When the average person thinks about truckers, they think, “They sit all day.” Indeed, the job involves a lot of sitting– not all the time, of course, but a good deal of the work day involves sitting behind a steering wheel driving the truck for hours on end. How, then, can truckers stay in tiptop shape while having a trucking career?
In order to stay healthy both on and off the road, truckers should pencil in their daily calendar at least 15 minutes per day to do some sort of exercise. It could be as simple as a 15 minute walk around a truck stop to get the legs moving and the heart pumping blood faster, or it could be 15 minutes in a hotel gym lifting weights or running on the treadmill. Basically, with the idea to commit 15 minutes a day to get the body moving, a trucker can improve their overall health and wellbeing.
The more vigorous the activity, the better, actually– raising the heart rate helps maximize fat burning and utilizes your limited amount of time well. Working several muscle groups at once is also a good idea– the “total body workout” is good for you. Anytime you can do planks, squats and sprints, go for it.
After working out or exercising, truckers should eat some protein and drink water. This helps hydrate the body and build muscle. Carry protein bars with you on the road and eat one within 30 minutes of your daily exercises.
Now about meals: it can be tempting to eat greasy, fried foods at truck stops, but in the end you’ll get pretty fat and tired from too much “fast food.” Try replacing certain things with other things, like blueberries instead of M&M’s, broccoli instead of French fries, and turkey burgers instead of beef burgers. Make “little changes” and those changes add up over time!
What about breakfast? Don’t skip it. Don’t just drink coffee and eat a doughnut. The best thing you can do is have an egg or two, water, maybe some meat (like sausage/bacon), and fresh fruit. You want to fuel your body for the day ahead with a nutritious breakfast.
Too many truckers get sleep deprived. Without good and restful sleep, the body suffers. Also, truckers need to avoid stress, because hypertension isn’t good. Exercise is a good way to de-stress, and it can make a person tired enough that they get to sleep quickly and efficiently.
If you’re a trucker who smokes, try quitting with the help of accountability partners and more. Quitting smoking will help your body feel better over the long haul.
Is it possible to be an “in-shape trucker?” Definitely.
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