Truckers and owner-operators struggle to find ways and the time to stay fit when every day is spent behind the wheel moving freight. Yet, we know that exercise helps us live longer, improves our memory, lessens depression, and lowers stress — all good things that help you stay safe when you’re driving. Exercising also gives you more energy to stay on the road longer — that translates to more money in your pocket!
So how exactly can truckers find time to exercise while on the road?
By being diligent about fitting in exercise and creating a plan! You’ll want to set a goal or two since writing down your specific goals will increase the likelihood you accomplish them. If fitness on the road is going to be new for you, consider setting goals like 20 minutes of cardio twice a week, or 15 minutes of strength training every other day. Keep it realistic so you can accomplish your goals and build up your momentum.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Take a walk.
Getting some exercise when you’re on the road doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking a brisk walk every day has numerous health benefits, including:
- Preventing heart disease
- Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight
- Lowering stress and improving your mood
- Improving your memory
Walking doesn’t require any special equipment, and you’ll always have a pair of shoes with you. Even if you’re walking around a truck stop, get out there and do it.
Do some cardio.
Getting the cardio you need to keep your heart healthy can be pretty simple. It also doesn’t require packing a bunch of expensive equipment in the cab of your truck aside from a pair of tennis shoes.
- Go on a run.
- Do some sprints—great for improving overall fitness when you don’t have a lot of time.
- Keep a jump rope with you and use it in a series of 3-minute increments.
- Do a sequence of jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups in quick succession.
Go on a bike ride.
Some truckers have started carrying a foldable bicycle in their sleeper or strapping a mountain bike to the catwalk. Biking has all the same benefits of walking with the addition of building muscle. It’s also considered a low impact sport, so it’s easier on the joints if that’s something you’re worried about.
In addition to its heart-healthy benefits, strength training helps build muscles and strengthen bones. There are a lot of strength training options if you don’t mind taking an item or two on the road with you. Plus, all these things can be done within sight of your truck.
- Carry dumbbells or kettlebells for a series of squats and lunges.
- Wear a weighted vest while doing cardio exercises.
- Keep a medicine ball with you for wall balls, squat throws, etc.
- Have a set of resistance bands you can use to get a full-body workout.
- Rotating push-up handles are great for upper body and core development.
Use a fitness app.
If you don’t want to develop your own exercise program, you may want to download a fitness app on one of your mobile devices. There are a lot to choose from and vary in price from free to a monthly subscription fee. Here are a few with good reviews:
- Freeletics Bodyweight: No equipment needed and adapted to your schedule and goals, Freeletics lets you train anywhere at any time. (Android and iOS; free and in-app purchases)
- J&J Official 7 Minute Workout: Customize workouts for your fitness and motivation level. (Android and iOS; free)
- Seconds Pro: Great for interval workouts and circuit training. (Android and iOS; $4.99)
Another great option is wearing a Fitbit and using the corresponding Fitbit Coach app. It adapts exercise to match your fitness level and pairs workouts with music to help keep you motivated. (Android and iOS; free with premium subscription available)
If you prefer a gym for working out, Planet Fitness and Anytime Fitness offer memberships that will let you work out at any of theirlocations. Memberships and locations vary, so make sure you know the specifics. Many drivers will Uber or bike to a gym that’s nearby and keep their truck parked. An added benefit of a gym – showers!
However you decide to get your exercise when you’re over the road, make sure you get it. Your heart will thank you.
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