3 Driver Exercises To Do Anywhere As An OTR Trucker
Living as an OTR trucker is not easy. I am not a driver, but do find myself quite a bit over the road and in the air. And living out of a suitcase has its pros and cons and finding time for fitness is definitely one of the cons.
When it comes to driver exercises, scheduling a trucker workout does not have to be a time suck. And it indeed doesn’t have to be approached as that dreaded after-work activity. It can be fun. And it does play a very positive role in how we feel and even how we sleep.
Figuring out when and how to work out doesn’t have to be complicated, and the first step is to have an open mind.
As someone who has spent more than half her life in the fitness and wellness arena, it has crossed my mind on more than one occasion: why the number one reason I hear from people as to why they don’t exercise more is that they seem to think “they don’t have time.”
And it appears that roughly 75% of the American population seems to have trouble finding time to work out.
So to all my truck drivers, I assure you, most of America struggles to find the time, at home or on the road. And I do believe from my own experience working with thousands of students over the last fifteen plus years that making a mind shift is step one in building any new skill.
When it comes to driver exercises, STEP ONE simply opens yourself up to the idea that “yes,” this can be done.
And what if adding in a bit of exercise every day could be as simple as just moving more during the day?
No, not “exercise,” but the intention of moving in those small pockets of time where you are doing nothing.
Because here is the thing, exercise will not change your current outcome. Adding more overall movement to your day will.
So instead of making “exercise” a goal for you. How about we start small.
One simple step at a time and consider our daily schedule and where we can insert a move or extra squat here and there throughout the day. So that by the end of the day, we have increased our overall quota of movement for the body.
3 Simple Driver Exercises You Can Do Today:
Truck Driver Workout #1: Reach High and Squat Low
Reaching and squatting are two of the three basic movements we all must be able to do to age healthily. These just so happen to be two basic movements that we begin to stop doing after the period of 18 (totally my opinion here).
It just so happens this is about the same time we become an adult and adulting begins to take over our lives. We play less and sit more. We choose convenience over functionality. And quite possibly become a little less mindful of how and why we are doing things.
Dropped something. Squat down to get it. You are standing in line, squat to break up long-standing time, looking under your truck or trailer? Squat to look underneath. There are dozens of ways to add to this movement. You have to choose it.
And as for reaching a bit more. Why not consider a quick stretch in traffic. Or both hands on the truck door and step back a bit to stretch your underarm like a Downward Facing Dog. Chatting with a fellow driver. Reach up overhead, clasp your hand and push your palms to the sky. There are dozens of ways to insert this type of movement where you would otherwise be just “sitting or standing around.”
Truck Driver Workout #2: Core Marching
There are plenty of times you are seated that you are not driving. Waiting to load or unload? Team driving, sitting as co-pilot? Is break time scrolling Facebook?
How is it you can get your heart rate up? Get your cardio in? Get your core muscles revving? This is the second move of our 3 driver exercises any trucker can do.
Based on the facts, truck drivers are among the highest at risk for cardiovascular risks due to their work environment (long-haul trucking) than their neighboring professions.
So the next time, you find yourself just sitting around. Sit up tall. Try not to lean back or round forward. Take your back off the support of the chair behind you and begin to march your legs up and down off the ground. And slowly start to increase the speed of your marching until you are up to a pace you are challenged to hold a conversation at.
Try to do this for one minute, and then notice your heart rate. Try to do these three times with a one-minute rest in-between. The faster you go, the more it’s cardio! But at any pace, you are giving your body a much-needed tune-up!
Truck Driver Workout #3: Pumping Iron
Well, how about, for starters, you take a look in your truck and find anything that has some weight to it, and you can grip hold of it. I would suggest a water jug (doubles for hydration and as a workout tool), a duffel bag filled with clothes, or even a hand-weight with easy storing. Here are 3 driver exercises you can do, pumping iron can be easy and fun and doesn’t require weights at all!
While filling up with fuel or on your 30-minute break, consider adding in a few rounds of some bicep curls. Standing tall, try to do 10-20 with each arm. And then get creative and try to move your weight around your body: to the side, high, low, and backward, even add a lunge into the mix—notice which directions are more comfortable and more complicated. More than likely, the easier ones mimic basic movement patterns you are already doing during the day. So challenge yourself to work on those that may require you to focus a bit more. And then ask yourself: “how can I incorporate moves like these into my daily life”?
Every movement matters, and every step counts. These 3 driver exercises are simple, fitness doesn’t have to be complicated and it can be fun. But remember, those movements mean nothing until you put them into action. Forget the gym. And let go of the idea that exercising is you carving a designated 30 minutes out of your day. When you add more movement into your day, it all adds up!
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