In our hectic lives, fitting in time to exercise is increasingly difficult. Who wants to get up early and go for a run or stop by the gym after a long day at work? It can be particularly true for truck drivers. Deadlines are tight, the hours are long, and sitting behind the wheel all day is mentally and physically exhausting. Because their jobs require so much sitting, drivers are often overweight and deal with an abundance of health-related problems. In fact, a study appearing in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that 69% of drivers were obese, compared to 31% of the rest of the working population. With a little work, drivers can change this statistic. Working out on the road may be difficult but it’s not impossible. With some effort and a little planning, you can get in shape and improve your overall health.
Hit the Gym
Some truck stops have been adding gyms to their list of amenities for truck drivers. Truck Stop Centers of America (TA), for example, have been installing indoor fitness facilities along with outdoor installations that include basketball hoops, bowling, horseshoes, and walking trails for health-conscious visitors to use.
Look Around You
What opportunities for exercise along your route do you see? Walking paths? Hiking trails? Parks? Stop for a brisk walk or run. Is there a gym in the truck stop where you’re fueling up? They’re popping up at truck stops all over the country so it’s easy and convenient to stop in for a quick workout.
Bring Equipment With You
Space in the cab of your truck is limited but a couple of kettlebells or resistance bands take up little room. If you have room for a bike, in your cab or strapped to the back of the truck, you’ll not only be able to exercise but you can do some exploring too. It can give you a little freedom from the restrictions of driving a big truck around.
Set a Daily Goal
Tell yourself that you’re going to work out for half an hour a day. Split it to 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening if that works better for you. Whatever you choose, walking, push-ups and crunches, or a gym workout, hold yourself to that goal. Half an hour every day. No excuses.
A healthy diet is an important component to getting in shape. After all, why would you want to undo all that work you’ve done exercising to get in shape by eating unhealthy fast food? It is possible to eat healthier on the road. Get a mini-fridge for your truck so you can keep some fresh snacks like fruits and veggies. Before you go out on the road, pick up some nuts, dried fruit, granola bars, and jerky in individual packets. They may be a little more expensive this way but it makes it easier to control your portions. Hummus, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and Greek yogurt are good protein-packed choices for the fridge.
Being a truck driver doesn’t have to be an unhealthy occupation. Taking the time to exercise and eat better will improve your health, your mood, and your relationships. A healthy driver is a happy driver!
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