For over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers, it’s important to stay in shape. Sitting for long periods of time means you may not be getting even the most basic, day-to-day exercise that many people get just from walking or moving around.
Some men and women considering a career in Trucking even may believe that it’s impossible to stay fit as a professional truck driver. But that’s a myth.
By making it a point to work out when you have even a little bit of downtime, you’ll be fighting off a lot of that inactivity, getting your blood flowing and helping your overall health just as much as you’ll be building your muscles.
Combine the exercising with realistic healthy eating habits and you may be surprised with how well you can look and feel, even as a professional truck driver who spends a lot of time in the seated position.
So with that in mind, we’re going to look at some OTR Truck Driver exercises and workout tips that can help you to get fit and be healthy.
But first, a couple of important points:
- You should check with your doctor first to make sure you’re able to exercise and don’t have any underlying health problems. Then, start off slow and light before building up to harder workouts.
- For all of the exercises in this article, focus on using proper form because that will make the workout more effective as well as help to prevent injuries. Not every exercise listed has an explanation of the correct form, so do your research (even for the ones with explanations, since those explanations mostly are limited). Spend some time on Google or ask people who are familiar with the exercises. Just don’t trust a singular source. Make sure you’re getting good information confirmed by multiple sources before you try an exercise yourself.
- There are a lot of ways to work out using your truck or other equipment that professional truck drivers come in contact with regularly. Be creative and use whatever you have at your disposal, but remember to check and test any equipment you’re planning to use before jumping right in so you don’t damage the equipment or, worse yet, hurt yourself. Any equipment not specifically built for use in a workout — and even equipment that is intended for working out, for that matter — should be approached with caution.
- Rest is as important as working out. You need to give your body enough time to recuperate in between workouts, drink plenty of water, eat right and be sure to get enough sleep. Keep in mind: Working out does NOT build muscle. The exercises themselves tear down muscles. Resting periods are actually when your muscles rebuild themselves. Stagger your workouts so you don’t hit the same or overlapping muscle groups in consecutive workouts, and be sure to stretch before and after. If you think you have overworked, strained or pulled a muscle, consider seeing a doctor.
Do Truck Drivers Need Equipment To Work Out?
Many of the exercises (or variations of them) that we’ll discuss in this article can be done with little or no equipment. One way to do that with some of the exercises is through what’s known as “isometrics” or “static exertion,” which basically means pushing against or pulling on immovable objects like a wall or other large, stable object. The objects obviously won’t go anywhere and you’re not actually moving your limbs or body, but your muscles will be working hard nonetheless.
Other exercises may be performed best with stretch bands, a pair of dumbbells or any other appropriate (and sturdy-enough) object you can find to fit the need, provided it offers the correct resistance or has the right weight to it.
Now, let’s look at the exercises…
Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is probably the single most important type of exercise you can do for your health. It’s very efficient because the movements involved use most of your muscle groups. Aside from your legs, you’re also using your shoulders, back, core and arms. You’ll be burning fat while strengthening all of these muscles.
Plus, cardio obviously boosts your internal health. It helps your lungs and strengthens your endurance. Over time, cardio will help keep you from getting winded as easily during regular day-to-day activities as you would if you only did pure strength training. Just make sure you’re healthy enough to handle this type of exercise since it can be rough, especially when getting started.
Basically, though, if you can pick only one type of exercise to do and you’re healthy enough to handle it, pick cardio.
Jogging or Walking
These are two of the most basic but effective ways to stay in shape. Start with walking and build up to jogging or running. If jogging hurts your knees or joints, or your lungs just can’t take that much strain, don’t worry: walking at a good pace can be more beneficial to your health than you might think.
Either way, just be sure to focus on how much time you spend on the move, rather than the distance. That way, you won’t have to stray too far from your truck.
Another way to do cardio training is by jumping rope. A jumprope is light and doesn’t take up much space, so you can carry it with you practically anywhere. Some say you should move forward and backward while jumping, though, rather than jumping straight up and down. They say bouncing on the same spot can be bad for your heart, so keep that in mind for this exercise.
Not into running or jumping rope? No problem. If you do a series of anaerobic (non-cardio) exercises at a quick enough pace, you can still get some aerobic benefits out of it.
Want a big list of great, muscle-building exercises?
Check back with Roadmaster next week right here on the blog for a huge list with a ton of great exercises!
Now that you know that it’s possible to get fit and be healthy as an OTR driver, it’s time to get started in your Professional Truck Driving career.
The road to your successful future begins with quality Class A CDL training at Roadmaster Drivers School.
*wage information provided by Werner Enterprises