Whether you spend your down time doing crunches or you’re sick to death of all this health talk, one thing is for sure: Health and fitness is gaining serious traction in the trucking industry. In response to the burgeoning fitness craze, several Facebook groups devoted to truck driver health have popped up. Here are our top 5 picks for you (yes, you, drivers!), whatever your fitness level may be.
Truckin’ Runners. The group’s tagline, “Truckers who run. Runners who truck,” says it all. The group is for people who work in the trucking industry and want to share training tips, playlists, race information and nutrition facts.
What started out small in 2010 has grown to 768 members today. Truckin’ Runners caters to runners of all levels. That’s exactly why it’s built a strong following, says the group’s cofounder, owner operator Jeff Clark. “We have to take as much joy in the driver who just walked a mile for the first time without having to take a break as we do in the elite runners,” he says.
Health tip: “Recognize that it’s hard to get exercise when you’re a truck driver over the road, but know that it’s worth it.”
Big Truck Health and Fitness. This is the latest effort from the people behind the Facebook group Big Truck Cooking. “The goal is to get truck drivers to exercise and eat better,” says Darlene Williams Ventura, the group’s cofounder. “As a driver, the hardest thing is getting exercise on the road. We’re starting them off slow, and we’ll help them build from there.”
The group offers exercises that are easy for people with CDL trucking jobs to do on the road (think: push-ups and planking), as well as nutritional tips, recipes and encouragement.
“My greatest hope is that drivers will realize their potential,” says Kari Fisher, who leads the group’s healthy eating side. “You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to be healthy.”
Health tip: “Download the food app Fooducate. It breaks down nutrition information for all foods. And stay away from sugar and white flour.”
Truck Drivers Guide to Nutrition. If it takes a leader who puts his money where his mouth is to whip you into shape, this is the Facebook fitness group for you. The group’s founder, John Reed, is a 35-year truck driver, an owner operator leased to Mercer. Once weighing more than 250 pounds, Reed got serious about his health a couple of years ago. He dropped 75 pounds and returned to school to earn his degree in nutrition.
“People talk about truck driving as being one of the most unhealthy occupations. I’d like to change that,” he says. The Truck Drivers Guide to Nutrition is one way Reed helps other drivers get healthy. The group features health articles, healthy recipes, inspiration and more. Reed uses the group mostly to augment his own nutrition website, nutrition-forlife.com.
Health tip: “Stop thinking about food as something to be worshipped. Food is just sustenance.”
Driven to Be Healthy. This Facebook group started as a six-month contest at GATS 2015, putting people with CDL trucking jobs to the test from August 27-February 29. During that time, drivers strove to eat healthier, lose weight and exercise more for a shot at cool prizes.
While the contest is over, the Facebook page lives on, keeping truck drivers motivated through recipe sharing, inspirational words and exercise tips.
“If we made the difference in the life of one driver and he’s healthier and gets to live longer because of it, then it was worth it,” says the challenge’s organizer, Julie Dillon. “Because that’s our goal. We want to see them be healthier and live longer and enjoy their families.”
Health tip: “Commitment is continuing to push yourself when no one else is around. The days that are the hardest are the days that produce the most results.”
Big Trucks Fitness. With the tagline “Strive for progress, not perfection,” Big Trucks Fitness is ideal for truckers who want to get fit through exercise or diet. Members share truckside workouts, healthy recipes (Cobb salad on a stick, anyone?), workout articles and friendly encouragement.
“My goal for Big Trucks Fitness is to help everyone stay in shape through tips and motivations,” said the group’s co-administrator, Joshua Briggs, a company driver for MIDI Transport. “The group was created because there were drivers I’ve came across who said they are just barely hanging on to the physical card due to their health, and a majority of gyms are not accessible to big trucks.”
Health tip: “A little stretch can go a long ways when you’re sitting behind a wheel up to 14 hours a day. Try to go no more than 4 hours without stretching every part of your body.”
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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road
Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.