Over the road truckers can spend up to 11 hours driving every single day. If not given the appropriate care, this can lead to numerous health issues ranging from obesity to arthritis to carpal tunnel. According to a 2014 survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, it was found that 69 percent of long-haul truckers were obese, and 17 percent morbidly so. This startling statistic means eating right and working out is a necessity for truckers to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Taking care of your health and overall wellness can help curb the risks of these chronic illnesses. In as little as 15 minutes per day, truckers can take the steps to get control of their fitness and wellness regimen. Below we’ve listed some of our favorite exercises that can be done anywhere - some even from the comfort of your own truck!
1. Kettlebell Workouts
A kettlebell is the perfect fitness gear to take with you on the road because it takes up minimal space and can be used in dozens of different types of workouts. Kettlebells vary in weight depending on your fitness level. It is recommended to start with a lighter weight and work up to heavier weights as your tolerance allows. The main use of the kettlebell focuses on swinging movement during the exercise which can be great for increased mobility, fat burn, cardio, and muscle gain.
This is a great exercise that can be performed right from your sleeper cabin. Plank exercises strengthen your core, back, arm, and leg muscles. Simply place your forearms and hands onto the ground with palms facing down. Kick your legs back so your weight is evenly placed between your toes and forearms. Make sure your entire body maintains a strong straight line. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Looking for a challenge? Try doing this same movement on each individual side of your body to perform a side plank.
3. Folding Bicycle
Keeping a bike in your truck is a fun and easy way to be active while getting your heart rate up and burning calories. Take it out during your downtime or at a rest stop for a quick cruise. Some rest stops even have paths you can utilize for a more scenic experience.
4. Shoot Some Hoops
Basketball is a timeless, fun activity that doubles as a full body workout. There are basketball courts all over America that you can easily stop at to shoot some hoops or participate in a pick-up game. The best part is you only need a basketball that can easily be kept in the sleeper of your truck. For an added workout, try doing some layup drills, a 3-point contest against yourself, or some sprints. We suggest finding an outdoor court on a warm, sunny day for added appeal.
5. Hand Stretches
Long-haul truckers spend a lot of their time gripping the steering wheel which can cause hand cramps or stiffness when they do finally let go of the wheel. Truckers can perform hand stretches to help reduce the risk of discomfort or more serious illnesses like carpal tunnel. Try rolling your wrists in a circle or gently pulling your fingers toward your body a few times during the day.
6. Shoulder Stretches
Shoulder shrugs are an easy and effective way to reduce tension and stress from your shoulder and back area. This stretch is easy - just raise your shoulders up to your ears, hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat. Then roll your shoulders forward and back for added relief.