The Importance of Staying Fit On The Road
As a truck driver, you probably experience stiffness and soreness. You spend the majority of your days in one position with little movement for hours at a time. So much sitting has a negative impact on your health over time, contributing to bad posture and an increased risk of cancer and heart disease. A recent study outlined the impact.
The good news is that you can counteract the negative side effects of driving. By taking time each day to get your heart rate up, blood pumping, and muscles working you’ll feel better and improve your health.
As the weather is unpredictable, you may not be able to go for a walk outside or do a circuit workout next to your truck. On days that the weather doesn’t cooperate, or you’re just not feeling up to it, Isometric holds are a great way to activate your muscles without actually moving your body.
- Sit up straight, press your shoulders down and pull your belly button into your spine. Hold for 3 seconds and release slowly. Repeat 3 – 5 times. This is a great way to correct posture and get your abs working.
- Remain sitting and squeeze your glutes together and hold for 5 seconds before relaxing. Repeat 3- 5 times. To target your inner thighs, place a small ball or pillow between your knees and squeeze it throughout your glute contractions.
- Place your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Lift your toes, dig your heels into the ground and hold this position while lifting your heels to your butt. The front of your shins should hold tension along with your hamstrings. Hold this for 5 seconds, release, and repeat 3- 5 times.
If the weather permits, nothing takes the place of a productive workout. So when you stop for your DOT required 10-hour break or before you rest for the evening, take 10 to 15 minutes to raise your heart rate and work up a sweat.
We suggest to take it easy if you are just starting out on your exercise journey. It’s also good to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Begin with one or two of these basic exercises each day. Slowly add more exercises into your workout regimen to work your way into more strenuous activities. Adjust the number of repetitions or sets based on your fitness level.
Go for a 15 – 20 minute walk each day to help get your blood pumping and heart rate up. The American Diabetes Association found that walking lowers your blood sugar levels which in turn lowers your risk for diabetes.
Calf and toe raises
Perform 3 sets of 10 calf raises and 3 sets of 10 toe raises. To perform a calf raise, raise your heels as high as possible, putting your weight on the balls of your feet while contracting your calves. For a toe raise, put your weight on your heels and raise your toes as high as possible while contracting your shin muscles.
Perform 2 sets of 10 (each leg) walking lunges. A place to do this is along the length of your trailer. Lunges help pump blood throughout your lower body while activating your core.
Perform 2 sets of 10 bodyweight squats. Squats activate your core and lower body while also activating your hip joints and tendons, reducing stiffness and aching pains from sitting.
Perform arm circles. While standing up, raise your arms straight out to your sides. Begin rotating your arms in small circles gradually getting bigger. Make sure you rotate both forward and backward to ensure you are working all areas of your shoulder joints.
Perform 3 sets of 20 jumping jacks to get your heart rate up and work on your aerobic capacity. By increasing your aerobic capacity, you lower your blood pressure which directly correlates with a reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Perform 3 sets of 20-second squat holds. Lower your body down into a squat position, keeping your weight on your heels. Be careful not to let your knees buckle or wobble.
If you are ready to work, and we mean really work, give this metabolic circuit a try!
15 Jumping jacks – Rest 30 seconds – Run for 2 minutes, making sure you return to your workout area by the end of the 2 minutes – Rest for 60 seconds – Jump rope for 100 jumps – Rest for 30 seconds – 10 bodyweight squats – Rest for 60 seconds
30 Jumping jacks – Rest 30 seconds – Run for 3 minutes, making sure you return to your workout area by the end of the 3 minutes – Rest for 60 seconds – Jump rope for 100 jumps – Rest for 30 seconds – 20 bodyweight squats – Rest for 60 seconds
If you are feeling up for another round, add another set of round 2 to your circuit! No matter if you choose to complete two or three rounds, we are sure you’ll get a good workout!
Be sure to drink plenty of water during and after your workouts. Keeping hydrated will boost your energy levels and help you stay alert and focused.
Stretching is important, too, to keep muscles loose and avoid cramping. Make sure you stretch each day before and after exercising. If you would like to read more about stretching and its benefits, check out our blog post Stretching to Keep Limber.