A Truck Drivers Guide to Avoiding Injury When Working Out
Truck driving is a job that is full of relative motions like changing gear, and requires drivers to spend the majority of their working day sitting down. Unfortunately, that leaves us more vulnerable to inactivity, but then also injury when working out than those working in other careers. It really is a bit of a catch-22 situation.
The good news is that by exercising regularly we can improve our health, and by following the steps below we can make working out as safe and injury-free as possible. Read on to find out more.
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The dangers of inactivity for truck drivers
Before we look at the ways to minimize injury from working out as a truck driver, it’s important to state just how important regular exercise is. This is because those of us that drive trucks are at much greater risk for developing diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. After all our job is all about sitting down in pretty much the same position for 10-12 hours at a stretch.
Of course, there are several factors that contribute to the increased risk of diseases, such as diet, but challenging ourselves to be more active and exercise is one way that we can effectively reduce our health risks.
Unfortunately, as you may already know, while working out is great for your health, getting an injury from working out is not. In fact, an injury can not only spoil your chances of keeping up with regular exercise but can have an impact on your mental health and ability to drive as well. That is why it’s so important to learn how to minimize the risk of injury when working out. A topic that is explored in detail, in the post below.
How to Avoid Injury When Working Out:
Begin with a warm-up
There are many ways to reduce the risk of injury to truck drivers as they work out. The first of these is to do a warm-up before you begin. Warming up is crucial because it helps to prep your body for the workout to come, warming and lengthening the muscle fibers so they are not only less likely to strain, but also will be in prime condition to be effective as well.
The good news is that warm-ups don’t have to be complicated or use a whole heap of expensive equipment that is hard to carry in your cab. Instead, one of the most simple warm-ups you can do is a brisk walk or jog – perhaps around a truck stop or car park? The amin here is to raise your heart rate and get your muscles warm so you can begin the next phase of your workout safely.
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Alternatively, another opera warm-up that is ideal for truck drivers is dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching differs from static stretching because you’re not just moving your muscles but your whole body as well. Thereby getting a more thorough warm-up.
Some simple dynamic stretching that you can try and can be done anywhere including standing side crunches or walking lunges with a twist are perfect trucking fitness exercises. Remember to go gently at first, especially if you have been stuck in your cab for hours, as your body will take a little time to loosen up.
Use proper form when it comes to trucking fitness for drivers
Another way that truck drivers can help minimize the risk of injury when they exercise is to make sure they use proper form. Proper form is all about doing the exercises in the correct way and positing your body right.
Of course, this means you need to learn the specific technique of any exercise that you are doing so you know whether your joints should be bent, or locked, and what position each part of your body should be in.
If you are unsure check out the form guides on youtube or find a certified personal trainer or fitness instructor to help you when you begin.
Make sure you listen to your body
You can also help reduce the risk of injury when exercising by getting in tune with your body. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours meditating though. Instead, just be sure to listen for signs that your body is being pushed beyond its limits. Remember feeling a little discomfort during a stretch is normal, a sharp pain is not, and it’s a signal from your body that you need to stop right away. Trucking fitness can be simple, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Support any weak areas with a compression sleeve
Making sure that any weaker areas in your body are properly supported will also help you to avoid injury. For this purpose, many people use a standard compression sleeve. Although, investing in a product like these GO kinesiology sleeves can be a better choice. The reason is that they are targeted support for muscles, tendons, and ligaments, helping you to maintain proper form, and reducing the risk of injury while working out.
Cool Down Afterward
It’s important to cool down properly after a workout, especially if you’ve been sweating a lot. This helps your body recover and avoid injuries. A good cool-down includes light stretching and/or walking for a few minutes. You can also drink plenty of fluids to replenish any lost during your workout.
Simple cool-down activities you can do anywhere include:
When it comes to avoiding injuries while working out as a truck driver, you really have to remember to do a proper cool down. Cools-downs will help transition your body from high activity to normality and will ensure that the lactic acid in your muscles won’t build up too much and cause you pain the next day.
Simple warm-down exercises that you can do next to your cab include a gentle walk or some static stretching of your muscles. It’s also important to make sure you replace any fluids during your cool down so ensure you have a bottle of water or sports drink to sip from too.
Get enough rest
Lastly, if you want to avoid injury is vital that you get enough rest in between workouts, so your body can effectively build muscles and repair itself. Of course, getting a good night’s sleep in the back of your cab can be a bit of a challenge, so be sure you create the most comfortable environment possible and avoid caffeinated drinks up to 5 hours before you are due to go to sleep.
And don’t forget that trucking fitness for drivers just like you can be simple. Don’t forget to join Mother Trucker Yoga’s LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership & APP for more great content, moves, and fun!
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