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As a truck driver, you spend most of your time on the road, making it a challenge to stay fit.  Your time is limited and access to equipment is a problem.  Here are 5 quick exercises you can easily perform on the road without any equipment:

Hand Stretch

Hand stretches can help relieve some of the stiffness or pain related to steering all day.  When you stop to refuel or take a break, rotate your wrist left and right or in a circle. Stretch your wrist by placing the fingertips of one hand on top of the steering wheel. Gently press your weight into your hand and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other hand.

Abdominal Crunch

Strengthen your abs while you’re on the road. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and hold it for the entire length of your favorite song, podcast or news report. If you are unable to squeeze your abdominal muscles for that long, then aim to squeeze them for at least one to two minutes. Repeat at every red light or for every favorite song that comes on the radio.

Planks

Plank exercises help strengthen your back, arm and leg muscles, as well as your core. Find a spot where there is room to stretch out, start off the exercise by getting on your hands and knees. Place your forearms and hands onto the ground with your palms facing downward. Kick back your legs so that you are placing your weight on your toes. Your entire body should maintain a straight line. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Shoulder Shrugs

Help relieve the stress and tension from your shoulder area with shoulder shrugs. Try this exercise while stopped at a red light, waiting on a shipper or taking a break.  Lift your shoulders up to your ears as if you’re saying “I don’t know.” Hold the position for a few seconds then release. Perform 10 to 15 reps throughout the day whenever you are feeling tensed or stressed.

Push-Ups

Strengthen your arms and chest with some push-ups.  You can do regular push-ups keeping your legs extended behind you and your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.  Mix things up with a diamond push-up where your hands are placed in a diamond shape directly under your chest.  Or, increase the degree of difficulty by propping your feet up on the bumper of your truck.

Photo courtesy of Men’s Health.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

truck driver heat exhaustionSummer means everything from beautiful drives to unbearable heat exhaustion for truck drivers. To usher in the new season, we’ve gathered a little information on healthy eating and exercise tips for the summer.

Taking care of yourself in the heat is not just a matter of health, but a matter of safety. Consider these tips from The Healthy Trucker:

Exercise in the morning or evenings if possible, avoid the hottest part of the day.

  1. Get acclimated. If you are used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather take it easy at first, give your body time to adapt to the weather change.
  2. Know your fitness level. If you are just beginning a workout regime you may have a lower tolerance to the heat.
  3. Drink plenty of fluids! Dehydration is a key factor in heat related illnesses. Keeping well hydrated helps your body sweat & cool down.
  4. Dress appropriately. Wear light weight, light colored clothing.
  5. If possible, always consider moving your workout indoors to avoid the heat, especially in extreme temperatures.

Keep an eye out this summer for problems like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  • Heat cramps are painful muscle contractions.
  • Heat exhaustion occurs when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees F. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache and cold, clammy skin.
  • Heatstroke can be life threatening. Symptoms include confusion, irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, nausea, visual problems and fatigue.

When you’re done exercising or when you’re on the road, here are a few snacks that can keep your energy up even under the summer sun as Trucker News shared:

  1. Pumpkin seeds
    Lightly roast them before a trip and keep them stored in a plastic storage bag or other container, and you’ll have a high protein snack at hand for your trip.
  2. Roasted chickpeas
    Chickpeas are a great source for protein, with just one cup of chickpeas offering 39 grams of protein, according to the USDA.
  3. Greek yogurt and granola
    Add granola to Greek yogurt, which has about 10 grams of protein for every 100 grams, and you’ve got a delicious high protein snack.
  4. Hummus dippers in a jar
    In a Mason jar or similar container, add hummus to the bottom and then add cut-up carrot sticks and celery sticks. Put the lid on and store it inside your cooler or your truck’s refrigerator. Depending on the amount of space in your cooler, you could make a few of these up before a trip to have on hand.
  5. Mixed nuts
    Toss some of your favorite types of nuts in a plastic food storage bag and you’ve got your own personalized trail mix for the road.

How to Protect Yourself from the Sun Over the Road as a Truck Driver 

Download the complete guide for 5 easy tips for sun protection while on the road.

