a Big Mac or you see, now you gotta talk about Big Macs. God bless America. portion control, baby portion control. If you just start with a smaller plate, smaller plate, or if you're having say, soup or stew or whatever in a bowl, start with a smaller bowl.

Uhhuh, . It makes a difference. It does. Because even if you go back, say you're at a buffet. Okay? I like buffet. Let me finish. Fine. If you're at a buffet, and instead of getting the great big plate, and going back three times with that great big plate, Uh huh. You get the smaller plate and go back three times.

You're eating less food because you're tricking your brain. Right. Even piled high like you would the big plate, you're still tricking your brain. You're doing Jedi mind tricks. There you go, Jedi mind trick your brain. Yeah. Baby steps. Yes. So, yeah, it's just one of those little tricks you can do. Bag. If you have a great big bag of chips, portion it out, portion them out into the baggies and then put them back inside the big bag.

I know you and I are the same. If if that big old bag is just sitting right there, I'm just going to so it's gone. It's funny because I can't eat a Big Mac but if I'm sitting watching TV or driving a truck and that bag is beside me. Yeah, exactly. It's gone. And then a few miles down the road. Yeah. It's gone.

And then I'll look and I'll be like, where'd the chips go? And I'll look at my six pound dog and ask her if she ate them all. She'd be like no ma. It wasn't me. You might have given me one or two, but you ate the baggies. She's like, no, hell no, bish. You ain't blaming me on that. Yeah, right? That's all urine pee pee. You look and it's gone. And it's like, eh. Oh, yeah. We're all human. Everybody's supposed to be doing that. I know that. So if you bag them out in the baggies that you feel is appropriate for you. Just get regular sandwich bags, you know, but you can get about at least six to eight sandwich baggies Yeah with potato chips in it.

Eat one not Two or three, but eat one, you know, exactly. Eat one baggy at a time. I meant chips, don't see how many chips you can stuff in your mouth. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's you, get his whole bag in there. Yeah, it's really that easy. But just portion control, balanced nutrition. Oh, and if you're making a burrito, Small, small steps.

Don't put so much innards in it that it breaks every time. I'm guilty of that. Just get bigger burrito wraps. He tried to, and I did, and I bought bigger burrito wraps. And those were awesome. And you busted them. No, I did not. You did the first one. Because there was a learning curve. I didn't know how much I could put in it.

And then I quit buying the big ones because I realized he was just going to stuff them that big.

I didn't buy them because I don't get to that store very often. I know. You know that. I know. Anyways. Okay, next. So, next one is try to incorporate some exercise. Excercise? I don't like it. Excercise. Oh, like a, can I exercise like a pug? Perform simple exercise. Like stretches, bodyweight exercises, which are really getting more and more common resistant band workouts during your rest breaks, you know, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate.

Intensity. Intensity. Intensity. Aerobic activity period. Which sounds like a lot. If someone told me go exercise for 150 minutes, you know what I'd tell them to do? Stand still so I can hit you with something. Driver, get yourself a lot lizard and just go to town. For 150 minutes.

I know, right? At least make it a buffalo, not a lot lizard. Oh my god, Patrick. I was just being funny. Anyway, it said it said moderate intensity aerobic. It would be much easier Get your blood pumping. Anyways, if I tell you go work out for 150 minutes a week Your brain goes, that's a long time Break that down.

Let me break it down for you. Okay, if I told you okay, you're on the road five days a week Which I can't imagine only working five days a week But if I told you you're on the road five days a week Go do something moderately aerobic, 30 minutes a day. You're still going, Oh, geez. You got 8 hours. Let me finish.

Alright. But if I told you, before you start your day, and at the end of your day, and during your mid day break, which is now a requirement, I guess, which just floors me. Yep, 30 minutes, halfway. Mandatory. Take 10 minutes at each time. 10 minutes before you start? 10 minutes at your break and 10 minutes at the end of your day and do something that's going to get your blood pumping.

Anything. That's going to get your blood pumping, your heart moving, your, you know, feel a little bit of a burn, feel a little bit of a like, Ooh, I just felt good, you know, something was really working there. Whether it was a fast walk around your truck, a fast walk down the parking lot and back, whatever it was.

