How Truck Drivers Can Stay in Shape on the Road

by Austin Haskew on May 5, 2012

It’s hard enough for an ordinary person who has a fitness center nearby to stay in shape, but cdl drivers have a unique challenge.  As well as sitting for most of the day, truckers are hard pressed to find a place to work out that is convenient to their route as well as having hours flexible enough to cater to clientele that might only have the wee hours of the day to use it.  Even if you can’t keep in shape at a fitness center several times a week, there are many ways that truck drivers can stay in shape on the road.

Most OTR (over the road) truckers stop throughout their driving day at truck stops to eat, socialize, and refresh themselves with a shower.  Parking at the end of the parking lot will add a minute to your walk but those steps add up quickly, especially if you go for a walk around the area after your meal instead of sitting back and watching the television.  If you want to see what a real difference these two little things can make, buy a cheap pedometer and watch how many steps you’ve taken at the end of the day.  A pedometer will also encourage you to walk more just to see how high you can push the numbers in a day.

You can use your deliveries as an opportunity to walk, too.  If your delivery destination doesn’t have rules that require you to stay in your cab you can walk around the buildings while you wait to be offloaded.  If they do, you can catch up on paperwork to make more time for walking later on.

Walking isn’t the only thing you can do to stay in shape, although it might just be the most pleasant one.  You can also stock your cab with some basic exercise equipment like free weights which you can use to tone and strengthen your upper body.  Be sure that they are secured in a safe place when you’re not using them and that they can’t roll around and damage the inside of your cab.  Rubber resistance bands are also very portable and they are very good for isometrics, which is a form of exercise that pits your muscles against each other and builds up your body.  You can get them for your legs, too, to work in some exercise before hitting the sack.  Many truckers use hand grips to exercise their forearms and hands but the jury’s out on whether they do more damage than good.

Many truck stops are now including portable fitness centers on their properties.  Memberships are affordable and one of the best investments you can make for your health.  A membership is good for that same center regardless of which state it is in so you can use them while traveling.  Eating a healthy meal followed by fifteen minutes in the on-site gym will make a real difference in how you feel within days!

Speaking of meals, how healthy are yours?  It’s easy and fast to grab fast food and often cheaper, too.  But the money you save on that food will be eaten away by future medical bills!  That double cheeseburger at the fast food chain is loading up your body with fat, preservatives, cholesterol, sugars and loads of salt.  It puts a strain on your heart and with enough of them, you could end up with high blood pressure or worse, become diabetic and lose your license!

It is much healthier to find a diner or restaurant and order from a salad bar (go easy on the dressing) or order a lean cut of meat and some vegetables.  You don’t have to deprive yourself of anything you love, but don’t eat biscuits and gravy for breakfast five days a week.  Once is enough and the other four days you can order oatmeal or cereal, fruit, egg substitute (it really is good!) or other healthy choices.  You could also save money and stay healthy by installing a small fridge in your truck to keep fruit, healthy snacks and nutritious food handy in case you get hungry or can’t find a place to eat that offers healthy food.

On your days off, remember that the television is your body’s worst enemy.  Choose what you really want to watch and don’t just use it to fill up time.  Shoot some hoops, go to the gym, spend the day with loved ones at a lake or another recreational site.  Hike, fish—anything but sitting!  If you have a family play with the children and go on some fun walks and other outings; remember that these are the memories that will be precious to them in later years, not seeing you slumped in front of the big screen. You sit all day while you are out on the road, there is no need to continue sitting all day at home!

Trucking is a rewarding profession and very satisfying for most people.  Maintaining your health and staying in shape will let you enjoy a long career and an active life. I hope that this post will be a great motivation for truck drivers to stay in shape on the road!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

erwin February 23, 2013 at 6:06 am

As long as the driver give enough time to go workout and pay attention to the diet, then I’m sure that they can maintain their physical condition.

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