Driving a truck is a demanding job. Some threats, like other drivers who dart around like mosquitos without considering that massive trucks can’t stop on a dime, are obvious. Others, like hours spent sitting behind the wheel, are more subtle. If you want to stay healthy, learning how to stay fit as a truck driver is vital.
Why is learning how to stay fit as a truck driver so important? As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, there are two reasons. First, a failure to stay healthy can cost a trucker their commercial driver’s license. Second, a trucker’s workplace presents distinct challenges to maintaining a healthy lifestyle that takes effort to overcome. As a result, many long-haul truckers struggle. A survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released in 2014 found that truckers were more likely to be facing obesity, inactivity, and smoking than their peers. As a result, they had an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Clearly, learning how to stay fit as a truck driver is a smart investment. These tips can help.
Whether you’re a new trucker or an established pro, the time to develop healthy habits is now. If you’re already fit, you’ll need to develop a routine that allows you to maintain that. If you’re setting a goal, map out your strategy and commit to it. Then, start now.
Sanitize Your Hands
Germs are everywhere. Protect yourself by cleaning your hands regularly.
Take a Walk or Run
Exercise reduces stress and boosts mood. Walking or running, especially in a green space, can help you clear your head and prepare for a day on the road. However, simply getting up and spending 15 minutes walking laps around the parking lot or your truck can help you wake up, stretch your muscles, and feel ready to face the day. It’s also an easy way to get at least some of the day’s recommended activity.
Add Strength or Resistance Training
Strength or resistance training is essential to get the most out of a short workout. Your truck may not have room for weights, but resistance bands don’t take up much space. Alternatively, you can capitalize on bodyweight exercises. Several fantastic choices work well when you’re on the road:
- Mountain climbers
Move During Stops
Life is busy, but there’s time to fit in exercise during your day if you’re determined to find it. Instead of sitting and waiting for the tank to fill up, shadowbox or do jumping jacks, lunges, or squats. Moving around will get your heart rate up, warm up your muscles, and help boost your metabolism. It may also keep you more alert when you return to the road.
Fidget Behind the Wheel
Once you’re behind the wheel, driving safely takes precedence. When you find the time, fidget. Tap your fingers. Roll your shoulders. Wiggle your toes. Dance along to the radio. Small movements won’t impact your driving but can be good for your health.
Hydrate with Water
When you’re trying to stay alert and focused, it’s tempting to reach for an energy drink or soda. These beverages are often filled with caffeine, sugar, and other unpleasantries. Instead, opt for water. Hydrating with water by taking a sip every 15 minutes or so allows your body to shed toxins and protects heart and kidney health. It can also reduce fatigue and lift mood.
Fast food is often loaded with sugar, sodium, and bad carbs. Although it may taste delicious, a steady diet of this type of food is hard for the body to handle. Opting for healthy choices like vegetables, nuts, granola, and even dark chocolate can provide you with more energy while helping you stay healthy over the long term.
Work for a Company That Cares
Drivers are skilled professionals who deserve respect and support. The best trucking companies get that. They reward their drivers with a supportive culture and great pay.