Get More Exercise on the Road

iStock_000001117145XSmallMaking time for regular physical activity is hard for anyone, but for those of us who travel a lot – especially truckers – it’s especially tricky.

It’s Not Just About Weight Loss

But if you can get motivated and find a way to make it happen, you can look forward to sleeping better, enjoying a happier mood and staying awake more easily, either behind the wheel or behind a desk. Exercise reduces blood pressure, decreases cholesterol and helps you live longer too.

Fitness Ideas For Truckers, Drivers and Desk Jockeys 

Whether it’s driving, answering phones or using a computer that keeps you on your butt all day, there are ways to get moving. Every little bit helps. Force a little extra walking by parking farther from the restaurant, take the stairs wherever you can, stretch your arms and pick up your feet at the stoplight. Here are some other ideas we found on the web:

Make a plan. On BodyBuilding.com, you can choose from a variety of fitness plans tailored to all kinds of lifestyles. Read tips for stretching and how to work each of your muscle groups, find dozens of articles to help get you motivated, and search the thousands of threads on their forums for comments from others have dealt with your exercise issue. TruckersReport.com features an exercise forum and this thread offers ideas for getting exercise on the road, including karate ricks to get your heart rate up.

Get a workout in the parking lot. Trucker Burnie Miller spends only eight minutes a day doing Russian kettle bell swings. It’s all he needs to stay strong, toned and to burn enough calories to keep his gut size in check (in conjunction with his Hunger Free Trucker diet, which you can read about here). And Team Run Smart spells out a cardio and strength routine on their site that can be done in 20 to 30 minutes.

Use your own body weight to get stronger. Here’s a trucker workout that can be done in 10-15 minutes, without any equipment. It’s from TheHealthyTrucker.net.

Try exercising in your cab. Abdominal squeezes, shoulder shrugs and heel raises can all be done without getting out of the driver’s seat. A trucker named Joe Martin has created a video called “Truckersize” showing you how. You can learn more about it and buy it here.  On this forum is a long thread with lots of people describing the exercises they do in their cabs. And here’s a video on YouTube showing you how to get isometric exercise sitting in front of a steering wheel.

Fit in more walking. Take a 10-minute walk around the parking lot at every stop and by the end of the day you’ve burned more calories than if you’d just filled up and got back in the truck. In a pinch, you can even walk laps in the cargo of your truck. Some truckers even stop a little more often to fit more of those walks in to the day.

Use your feet to do some exploring. You can download an app for finding walking trails that also offer room to park a rig. And at Traillink.com you can search by city for even more trails.

Get inspiration from people who’ve already done it. Read the story of John Drury, a truck driver who used to spend 70 hours a week behind the wheel. About the time his weight reached 400 pounds, a good friend died of complications from diabetes and Drury started making changes. Another trucker explains how he stays in shape driving nights and how 15- to 20-minute power naps help him do it.