As a truck driver, you spend hours at a time sitting still in your cab while you drive your haul to its destination. The longer you drive, the more time you spend inactive. The nature of truck driving makes it difficult for truckers to find the time and space to stay active. Don’t worry, though—there are actually a few tricks you can use to stay fit on the road and to become a healthier truck driver, even during long trips across the country. Keep these secrets of the trade in mind to help you stay in shape while you’re on the road.
Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
While truck stops are getting better about offering healthy food options, it’s still tempting and way too easy to grab sugary, fatty snacks to store in your cab. To avoid eating those “road trip foods” like chips, candy, and soda every time you’re on the road, keep only healthy snacks in your cab. Stock up on nuts, beef jerky, water, and fresh fruits and veggies to keep within arm’s reach. That way, when hunger strikes, your go-to will be a snack that’s full of vitamins and protein and low in sugar, bad fat, and empty calories. When it’s time for a full meal, try to find healthy options, or bring your own nutritious meals with you.
Use What’s Around You
Does your stop have walking trails nearby or another place where you can walk or run? Are you at a truck stop that has a gym? TravelCenters of America (TA) and Pilot Travel Centers are both adding gyms and fitness centers to many of their locations across the United States, and other truck stops have incorporated trails right outside their doors to promote active, healthy lifestyles for truck drivers. If your truck stop doesn’t have anything that helps you exercise, see if you can find a park or somewhere nearby where you can run a few laps. Take advantage of whatever you have around you when you stop.
Travel with Small Exercise Equipment
Some exercise equipment is small enough to store in your cab. Dumbbells, suspension cables, resistance bands, kettlebells, rebounders, and even a folding bike are all easy to travel with and won’t take up much room in your cab. These small pieces of equipment can do wonders in helping you stay fit on the road if you use them regularly. There are also fitness sets designed specifically for truckers such as the RS Flex System by Rolling Strong. This is essentially a portable gym in a bag that will allow you to turn your truck into your own personal fitness center.
15 Minutes a Day
The best way to stay in shape while on the road is to try to exercise vigorously for 15 minutes each day. Whether those 15 minutes are spent doing push-ups, planks, crunches, weightlifting, running, or using exercise equipment, you need to make sure you get active for at least 15 minutes. While that might not seem like a long time, just 15 minutes a day will add up to almost two hours of vigorous exercise a week. This amount of exercise will go a long way towards helping you stay fit as a truck driver.
Exercise While You Drive
There are some exercises you can do while you drive. And no, we’re not talking about pulling out a resistance band while in the driver’s seat. You can work different parts of your body while keeping both hands on the steering wheel. One great exercise to do when you’re sitting still for long periods of time is the abdominal crunch. Squeeze your abs and hold for at least two minutes or the length of a song. You can repeat this every time you stop at a red light.
Another behind-the-wheel exercise is the shoulder shrug. Lift your shoulders up to your ears as if you were shrugging and hold the pose for a few seconds, then slowly release. This exercise is great to do at red lights as well. Repeat the move 15 times in a row to relieve the tension that can build up around your neck after driving for a while.
Eat Three Meals a Day, Including Breakfast
Some people think skipping breakfast and/or lunch will help them stay in shape because they think they’re eating less. However, skipping a meal can cause you to binge more food later in the day when the hunger really strikes. Binge eating makes it much easier to gain weight and fall into other unhealthy eating habits. When you start the day off with breakfast and then eat a full meal for lunch and dinner, you can keep your hunger cravings under control and reduce the need for snacking and extra-large meals.
Keep Track of Your Exercise and Nutrition
Logging your workouts and what you eat in a journal will help you spot any unhealthy food patterns or what causes you to skip a workout. Knowing these patterns and habits will make it easier to change them and replace them with healthier food and fitness habits. There are multiple truck driver fitness mobile apps available that will help you log your exercise and nutrition as well as provide you with additional exercises to do on the road so that you can meet your fitness goals.
Become a Truck Driver with Roane Transportation
Now that you know the secrets of being a healthy trucker, it’s time to start driving for a transportation company that cares about your wellbeing both on and off the road. Here at Roane Transportation, we understand the challenges truck drivers face on the job, which is why we provide all our drivers with the equipment and training they need to be successful in this career. We want to make sure our drivers stay safe on the road and are equipped to complete their jobs with ease. When you drive for Roane Transportation, you will also enjoy weekly home time, industry-leading weekly pay, excellent health, dental, vision, and life insurance packages, and other benefits. If you are ready to start a truck driving career with a transportation company who will treat you like family, apply online today!