I believe when we, when we interviewed Hope Zavara, Mm hmm. I think she said 30 times around the truck and trailer is equivalent to a mile. I could be wrong. It's been a little bit. It's episode 72, if you want to check that out. I know that she did say that they, when they came up with this program that they, they measured.

They were like, you can do a lot of these exercises that she, she gives. She has a book, by the way, which you can get at Mother, Mother Trucker Yoga. There, yeah, there's a link in the description on episode 72 and I'll put one in this episode for it. But there's a illustrated book that'll show you how to do these stretches and you can do these right in your, the cab of your truck and around your truck.

You don't have to go to a gym or, you know, you can make it look like you're just like tying your shoe and you're doing one of the exercises. Yeah. You know, stretching and, and stuff like that. And then walk, like I said, you gotta walk around your truck to do a pre trip. Just do a couple extra. Yeah, well my point is you don't have to do it all at once.

I agree. Yeah, break it up and that way you're not overwhelmed thinking, oh my god, 150 minutes. The endorphins, you want to release those endorphins. I'd rather release them at the beginning of my day and halfway through my day than all at once. But, yeah, if you do it throughout the day, that'll, that'll help keep you, keep you, you know.

Think about it, you're driving, you start to get tired, what do they tell you to do? Pull over, get out

of my mom always told me. You know, if you don't feel good or you're tired, get out and get some fresh air. That's it. That'll do you. That'll do you. Get that fresh air in your system. Uh huh. So, incorporate a little bit of exercise. Yeah, a little bit of exercise. A little less yanking on cords. What do you got going on over there?

Someone yanked my cord earlier and pinched my ear. I I would never do that. No, actually, someone pinched my arm, and I went to smack him. Whoa. And when I did, I didn't realize I was tangled in my cord. And so, chain reaction. What was the pug doing to you? Oh, you're a pug now. I'm pug daddy. Okay, the pug pinched my arm.

I don't know what you're talking about. I can't reach your arm. Okay, next. You need some of that? I can't reach her. I almost threw a drink on you today because of you horsing around. Yes. I see, we're really off. You need some mental stimulation. Okay. Engage your mind in listening to audio books, podcasts, we're very, we are very mentally stimulating language learning programs while driving mentally stimulates mental stimulation, helps combat boredom and stay mentally sharp.

So listening to us and laughing along with us and liking and subscribing and rating us would be awesome. But yes we, we try to keep you guys entertained. Definitely. You know, we try to squeeze a couple of laughs in there. Oh, watch his first thing in the morning, that'll get you going. Watch us on YouTube.

Oh, that'll get your blood pumping. Watch his antics, yeah, that'll get your blood pumping. I don't know what you're, what are you pointing at me? You're the one that starts it all the time. I never, it's always you. Always you. You start it off camera. You're the bad apple. And then you push play or record or whatever that it.

Push button. Go ahead. I dare you. So I pushed the button. You dared me. So anyway, mental stimulation. What else is it good for Patrick? Would you like me to talk? Yes. Oh, okay. If anything like Alzheimer's or dementia runs in your family, like it does mine. I'm the one with it in my family. He just comes by it naturally.

So. No, no, no. I suffer from CRS. Yeah. That I just, I just can't remember shit. That's just, you get that from your father. Exactly. That's what he always says. Yeah. It's, it's genetics. Yes, he has told me that. So if it runs in your family, learning a new language listening to anything that stimulates you men mentally or just being around mental people, like I am around him all the time.

That's mental. I see. Seen if you're paying attention. Oh. So learning a new language, a new skill, whether it's. A computer skill, a math skill welding, building something. Yep. Anything that would mentally stimulate you. Yeah, hand eye coordination skill even something like knitting. I know lots of male drivers that learned how to crochet, knit, needlepoint, all this type of stuff.

And I used to do a lot of needlepoint when I did. I knew how to crochet when I was a driver. Yeah, and I did needlepoint. I did needlepoint pillowcases. Oh, nice. I did them for my sister. My mom used to do a lot of cross stitch. Mm hmm. Cross stitch, counter cross stitch, all that. I did not do crocheting or knitting though, because my mom was forced to learn it from her mom, and therefore she rebelled.