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As a truck driver, your body experiences strain as a result of having to sit so long. Often, your neck can be the most affected by these long rides with no movement. It hurts to swivel your head to monitor traffic. It gives you painful headaches.

Matt D’Aquino, The Healthy Trucker, writes of the neck-pain challenge and offers a few exercises to bring some relief.

Some simple stretches can quickly help lessen pain, especially if you do them on a regular basis (even you’re your neck isn’t hurting). Regular stretching helps prevent tightness from happening in the first place.

These following exercises, which target all directions, can be done for a few minutes every day outside of the cab for a much looser, more mobile neck.

  1. Turn your head left and stick your hand out at a 90 degree angle. Switch directions, and complete again.
  2. Pull your head down, hold for up to 30 seconds. Push your head up, again holding up to 30 seconds. Do so gently .
  3. Move your head slowly side to side and in circles.
  4. Place your hand on one side of your head, placing pressure, while also pushing your muscles in the opposite direction.

We hope these neck stretches will help make driving a bit more pain free. Have some useful stretches to share? Connect with us here and tell us!

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

Michael Grothaus of Fast Company wrote an article about the relationship of aerobic exercise to cognitive health. Grothaus put to the test a study that researched the impact of different exercises on the brain, and he found that running has some significant benefits for everyone, even those with CDL trucking jobs. Learn about why truck drivers should start running now for cognitive and physical health improvements.

Overall, the study examined three types of exercises on adult male rats—running, weight training, and high-intensity interval training. In addition, the study examined the effects of each exercise on the brain’s ability to develop new nerve cells. In biology, this process is known as neurogenesis. And, many believe the ability to increase the number of new nerve cells in specific areas of the brain can help with problem-solving skills, creativity, rehabilitation, and reducing stress.

The Finnish researchers found that the rats that ran or jogged experienced the highest level of neurogenesis. The rats that performed high-intensity interval training experienced some neurogenesis. However, it was nowhere near the amount of neurogenesis found in the rats that ran. Finally, as for the weight-training rats, they experienced no noticeable neurogenesis at all.

The health benefits of aerobic exercise are well documented. Check out the 5 benefits Grothaus mentions.

1. Aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise reverses brain shrinkage associated with aging and increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

2. Exercise serves as a potent remedy for both depression and anxiety. It lifts the mood by bumping up the brain’s feel-good chemical serotonin and dopamine levels.

3. Exercise helps improve our ability to think clearly and logically, as shown in studies examining its effects on cognitive function.

4. Exercise protects against other diseases that negatively affect the brain (such as high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes). So, by keeping the rest of the body healthy, exercise minimizes collateral damage to the brain.

5. Exercise increases the production of a brain-derived neurotrophic factor that acts like fertilizer on the brain. In addition, it affects the regions of the brain associated with memory. So, older people who exercise regularly tend to fare better in their golden years than those who remain physically inactive.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

Here is some great advice from a very unique individual. Tony Blake was the first African-American swimmer to be named All-Ivy league. The Yale graduate traveled the world, changed his name, started a family and became a truck driver. Siphiwe Baleka (his new name, which means Gift of the Creator in Zulu) is now a fitness guru, and his goal is to transform what has been one of the most unhealthy occupations into a healthy one. Baleka shares 4 simple tips that will help people with CDL permit jobs maintain a healthy lifestyle.

1. Get enough sleep

‘The change in your circadian rhythms and the interrupted sleep creates sleep deprivation that accumulates. The problem with that is that the hormones http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/truck-driving-fitness-guru-siphiwe-balekas-top-tips/6405778that regulate metabolism are produced in your sleep. When that production cycle is thrown out of whack, the drivers are not able to regulate metabolism properly.”

2. Eat regularly, eat right

‘The other thing that happens is that drivers aren’t getting the signal that they’re full and that they should stop eating. They’re fighting fatigue and boredom, so they’re eating again, and they’re not getting the signal to stop eating, so they overeat. The root of the problem is their sleep cycle and the freight schedules.”

3. Don’t focus on calories, focus on metabolism

‘Instead of focusing on calories we … trained a driver’s metabolism to get higher and trained it to stay up there longer. The outcome was that we could make a driver’s metabolism 8 per cent more efficient if they could get four minutes of vigorous activity every single day.

