While life on the road as a truck driver has its many benefits – freedom, travel, changing scenery and such – there is a flipside that poses a more serious problem: the health of truck drivers.
Although federal law restricts the amount of time drivers can spend behind the wheel, it hardly addresses the consequences of so many long hours sitting in a truck, at a truck stop or at a roadside diner. Such is the nature of this profession.
Here at ABCO Transportation we make driver health and well-being one of our top priorities. Statistics paint a dismal picture of drivers’ overall health. A 2014 National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health survey revealed that only a third of long-haul truck drivers were anywhere near being in good shape.
Getting In Shape Requires Discipline
Here are a few pointers from Men’s Health that we hope will encourage and inspire you and put you back in the fast lane:
- Fifteen minutes minimum of serious exercise is a great starting point. You don’t have to go to a gym. A truck stop or rest area works well.
- You’re a truck driver. You know what it is to be tough. It’s the same with exercise. It has to be vigorous.
- Multi-exercising is the best approach. That means working different muscle groups simultaneously and doing a variety of exercises (which we explain later).
- Eat light before working out and go with protein-heavy foods, which helps build muscle.
- Don’t be skipping breakfast. You’ve heard it said before: It’s the most important meal of the day. Continue eating light and healthy throughout the day, about every three hours. We’re talking about healthy snacks. Stay far away from the heavy, greasy meals.
- Write what you do (exercise) and eat in a log or a journal. This enables you to monitor and avoid weak areas.
Exercises don’t have to be complicated. Here are four from healthytrucker.com:
- The Push Up: You should get into a face-down plank position with your hands on the ground slightly beyond shoulder width. Lower yourself while keeping a straight body until your chest touches the ground. Do several sets. This is the standard military exercise.
- The Crunch: This is done by lying on your back with your knees up and your feet flat. With your hands behind your neck or crossed over your chest, lift your upper body about a half foot, hold a few seconds and return. Go with several sets.
- The Mountain Climber: Bend over and place your hands on the ground about 18 inches apart. This is the old-fashioned football-practice routine: One leg bent under your chest, the other extended; then rotate the two rapidly.
- The Burpee: This has nothing to do with indigestion. Start by standing straight. Go into a squat position while putting your hands on the ground. Quickly thrust your feet backward putting yourself in a pushup position. Jump back into the squat position. Then jump up and into the air. If you ever played football in high school, chances are you’ve done these before. A few sets of these should get you going.
If you have tips or ideas about the health of truck drivers, comment below. If you’d like more information about ABCO Transportation, contact us today.