That's a big rebellion, I tell you. I'm telling you. So anyway, all those types of things help you stay mentally sharp. And the more you do to stay mentally sharp, even crossword puzzles. Yep. Sudoku, you know. Keeps you focused. Keeps you focused. Keeps your mind, you know, like, woo woo woo. Playing cards, anything like that.

If you're keeping your mind sharp, you do better for later in life. Not stumbling on your words like I am. You do better so that you don't end up with some type of dementia or your Alzheimer's not progressing as fast, but they're coming up with new drugs to combat that, I'd like to say. Yes. Okay. Okay.

Next. Practice mindfulness. Okay. What's that mean? Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness exercises. It reduces stress. Mm hmm. And it, it helps you stay focused on the road. Mm hmm. Okay. I meditate and it's funny because so many people don't even realize I do. You meditate? You know I meditate.

I'm going to meditate my fist into your body. Oh, goose fried rice, goose fried rice, goose fried rice. That's his meditation. You forgot you're supposed to be rubbing your earlobes when you do that.

Goose fried rice. That's cute. I like that. Yeah, but meditation isn't, some people think, well if I meditate I'm going to lay down and fall asleep. That's not meditation, that's sleeping. It's, yeah, meditating is controlling your breathing. It's controlling your breathing. Some people listen to music, or white noise, you know, like rivers, or air, or calming stuff.

Animals, whatever calms you. I actually know someone that meditates to heavy metal. I haven't quite figured that out, but it works for them. Well. Whatever works for you, works for you. I could never. If it works for you, then it works for you. I could never. There's nothing wrong with a little five finger death punch going on.

Well, I agree, but I can't meditate to it. And you can try some days I can meditate to like the sounds of rivers and streams and some days I want to pull out my hunting rifle and go go for it. Go hunting, you know, oh, yeah hunting, you know Oh, yeah, I got you. Okay, not people hunting game wascally rabbits.

Yeah Okay, so but meditating helps you control your breathing. It makes you more aware of what's going on with your body Just makes you more aware and it actually does help with migraines. I swear by it and people don't believe me and also can help reduce Pain in different parts of your body because if you're concentrating they say that it can help you With blood flow towards certain parts of your body as long as you're meditating correctly and doing the right Exercises with it and I'm not talking exercise.

I'm talking stretching, right? It can help you with reducing inflammation, say, to your back. Like, so when I meditate, I might do a yoga stretch. And that helps my back, which, we all know my back is just lovely now. So, so that's what practicing mindfulness can be. And it reduces your stress immensely. Like, there's times that I just want to rip a person's head off.

And that's when I say, okay, I need to stop talking to you now. And some people take that really personal. When I say I'm done, that doesn't mean I'm done with a person forever, that just means I'm done for right now, I need, I need to take a break. That's all I'm talking about. Now, now, mindfulness kind of goes hand in hand with prioritizing your sleep, which we talked about at the beginning of the episode, because if you can relax yourself, mindful, then that should help you.

sleep a little easier. So you could practice your meditation, you know, before hitting, hitting, hitting the sack. Yeah. You could meditate to relax yourself and then listen to whatever you do to go to sleep. And if you're watching movies to go to sleep, the flashing on the TV is not good for you to go to sleep with.

Now grant you, I, I am one that can fall asleep in front of anything, but I could also in high school fall asleep leaning up against the locker. Me too. There aren't a lot of us that can still do that. I can still fall asleep standing up. Mm hmm. Been there, done that. I'm a professional. I'm a professional sleeper.

So anyway... It all joins together. Yeah, you work on your sleep. You work on your water. You work on your eating This all the all these little steps all these little hacks and steps Once you get get these little tips and hacks going it all works like a snowball effect This is true. So what's next plan your breaks?

Well, I like breaks It could be but no Schedule regular breaks to stretch walk and relax helps prevent stiffness, improves circulation, and boosts your energy levels. Like, like Janet, you know, talked about, you know, not that long ago. When you start feeling tired, you get out, pull over, get out, walk around your truck, you know, get that fresh air.

