Truckers aren’t renowned for being the picture of glowing health. Research has shown that truck drivers are often obese (many morbidly so), and have the highest risk of chronic health problems of any occupational group.
But it’s not easy watching your weight and fitness levels when you have a largely sedentary job, work away from home for long periods of time, and eat food as a way to make a long journey go more quickly.
There are lots of initiatives to help truckers get fitter – truck stop gyms, in-cab workout videos, trucker-specific fitness coaches, and healthier food options on the road. There are also seven rules of getting fit on the road when you are sitting down for long stretches and have deadlines to meet.
The rules are:
- Make sure you always get at least 15 minutes of exercise a day. Don’t make excuses. You don’t need to go to a gym. And you don’t need to follow a specific fitness plan.
- Make the most of each workout. The more vigorously you exercise, the more fat you will burn in the least amount of time.
- Try to do exercises that work multiple groups of muscles at once. Why not get some inspiration from the Healthy Trucker?
- Always eat after working out. If you want to build muscle then try to eat fast-acting protein (eg whey powder) within 30 minutes of exercising.
- Eat breakfast, then eat every three hours to keep hunger at bay and prevent binge eating later in the afternoon.
- Have a stash of healthy snacks in your cab. If you’re prone to snacking (who isn’t?), then make sure the only options you have to hand are healthy ones.
- Keep a log of what you are eating and how much you are exercising. This will help you identify weaknesses and make changes if necessary.
Here are a few easy exercises to try the next time you are in a truck stop parking lot (and what you need to do them):
- Rope skipping – a skipping rope
- Push-ups – an exercise mat or something to place between your hands and the ground
- Shadow boxing – you could use resistance bands if you have them, but they are not essential
- Jumping jacks – lots of energy
- Jogging – a pair of trainers and willpower
Admittedly, if you’re working out in a truck parking lot you’re going to be in the minority. You may get a few funny looks, but if that’s what it takes to get fit and healthy, then so be it…