4. Do whatever you can

‘Drivers have to sit behind the wheel, but there are plenty of opportunities through the day to get movement: before and after work, during breaks, when deliveries are coming off trucks.

Get matched with the very best trucking companies hiring. Register today. It’s free!

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

According to  author Dr. Mercola, 80% of Americans fail to meet US government exercise recommendations.  The official standards  the government recommends are 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.  Benefits of following these guidelines include lower risk of colon and breast cancer and prevention of unhealthy weight gain.  Move  from 150 minutes a week toward 300 minutes a week and you can add lower risk of heart disease or diabetes to the list.  Weightlifting activities for all the major muscle groups should be done at least 2 days a week.  Here is a list of just some of the low intensity exercises recommended by the government.

http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/04/03/recommended-amount-exercise.aspx

  • Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking)
  • Water aerobics
  • Bicycling slower than 10 miles per hour
  • Tennis (doubles)
  • Ballroom dancing
  • General gardening

For instance, just one hour of moderate activity a week may lower your risk of premature death by 15 percent, while just 20 minutes of vigorous intensity once a week may lower it by 23 percent.6 Research also suggests that walking for one to 74 minutes a week may lower your risk of premature death by 19 percent compared to those who are sedentary.7

Just getting started is the key because the greatest improvement in your health is going to be in the initial stages.  You will see immediate measurable benefits.    If time is your problem, doing more strenuous exercising for 20 minutes two to three times a week, combined with weight training can be suffice.  Be careful not to overstress your body when performing high intensity exercises.

As a rule, avoid doing high-intensity exercises more than twice or three times a week. You can enjoy other activities on the off-days, such as swimming, Pilates, yoga, biking, gardening, or whatever other activities tickle your fancy. I also encourage you to use a pedometer and walk as much as possible, ideally 7,000 to 15,000 steps daily.

Here is a list (not all inclusive) of what the government views as vigorous exercising.

  • Race walking, jogging, or running
  • Swimming laps
  • Tennis (singles)
  • Aerobic dancing
  • Bicycling 10 miles per hour or faster
  • Jumping rope
  • Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing, with heart rate increases)
  • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

Have you ever wondered how people are able to sustain their workout routines on a daily basis?  What do they all have in common? They are practicing great workout habits which keep them motivated to stay fit.

Great workout habitsYou know these people: they bounce out of bed in the morning ready to tackle their sunrise bike rides. Then, they leave the office during lunch to sneak in a quick run. Or they head out of work, gym bag in hand—and they’re going to use it instead of just bringing it back home.

They’re the ones who look like they’re actually enjoying themselves as they pedal furiously at spin class. Can you be more like these fitness fanatics? Experts say yes, you can teach yourself to love exercise. Get into the workout groove by mimicking their habits.

Here is a list of habits that can really change your lifestyle and lead you on a path to fitness.

  1. Only do workouts you enjoy
  2. Look for feedback
  3. Exercise with a friend
  4. Get back to nature
  5. Let setbacks slide
  6. Don’t think about how much weight they’re losing
  7. Don’t care if its traditional
  8. Crank up the tunes
  9. Reward themselves
  10. Dress the part

Basically, you can motivate yourself to stay in shape by following these great workout habits next time you hit the gym.

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now

These quick and easy exercises developed by the Royal Canadian Air Force in the late 1950’s

Overall, the program consists of 5 exercises, performed literally anywhere. In addition, the entire program only takes around 11 minutes to complete. The Canadians developed the routine for pilots stationed in remote areas without access to training facilities.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/this-exercise-regime-was-created-to-keep-pilots-in-shape-heres-what-you-can-learn-from-it/article23553956/Body-weight exercises and short bursts of high-intensity exercise

These highlight the top fitness trends for 2015, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. They united in a scientific seven-minute workout popularized by The New York Times in 2013. Overall, the combination offers an ultra-efficient, convenient, low-tech way to stay in shape. Also, it’s pretty much exactly what kept Uncle John remarkably trim for nearly 50 years now.

The idea that short spurts of strenuous exercise could be just as effective as longer bouts of moderate exercise. In addition, no equipment or facilities needed!

ultimate-guide-truck-drivers-maintain-3-healthy-habits-over-the-road

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.

Download the Guide Now