Kind of wakes you up, type of thing. Used to be. Ding story time. Oh

This is probably a bad example. Well, that bell's better than this bell. That, that bell just makes me hungry. Yeah, your first bell's the best of the three. I know, right? It used to be that when you would get pulled into a DOT or over by a state trooper. Okay. They didn't like writing all of us tickets, but if they thought you were sleepy they'd say okay, you need to start pulling over willingly a little more into rest stops.

Getting out of your truck, waking yourself up walking around your truck, getting a little exercise, you know, so you're alert, so you're not gonna cause an accident or get hurt. So you're more aware of what's going on around you, cause they can tell, no, not like that, because they, a state trooper, when they pull you over, they can tell if you're super tired.

You know, most of them are pretty smart, smart enough to know that you're, smart enough to look you in the face and know, this one's high, this one's drunk, this one's tired as... All get out. All get out. Because I don't really, I was raised by my parents. Get out. Get over there, pull the F over, get in the bunk and go nighty nighty.

You know I really don't swear that much. I know. Okay. That's why I said that. I know. Thank you. But anyway. I gotcha. I gotcha baby. Yes, thank you. So, they, I don't know if they still do that, because, you know, you talk to some people and they're like, oh they just. The rules are changing. They just want to write you a ticket.

Yeah. Not me. To money grab. But then again, if you're doing your pre trips and your post trips and you're catching stuff before it breaks, then you shouldn't have any problems. You can roll through a DOT check with your eyes closed. Well, I never got pulled over for that type of stuff. What, you know what I mean?

You know why I always got pulled over. Well, why were you speeding? Because I'm related to my father. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Oh. And all three of my brothers. And how many logbooks do we have?

Uh huh. Of course she's going to the foreign language book. It depends on the time of year. That was when you could run multiple logbooks, not legally. I'm not admitting to anything on air, ever. Ever. Ever. But there are people I know very well who... Did teach other people to run multiple logbooks. I've, I've known a few drivers to run a couple of logbooks.

Yes. But nowadays it's a lot harder to run multiple logbooks when you're running electronic. I bet it is, but I'll bet you some people could hack it. I'm sure that somebody could. Yes. Which that, that would, what you just talked about would bring us back up to the mindful stimulation. Mm-hmm. you know, mental stimulation.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. If you had to hack the computer to run four logbooks, that would be quite the trick because, but Well, no, what I'm saying is you were speaking in a foreign language Oh yeah. But mental stimulation, running four logbook. I'm positive. Oh yeah. I, I'm very positive. That took your brain. Is your brain, your brain was running a hundred miles an hour.

Running. Yeah. You're on something. Nope. And I want you to share with us, Because I'm never admitting to anything on air. Never. Never. But four logbooks must have taken some real good... Creative thinking. Creative thinking. A lot, I call that creative thinking. Yes. So from one creative thinker to the world.

We talked about... Planning breaks. Planning breaks, yes. So, let's maintain some social connections now. Okay. It's really important. To stay connected with your family on the road. Okay, it's much easier now that cell phones are you know Everybody has them and it doesn't cost anything right? Because when I drove and when you drove when you first started, especially there wasn't a cell phone.

Well, I had a cell phone. It caught my dad had a cell phone back in the 70s But when I but they were you know, I first started driving there wasn't a cell phone You couldn't have started before my dad. No. They, they weren't as prominent. Not everybody had one. I didn't have one when I started. Well, you said they weren't there.

You didn't have one. They were there, but they were not prominent. They were very expensive when I started driving. My first cell phone, when I first started driving, was like right around two grand, three grand. And it was a flip phone. I mean, let's be honest. Yeah. However, I was able to pick up that phone and pay exorbitant prices and call my mother.

That's why, that's why when I used to stop at truck stops, I, the booths were cheaper. The booth, to sit in a booth actually had a phone right there that you could, you could get calling cards. You could use regular money, but that's why you would go to the truck stop to contact your family. Correct, but some of the places that I delivered is what I'm trying to say.

Okay. Up in the U. P. in Michigan, on the lake, for instance, I delivered to, say, cherry orchards, and where I picked up Bing cherries. Um, there was no, there was no booth. The, there was no truck stop. There's, like, you, when you went in, you went in fully fueled, and you prayed you made it through the weekend. Yep.

