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On the Road Exercise Ideas for Truck Drivers

Author: David Ray

trucker-doing-push-ups


Feeling blue behind the wheel, or is your waistline expanding as rapidly as the number of miles you’ve driven? Consider adding some exercise to your day. In addition to improving your outlook on life, a little exercise will help you maintain your health so you can make the most of your next DOT physical. Check out the facts behind the multitude of benefits of regular exercise, in addition to a few routines you can do on your own.


 



Start Feeling Perky


Being a truck driver means you are sedentary, in other words, you are sitting for the majority of the time you are at work. This isn’t exactly the healthiest work environment, but you are far from alone. Computer programmers, typists and office workers are constantly sitting, as well. The main difference is that these workers can get up and move around on a whim. You, my trucker friend, have to find more creative ways to get your blood pumping. By fitting exercise into your regularly scheduled day, you will get a boost from those happy hormones called endorphins. Similar to runner’s high, WebMD talks about the connection with endorphins from exercise and a decrease in depression:




  • Endorphins reduce your perception of pain and act as sedative

  • They give you a positive and euphoric feeling, aka a sunny outlook


So how much exercise do you need to get these endorphins into your system? According to the Mayo Clinic, shoot for 30 minutes of physical activity a day. For truck drivers, you can get the benefits of exercise even if you break up the half an hour of exercise into 10-minute segments.


 



Bonuses of Exercising


If you want to look and feel better, then incorporate exercise into your daily routine. However, if you need some additional motivation, here are some quality perks associated with exercising on the regular:




  • Stress reduction

  • Reduce depression and anxiety

  • Sleep better, due to sedative effect of endorphins

  • Increase your self-confidence as you look and feel better, and because you are doing something good for yourself

  • Increase your energy levels throughout the day

  • Strengthen your heart’s ability to pump blood, as you lower your blood pressure

  • Strengthen your bones and muscles

  • Decrease body fat


Remember, just three 10-minute jaunts of exercise a day will reward you with all of these benefits.


 



Exercises Geared at Truck Drivers


The main roadblocks for truckers interested in exercise are a lack of exercise facilities on the road, and a lack of a regular routine in which they can exercise. This is exemplified in the research. According to the “Health Survey of U.S. Long-haul Truck Drivers: Work Environment, Physical Health, and Healthcare Access” published in Work:




  • 70 percent of truckers did not exercise on a regular basis

  • 70 percent of truck stops or work sites did not have exercise facilities for truck drivers


Fortunately there are plenty of options for exercises that don’t require fancy equipment or gym memberships. You want to mix up your week with cardio/aerobic exercise, such as walking, running or jumping, along with weight lifting every other day to give your muscles time to heal as they strengthen. For example:




  • On Monday, Wednesday and Friday do some cardio exercise for 30 minutes a day

  • On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday focus on weight lifting for at least 30 minutes per day


Here are a few ways to get moving in a typical day:




  • For cardio exercises:

  • Take a 10-minute brisk walk, fast enough to get your heart beating steadily, around a rest area or parking lot after you’ve eaten a meal

  • Do 30 seconds of jumping jacks when you stop for fuel, jump in place for 30 seconds as if you were jumping rope, do 30 seconds of push-up, do 30 seconds of sit-ups, then go through the exercises 4 more times (for a total of 10 minutes)

  • For the last 10 minutes of your workout after you stop for a bathroom visit, do 30 seconds of mountain climbers, 30 seconds of burpies, 30 seconds of squat jumps, and 30 seconds of running in place using About Health for reference; repeat the sequence four times

  • For weight lifting get a 15-pound kettlebell and try this beginner kettlebell routine for a full-body weight lifting exercise, for 30 minutes that can be divided into 10-minute segments


trucker-lifting-kettle-ball


On Sunday you’ll want to do something active, but try to make it interesting. Some suggestions include:




  • Ask about borrowing a vehicle from your delivery location to explore a local hiking trail

  • Take a bicycle with you on the truck so you can go for a weekend bike ride

  • Check out a local, and often free for first timers, martial arts class when you are held over for a day

  • Rent exercise DVDs from Netflix or your local library to explore new exercise routines, such as Zumba, kickboxing or Pilates; watch on your laptop or tablet outside of your cab


The goal is to get out and move your body. As you begin getting into the groove of exercising, you’ll notice the positive effects, after a few days of being sore. Soon you’ll be sharing your slimming secrets with your trucker buddies. If you have some tips of your own, share them below in the comments!


 

 


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