Life on the road can be hard: The isolation, the physical demands of driving great distances and staying alert for countless hours (and sometimes days) at a time, the constant urgency of being able to get from point A to point B safely and on time…being a trucker takes a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and especially physically. According to a 2014 survey by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 69 percent of long-haul truck drivers were obese, and 17 percent were morbidly obese. All of that sitting, driving and eating makes it easy for truckers to pack on the pounds. We at Reliable Permit Solutions know how hard it is to keep yourself in shape when you drive for a living, and we suggested several ways for you to keep healthy while on the road in our November 2017 post. One of the tips we gave was to create an exercise routine. Allow us to expound on this, and provide more specific examples of exercises to integrate into your routine.
It’s essential to get some exercise whenever you can: at rest stops, parking lots, and even while you’re driving. During the times that you’re out of your vehicle, you may try to jog, jump rope, do shadowboxing, do pushups, perform basic core exercises, and do some much-needed stretching. Your routine shouldn’t have to be more than, say 15-20 minutes tops, but it must be energetic. We also suggest the following in-vehicle exercises that you can do while waiting for the traffic lights to change:
Shoulder shrugs: lift your shoulders up to your ears, like you’re nonverbally saying “I don’t know”. This relieves stress and tension on your shoulders and relaxes them. 10 to 15 reps of this should be enough for a day, especially when you space them out.
Abdominal crunches: Simply squeeze your abdominal muscles and hold this for a few minutes, maybe 3-5. This will strengthen your abs when done for the length of a song or a radio news report. Don’t fret if you can’t hold in your abdominal muscles for that long: simply hold them for 2-3 minutes instead. This way, every red light becomes an opportunity for exercise. You may also do this every hour.
Hand/wrist stretching: Rotate your wrists to the left, to the right, or in a circle. You can also try extending your hand until the tips of your fingers touch the top of your steering wheel, then gently press down, putting your weight into your hand. Hold this for about 30 seconds and do this with the other hand.
Neck stretching: Bend you neck forward, backward, and to the sides. You can also turn your neck to the left and right, or do neck rolls. Do 8 counts of each. Just don’t this exercise while your truck is moving.Aside from keeping yourself physically fit, you need to exercise due diligence in the preparation of your permits and other pertinent documents. Visit us online and learn about how we can help you with overweight/oversize load permits,trip and fuel permits,route consulting, and more!