You hear it all the time – trucking is an unhealthy career choice. Sure, staples like all-you-can-eat buffets, truck stop junk food, and long hours planted in a seat give the job a bad reputation. But let’s be real, the trucking life is what you make of it. And honestly, it’s up to us in Trucking Nation to turn the tide on OTR health.
Think about it, you take the time to care for your rig, deliver your loads on time, and file your HVUT
returns. In the same way, you need to care for your health. We’ve talked about yoga
and healthy eating
before, but we know some of you want the high intensity release of weight training and cardio to balance out all that sitting time.
Some truckers might go with a national gym chain membership, but that limits your access depending on your route and location. Have some downtime coming up? Look for hotels with fitness centers and you can get in a nice, solid workout before hitting the road again. For Owner-Operators on the long haul with a sleeper cab, you can prepare for a fitness routine by bringing your own equipment and knowing some fitness routines.
Store Small Equipment in Your Truck
We know it’s a tight fit in plenty of cabs, but there are some compact and portable fitness options for your OTR lifestyle.
- Weights: Keep some smaller weights in your cab. You don’t want to add a ton to your tare weight, but a couple of dumbbells for strength training inside your cab is a great start.
- Resistance: Resistance bands are a great alternative for hauling weights. With different tension levels, you can knock out a killer workout without taking up much space in the cab.
- Jump Rope: Hey, if Rocky Balboa could jump rope and look cool, so can you! If you’re already storing resistance bands or bungee cords, toss a jump rope into the mix. Plus, it’s a really effective way to burn the calories of an 8-minute mile without running one.
- Cycling: We’ve even heard of some truckers storing bikes behind their cabs, which is a great way to stay fit while on the road. Plus, you can get around on a bicycle without having to drive the rig anywhere.
Train Anywhere With Bodyweight and Cardio
While storing equipment works for some, there are several alternatives to hauling a portable gym with you. If you are looking for a high intensity routine geared towards building muscle, consider body weight training. By using your own weight as your resistance, you can get a great workout anywhere for free!
- Bodyweight Squats: Need an intense bodybuilding without an entire gym? Try bodyweight squats! With your legs and thighs inactive throughout the day, squats are a great way to increase muscles and keep your body active.
- Push-ups: Everybody knows the push-up. You might even hate the push-up, but you can’t deny the effectiveness. Push-ups work your arms, chest, and shoulders. If you’re looking for a key workout, find space to knock out some push-ups.
- Burpees: For an exhausting, yet satisfying burn, try burpees. With a burpee, you get both strength training and aerobics. You’ll feel the burn mostly in your quadriceps, but you’ll also feel it in your chest, calves, and hamstrings.
- Cardio: Of course, keeping your heart rate and body active after a long haul is important for the trucking lifestyle. With a solid cardio routine, you’ll improve your heart and overall health. We already mentioned cycling, but there are plenty of body-only cardio workouts that will help you out between hauls.
Use Your Resources
If you don’t have any equipment on hand, you can still start a fitness routine. Take advantage of your resources until you get the proper gear for your routine.
- Repurpose: For weight training, try using milk and water jugs as weights. Just keep the containers empty until you get to a stop, then fill them with water. They’re also a great way to stay hydrated after a workout!
- Straps: If you’re interested in resistance training, repurpose bungee cords or flatbed tarp straps as resistance bands.
- Loading: For some truckers, just loading and unloading can give a great workout. I mean, if you’re lifting boxes day in and day out, it makes sense. Just make sure to follow proper lifting techniques, so you don’t injure your back in the process.
At the end of the day, your health is in your hands. Watching what you eat and implementing an exercise routine will make the difference between a long healthy career or future health complications.
And when you’re keeping up with your rig’s tax forms, ExpressTruckTax will be here to assist you with any HVUT matters. Reach us by phone at 704.234.6005, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or live chat via our website.