I gotcha. You dropped your trailer, and you went to the beach to park your truck near the beach, and you were there for, till Monday morning when they, you went back to pick your load up. So. That being said, I would call my mom on my cell phone, check in with her for the weekend, pick up a disposable camera, take a bunch of pictures, and pop it in the mail before I left the town for the week.

You know? And that was a couple times a year I'd do that. Or wherever I was, up across the bridge, you know, to the far, far north, I'd do the same thing. So, that's how you used to stay connected then.

Tons of calling cards, it seemed like. Oh no, I meant is, is when I would go to the truck stop, I would sit in a booth. Yes. They had the payphone at, right there. On, on the table. Pick it up. I tell the I'd tell the waitress, Don't fucking bother me. Fill my coffee up. I'm gonna be on the phone. You didn't have to cuss about it, but yes, I get that.

But they also had booths in the trucker's lounge where you could sit and talk. If you didn't want to sit in the restaurant. Yes. You could take your coffee to there and some of the rest some of the waitresses would come and refill your coffee They'd say he'd say hey, I just want coffee. I want to go over there and sit and talk Can you bring me coffee once in a blue moon?

They'd say oh, yeah, sure. No problem Some of them would even let you take the little thermos with you But yeah, but now With the way cell phones are everybody everybody has one There's no reason you can't pick up the phone and stay connected with your family So so to reiterate, you know, Janet and I drove when we drove we were dinosaurs We were dinosaurs were the old were the last of the old school we were dinosaurs and we were Fred Flint stoning it up on top of the the dinosaur and And we had to, you know, pedal our way to work.

Exactly. Uphill both ways. Uphill both ways. And, you know, yabba dabba do it and the whole bit. Yabba dabba doo! So and we used the caveman phone to call, you know, home. Our cell phone was, was tin cans and a string. That's right. Tin cans and a string. And if you ran out of the string, too fucking bad. I was just glad that string went from Canada to Arizona at the time.

Anyway, it was a lot more difficult. Now there's no reason for a driver not to stay in touch with the, whether it's family, friends, whoever they love and care about or want to stay in touch with. I agree. To. When you're video chatting or just talking on the phone or texting or on whatever Messenger, FaceTime, whatever you use, there's no reason to not stay connecting and by staying connected, it helps you combat loneliness, which isn't something people nowadays should be suffering from.

For instance, compared to when my dad started driving, it took two days to go from Springfield, Illinois. It was a two day round trip from Springfield to St. Louis. Right. You know, to just a load of hogs down to Springfield, from Springfield to St. Louis and back. Thirteen? Fourteen? Yeah, I'm like thirteen years old.

And yes, long story people, it's true. Him and his dad, Springfield on Friday, down to St. Louis with hogs, and come back, and they'd be back on Sunday night. That's how long it took. Well, if you're in that truck alone, that's a long time to be alone without anyone to talk to. It is. You know, without being able to talk to your family and people you love, you know, and so, so basically what you're trying to say is stay connected.

There you go. Get over it. Pick up the phone because people will not for this texting bullshit. People will not call you. This is a proven fact. Just pick up the phone and say, Hey, I just want to say, Hey, and if, if they're under 50, they do not know how to pick up a phone to save their life. There, I said it.

Yes. I said it right out loud. Right out loud. Alright, so, social connections. Helps improve the mood. Obviously, I need a social connection. Anyways. Anywho. Stay organized. Oh, that's my favorite thing. Plan your routes in advance. Organize your truck's cabin. Yes. And keep a travel journal. I never did that. I should have.

I did. Staying organized reduces stress and creates a more comfortable living space. Did you do the 10 minute rule? Which is? Every morning before I... You know, I do the whole, you know, get up, go to the bathroom, shower, clean up, blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. You know, but before I actually, before my wheels rolled, after I had done my pre trip, I always took ten minutes to make sure everything was in its place.

A place for everything and everything in its place. Okay. Is how I was raised. So I always did that in my truck. I made sure, okay, I knew I was going to want coffee. I knew I was going to want a bottle of water. I knew I was going to want some sort of snack for later. So I made sure I had those. I made sure I had water bottle for my dog because I could squirt it in a way to the dish.

