Keeping Fit on the Road
With long hours sat behind the wheel - especially now, with COVID and Brexit increasing many drivers' workloads - health and fitness can often take a back seat for truck drivers. It's a problem that can be compounded by the temptation of reaching for high-calorie convenience food that's easy and quick to eat, either behind the wheel or at a quick rest stop. So, how can truck drivers stay fit and healthy, despite their demanding workload and lifestyle? If you're a truck driver looking to improve your physical or mental health, build some muscle or lose weight, here are 5 easy ideas.
1. Make the most of traffic jams
If you're in a stationary queue of traffic or you've stopped at a red light, there are plenty of stretches and gentle exercises you can do behind the wheel. Simple stretches like chest pulls and neck rotations will help to loosen and soothe sore or tight muscles, while isometric exercises can build some muscle strength and offer cardiac benefits too. Place one hand on each side of your steering wheel and pull back on the wheel to work your arms, shoulders and back, or push in to work your chest.
2. Keep equipment in your cab
Small pieces of equipment, like skipping ropes, dumbells, kettle bells and resistance bands, are great things to keep in the cab of your truck. When you're at a rest stop, make the most of your time by using this equipment to get your body moving and your heart rate up.
3. Explore your surroundings
While it's tempting to use rest stops simply to rest and eat, getting active while you're there can boost your alertness as well as helping to keep you in good physical shape. Go for a brisk walk around the rest area - or a run if you're feeling more adventurous. Alternatively, why not take the time to do some stationary exercises, like squats, crunches or push-ups, outside your truck?
4. Eat healthily
It might be easier said than done when you're relying on what's available at rest stops being cheap, filling and fast. But what you put into your body can affect how you feel both physically and mentally. Lean protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer, whether it's meat, fish, eggs or something else. Swap crisps, chocolate and sweets for nuts, dried fruit and regular fruit. Take a look at the choices on offer when you stop, and work out if there's a healthier option to what you normally choose. You'll start to notice a difference in how you're feeling pretty quickly.
5. Get competitive
For some, a healthy sense of competition can make a big difference - whether it's competing against yourself or against other people. Consider logging everything you eat and drink, as well as your physical activity, through an app like MyFitnessPal, recording your weight and other measurements regularly to see how things change (and to see what your existing lifestyle looks like!) Or, if you've got a smart watch, Fitbit or similar, why not consider setting up daily or weekly challenges with other truck drivers to see who can be the most active?
Let your health be one less thing you worry about on the road. And if finance is also a concern, <a href="https://truck2finance.co.uk/apply">take a look at how truck2finance can help</a>.