The health stakes are high for truck drivers. According to information shared by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),truck drivers are twice as likely to smoke and be obese compared to other U.S. workers, generally leading to high blood pressure and diabetes. There’s no way around the fact that the lifestyle of a truck driver can be damaging to one’s health and well-being. High demands, long hours spent seated behind the wheel, poor eating habits and lack of exercise while on the road all create a perfect storm for obesity and illness.
A CDC survey shows that three out of four truckers say that they do not get the recommended amount of physical activity, that being 2.5 hours of combined moderate-intensity and muscle-strengthening training a week for adults. In fact, only one out of four male truck drivers say that they fit 30 minutes of exercise into their schedules five days a week.
Lack of exercise isn’t just dangerous for a truck driver’s health. It can also threaten their livelihood. If a professional truck driver develops a medical condition that impacts their ability to drive, they may be in jeopardy of losing their commercial operating license. Fortunately, truck drivers don’t need to resign themselves to living sedentary lifestyles just because they spend a great deal of time on the road. There are many hacks for staying fit and active while pulling long hours.
Tips for Exercising as a Truck Driver
Trucks drivers don’t have the luxury of enjoying a consistent, home-based schedule. They need dynamic, adaptive exercise protocols that work anywhere. These tips can help your health for the long run even if you drive the long haul!
The world is your gym when you’re a long-haul truck driver. When presented with downtime, it’s important to scope out areas in the vicinity that are fit for exercise. Look online for nearby trails, public parks with running loops, truck stops with gyms, or school running tracks that are open to the public. Even a neighborhood with sidewalks can be enough to get in a good walk or jog. Just make sure it’s legal and safe to park your truck while you’re getting your exercise.
Bring Travel Workout Equipment on the Road
You can build a scaled-down gym in your cab if you know what to pack! Portable, lightweight exercise equipment that works out the same parts of the body as massive pieces of gym equipment are easy to find. Resistance bands, kettlebells, and dumbbells are all great for building lean muscle. If you’re looking for a fun way to get in your daily cardio, a folding bike is excellent. Don’t forget to invest in a pair of sturdy, comfortable sneakers to prevent foot injuries that could impede your driving abilities!
Log Your Exercise
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re pulling long hours. Unfortunately, the blur of the road causes many long-haul truckers to lose motivation. Log your exercise daily to stay accountable! You can also consider enlisting the help of friends, family, or fellow truck drivers to stay accountable. Research shows that having a weight-loss “buddy” actually helps individuals to lose more weight compared to people who attempt to make changes without peer support.
Worker Smarter to Avoid Working Harder
Time is the most precious resource any trucker has. That’s why optimizing workouts to burn as much fat as quickly as possible is often a good approach for drivers. Heat is one option. Time-pressed people in every profession are increasingly “working smarter” using infrared workouts that turn up the heat to tone up the body.
During an infrared workout, the body is oxidizing fat as part of a chemical reaction that transforms fatty acids into energy. The best way to describe infrared training is to say that it makes fat “scream” by using elevated temperatures to increase heart rate for greater caloric expenditure and fat burning. Additionally, infrared heat boosts blood circulation to muscle tissues to enhance exercise performance.
A Healthy Lifestyle on the Road Is Possible
A thousand miles can create a thousand excuses to not get fit when you’re a long-haul truck driver. Everything changes once you realize that fitness is one of the keys to success on the road. Being consistent, working smarter, and understanding that healthy living is the only choice for long term success as a truck driver.