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Best Exercises for Truck Drivers

Man exercising

Truck driving is an adventurous career that gives you the opportunity to see the country from one end to the other from the cab of a tractor. While out on the road, prioritizing your health and making good decisions in terms of both physical activity and dietary decisions can bolster your overall well being. This means you can maintain your health while continuing to thrive in your trucking career. 

Why Fitness & Nutrition is Important to Your Trucking Career

The answer is simple: the better your health, the better you feel behind the wheel. Keeping yourself sharp as a truck driver can go hand-in-hand with maintaining your physical health. If you are fairly new to fitness, learning how to properly exercise your body may initially sound daunting. Therefore, a great first step is to learn about the benefits of exercise.

Health Benefits of Exercise for Truckers

While there are many short-term and long-term benefits to exercising, here are a few benefits that may sound appealing:

  • Helps with weight management
  • Improves mood, boosts energy
  • Improves sleep quality

Eating the Right Food

While exercise is important, it is also beneficial to be mindful about the foods that you eat. It is essential to nourish your body with the right foods so that you have the mental energy to make sound decisions regarding your physical health. Focusing on your physical health along with your eating habits will allow you to maintain a healthy, strong body that is capable of doing the work of a truck driver.

How Much Time Do I Need?

A common misconception amongst beginners to fitness is that you need over an hour to get a good workout in. In reality, exercising for as little as 15-30 minutes a day can make a significant difference in your overall health and well-being, especially if you are consistent with it.

Use Your Truck’s Fridge

Drivers are encouraged to take advantage of the refrigerators in their trucks. Storing fresh meals and snacks that are filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber will make it easier for you to make healthier food decisions.

Stay Hydrate

Remember to drink water! Replenishing your system by staying hydrated will help regulate your digestive system and help avoid overeating. Aim to drink half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh.

Physical Exercises for Truck Drivers

While waiting at a yard or during a mandatory break, there are plenty of ways to get your exercise in, wherever your travels take you.

1. Stretching

After being sedentary for an extended period of time, your muscles can become tight causing discomfort and a reduced range of motion. Therefore, it is important to stretch your muscles before and more importantly after your workouts to prevent injury. Stretching is not difficult, but it is important to perform the positions correctly so that you are getting the most out of it. There are many valuable resources online that can provide you with various ways to stretch your muscles whether you are seated or standing. Taking the time to focus on the intensity, duration, and correct positioning of your stretch will go a long way for your overall health.

2. Foam Roller

One piece of exercise equipment you should have in your truck is a foam roller. A basic foam roller is an inexpensive and easy-to-store item in your truck that carries numerous benefits if used correctly. A foam roller can be used to roll out the tension in your back, legs, arms, and neck. Resources online can provide you with information on how to properly use a foam roller.

3. Weight Training

Exercises can be enhanced with arm weights, resistance bands, or kettlebells, which can also stow easily in your truck. Exercise equipment can be used when stopped at a truck stop or terminal in between runs.

4. Jump Rope and Yoga Mat

A truck exercise kit can also include other useful fitness items such as a jump rope and a yoga mat.

5. Foldable Bike

A folding bike and helmet can also be easily stored and then unpacked at a stop to run errands or even ride around the truck stop vicinity. This could be a fun way to explore a new area while staying fit.

6. Aerobic Exercises

Other basic aerobic exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, squat jumps, and leg lifts can increase your heart rate for a sustained period of time. An increased heart rate will pump more oxygen and blood to your muscles, helping them work more efficiently. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a place to perform pull-ups or squats. Utilize the environment around you and get creative with your workouts.

Tracking Your Progress & Accountability

Truck drivers are already proficient at tracking details like mileage and time behind the wheel, so tracking fitness and eating habits shouldn’t be difficult to incorporate into your regular routine.

There are a variety of apps that can be used to track your overall progress. These apps allow you to monitor your heart rate, track your steps taken, calorie intake, sleep quality, and even eating patterns. 7-Minute Workout and Iron Trucker are just two examples of apps that you could use. In addition, investing in a smartwatch can make tracking progress easier and more enjoyable.

If you find yourself lacking the motivation to keep up with your progress, you may benefit from having a workout partner, either in-person or via a shared app. This is an excellent way to keep yourself and your partner motivated to achieve each other’s fitness goals. You could hold each other accountable for tracking progress. Setting up competitions or goals for each other to accomplish can make tracking your progress more fun.

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