And I had her food in place. Okay. Yep. And My paperwork, my, I did is similar. Yeah. My, my bill of ladings, my, my notebook that, you know, my binder that had all my paperwork, all, everything, my log books, everything was all in one place. Yep. So everything like was where it belonged. If I had to brake hard, nothing went flying.

Yeah. Nothing was ever on my dash. They did a walkthrough, final walkthrough inside my cab too though. Yeah. Not just outside, but inside. That's what I mean. A final walkthrough in the cab. Make sure everything's secure. So if you've got a brake hard you're not wearing Yeah. But also something from the bunk so that at the end of the week when it was time to clean out my cab.

It wasn't, oh my god, this place is such a pigsty, I've gotta just throw everything in garbage bags. We both know someone who's done that. Who has just thrown everything in a garbage bag, taken it home and sorted it out. I was never that person. I've never had to clean a vehicle out. I've never My dirty laundry might have been in a garbage bag.

Well that's different. Until I owned a nice laundry bag. That looked like Santa Claus's bag. I do love my Nicholas. But anyway, so, I never was a person, whether it was a car, a pickup an SUV, or my semi, I never had to clean a vehicle out and throw everything in a laundry ba or in a garbage bag, because it all just blended.

Right. I always knew where everything was. You were organized. Yeah, it's... I was, I was somewhat organized. I wasn't like... perfectionist organized, but I was, I was somewhat, like all my bill of ladings were up above, you know, my food was in the refrigerator, you know, my bunk was organized to, to an extent, you know, I knew where my tools were, I knew where my clothes were, yeah, you know, they weren't just lying in a pile on the floor altogether.

No, that's what I'm talking about. Everything was secured in his place. Yeah. When you've opened a cab door, Like when I did Repo, when you open a cab door, and it's like, everything's everywhere, you're like... There's a pile of like, fast food stuff on the passenger floor. Mixed with clothes and tools. Piled, piled up high that you couldn't see out that side, side window if you wanted to.

And you realize there's tools in there. Yeah. Like

power tools in there. And you're like, ewwwh. That's like... I'm like, how do you live like that anyways? Yes. Okay. Anyways, so that don't, don't do that. Story's over. My point is don't do that. Yeah. You know, keep everything in its place. Yeah. You'll appreciate yourself much better.

So remember, remember this, go ahead. Oh, sorry. I was rubbing my eye. Sorry. Staying healthy on the road requires commitment and consistency. Yep. You'll really appreciate yourself if you've managed to get that far, incorporating these tips in your daily routine to ensure both a physical and mental wellbeing.

As a trucker. Yes. Tips and hacks. Yes. Well, that's what I said. Tips. I know. I don't know what's up with my eye being all itchy all of a sudden. And we're not saying you gotta just dive in with both feet. Some people will do that. No, just pick one item off our list. And start with that. And start there, you know.

Start with sleep. Sleep, uh, start with hydration. Start with your your mental stimulation. Start with, you know, a balanced nutrition. Pick something and just do it. Pick your one item. Because once it becomes a habit, then pick another one. And start, then go on that. You know, I forget how long it says it, how long they say it takes to be, become a habit once you do it.

Three weeks. You know. Three weeks. So if you, if you can commit 30 days to it. Yeah. You know. You'd be good. So we hope you enjoyed these tips and hacks. If you do, smash that like button. Ring the bell. Tell a friend, subscribe to the show. Don't forget to sign up for our fan club, 18wheeltalk.com slash fan club.

Get into our contest. We have the big giveaway. We're, we're giving away four lucky, four, four lucky winners are gonna win a an, an A, 18 Wheel Talk prize pack. It's a really good price pack too. We're not sure exactly what's going to be in it. All I know is it's a, it's valued at roughly 100 or more. Yeah, I have the list.

So, she won't let me know because she says I talk too much. Because I started putting it together and he started talking about it. I don't know, she's talking about power inverters coffee mugs. Shut up, Patrick. Shirts. I swear to sweet Jesus. Gonna stitch your lips.

Anyway, it's going to be great. You got to get in on it. Time's ticking. Otherwise, Pryncess Bytchy's getting it all. Oh, whatever. We hope you enjoyed the show today. We hope we entertained you. If we did, please leave us a review on your favorite podcast player if you can. Like, like and subscribe to our YouTube channel if you can.

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