So here are a few quick routines you can get into while you're still on the road.
Right There In the Bunk
For starters, let's look at what you can do without even leaving the bunk.
- Crunches, abdominal lifts, and sit ups
- Lower body
- Leg lifts, squats, and lunges (if you’re a little shorter)
- Upper Torso
- Dumbbells and free weights
Since time can be crucial on these trips, there are other things you can do that will be quick but can still get your blood pumping. The simple act of standing up and extending your arms above your head can be good. Try parking a bit farther away from the building in a truck stop than you usually do, so you can get a few extra steps in. Collapsible bicycles are also a good choice, since they're easy to store when you're on the road and quick to set up when you have downtime.
If you've got music and need a bit of stress relief that regular exercises can't give, consider shadow boxing to the beat. It's fun to imagine the shadow as whoever your source of stress is and the music helps keep your mind on the exercise, as well as provide a rhythm for you to follow while punching or dodging imaginary jabs.
For anyone that is putting together an exercise plan or regimen, one of the pitfalls is figuring out how to stay motivated. One of the best ways to keep motivated is to find someone to help you keep your goals in mind. Modern tech has made this easier: between laptops, Wi-Fi, smartphones, and social media, you have a number of choices for finding a way to find someone to help you keep motivated or to talk you into squeezing in just one more walk around the trailer.
You could look to other drivers for advice or help. They probably have their own great advice and useful tips and ideas so you can change the routine and keep things fresh. They know the nature of the work and they have a better idea of what you're trying to find than other people. If your company has you with a co-driver, then your search is looking a lot easier already. Someone from home can keep you honest about your exercise routines. Grab a headset for your phone or put it on speaker as you do your routines, so the conversation can either help keep you focused or distract, whichever works better for you.
Apps for smartphones and tablets also exist that can help you keep track of your progress, if hard numbers work better for keeping you in the game than encouragement. Apps like Nike+ and iMapMyRun are designed for people who run regularly, but the pace tracker and timer functions are still useful in your case. Meanwhile apps like Calorie Counter and Perfect Diet Tracker serve as food databases, helping you keep track of just how many calories you're eating with every meal.
The myth that truckers can't get any exercise is exactly that: a myth. You can as much exercise as you need to stay healthy, relieve the stress of the long hours on the road, and take your mind off things for a while and relax. Do you have any advice or suggestions for exercise routines you want to share?