In an earlier post, we discussed how important it is for truck drivers to get an honest workout in every day – even if it's just 15 or 20 minutes in the morning. Doing so provides immense physical and psychological benefits both for the short-term and long-term. But how is a driver supposed to stay fit with such a limited amount of time available during the day? What can he or she do with only a few minutes in the morning? As it turns out, more than you might think.
The key is time management. Drivers should focus on heart health as much as or more than other types of exercise. That means they should keep moving and maintain an above-average heart rate during the entire workout. With that in mind, there are a few classic workouts that drivers can alternate between every morning in order stay healthy and happy.
Jogging, running and sprinting
In the absence of an exercise bike or rowing machine, nothing beats running or jogging as a whole-body cardiovascular workout. The great part is that limited time doesn't necessarily mean a limited workout – as individuals gain strength, they can squeeze more jogging into the same amount of time. Additionally, this exercise requires nothing more than a shirt, shorts and pair of shoes, making it ideal for a trucker on a break. Truckers can also vary their effort to get different results. Sprint intervals strengthen muscle and increase efficiency, while sustained running can build endurance.
Similar to jogging, jumping rope has few equipment requirements – the same as above, plus a jump rope. Physical therapists and coaches estimate that 10 minutes of jumping rope has the same cardiovascular benefit as about 30 minutes of running. This means that a trucker can jump rope for less time than it would take to go for a run and still reap the same heart benefits.
Body weight exercises
A trucker doesn't need to belong to a gym to build muscle. There are lots of exercises that one can perform without any weights and still strengthen the arms, legs, chest, abs and back. Truckers should consider creating a circuit of body weight exercises, cycling through various activities for a minute at a time. These could include crunches, push-ups, planks, squats, lunges – the list goes on and on. There are plenty of resources with great ideas for body weight strength circuits. Once they start getting easy, invest in a weight vest for some added resistance.
Using these exercises as a starting point, truckers can get the most out of their mornings or breaks and stay fit even during a busy work week. Because drivers spend most of their work day sitting in the cab, it's crucial to maximize the time they have for productive and healthy activities. These are just the tip of the iceberg – if truck drivers have any other favorites, they should share them with their fellow truckers and come up with the best workout possible.