The best exercises for truck drivers are squats, push-ups, planks, mountain climbers, and running. All of the exercises can be done without weights and can help lead to a healthier lifestyle on the road. Whether you’re new to trucking or have been driving for years, a well-balanced exercise regimen can greatly improve your quality of life.
Exercise is important for maintaining physical health and mental health. Regular physical activity can help truck drivers maintain a healthy weight, lower their risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and improve their overall physical fitness. Exercise can also help you stay energized and alert while on the road, which is important for your safety and the safety of other drivers.
Physical activity has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood, and this can be especially important for truck drivers who may be away from home and facing the challenges of life on the road. Exercise can help truck drivers cope with the demands of their job and maintain a positive outlook.
We’ll break down how to do each exercise and what types of variations you can do to best perform in your workout.
Top 5 Best Exercises for Truck Drivers
Squats are one of the best exercises for truck drivers because they are extremely low impact and can be done anywhere at any time. After driving for hours on end, it’s very typical for truck drivers to feel swelling and tingling in their legs. Blood flow is restricted and your legs need movement or else they will stiffen up. Simple and straightforward, squats help strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings while working on your balance and core strength.
To do a proper squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your weight on your heels. Bend your knees as if you were slowly sitting down behind you until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then stand up straight while keeping your feet on the ground. Repeat this process until you feel a muscle burning sensation in your legs.
Push-ups help strengthen your back, chest, arms, and upper body. Of course, when done properly, like most exercises, push-ups also strengthen your core. Push-ups are a great replacement for bench presses at the gym and can give you the same type of muscles when done on a consistent basis.
To do a proper push-up, start with your hands flat on the ground, just about shoulder-width apart. To work your triceps a little more, you can also tuck your elbows into your body. Keep your body straight and parallel to the ground. Then bend your elbows to lower yourself to the ground slowly. Push back up until your forearms are fully extended. Repeat this process in sets of ten. Remember, the slower you go, the more difficult it will be.
Planks are one of the best exercises for truck drivers who are just getting started with their workout routines. Planks help provide stability and core strength while adding muscle to both your abs and lower back. Most planks are done in sets of one minute or more, but it’s also fun to time yourself to see how long you can go.
To do a proper plank, simply position yourself on the ground face down. Then, prop your body up and rest on your forearms and toes. Hold this position for as long as you can. Very soon, you’ll start to feel pressure in your abs and you will want to dip your lower back into the ground. Make sure to keep your back rigid as you perform this exercise or you will injure yourself over time.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a total body workout and not for the faint of heart. This is definitely a more advanced bodyweight exercise that requires both strength and coordination to do effectively. However, even beginners can recognize that mountain climbers are one of the best exercises for truck drivers after they see how exhausted they get from just a few sets of these.
To properly do mountain climbers, start in a push-up plank position with your body parallel to the ground. Then pull your right knee under your stomach while keeping your toes off the ground. Return your right foot to the starting plank position and repeat that same movement with your left leg. Do this rapidly while keeping your arms and back straight and steady. Try this exercise slowly at first until your body understands the motions. Then ramp it up and get a cardiovascular workout in as well.
Running doesn’t quite fall into the same category as many of these other body weight exercises listed. However, it is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and give yourself a total body workout. Running helps to increase your cardiovascular strength and can help reduce your chance of heart disease, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. Best of all, you really can run anywhere at any time and get an effective workout all year round.
Many running styles differ and expert runners can argue endlessly about proper form. The most important thing, however, is to make sure you are scaling your runs appropriately so you don’t burn out and hurt yourself. Going on too many runs for too long of a time can lead to foot pain, knee pain, or even serious injury. As a professional driver, the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself. Remember to start slow and base your workout on your current athletic ability.
Why you Need the Best Exercises for Truck Drivers
When you’re a truck driver, you’re often on the go and often don’t have time to work exercise into your daily routine. Truck stops and gas stations also don’t offer the healthiest food options, making it much easier and more convenient to grab chips and a hot dog and keep moving. Packing healthy snacks with you can be a better alternative to purchasing unhealthy snacks at a gas station.
The National Insitute of Health shows that more than 50% of truck drivers are obese compared to the national rate of 26.7%. Being obese can impact the validity of your CDL license as you may not pass your DOT medical exam if you are overweight.
Irregular sleeping patterns can also impact your health and weight just as much as unhealthy eating. Remember to take the proper breaks as required and try to get the proper amount of rest before you start driving again. Some trucker drivers take up smoking to help combat fatigue, but this can lead to more health issues in the long run. Smoking not only increases your risk of lung cancer but also coronary heart disease, emphysema, and stroke. If you are exhausted, talk to your carrier about the hours you are driving and how you can mitigate them in order to drive tolerable hours that won’t impact your health.
The best exercises for truck drivers will help your health and mental health a lot if you find the time to implement them into your routine.
Perfecting the Best Exercises for Truck Drivers
No matter who you are or what your current body type is, a simple workout each day can do wonders for your health. Truck drivers are especially susceptible to obesity and the conditions caused by it because of the stress they put on their bodies. However, in an increasingly digital world, there are ways to help remind you how to exercise even when you’re on the road. Devices like fitness trackers and heart rate monitors can help you identify when and how you should move your body. And your mobile phone is full of endless apps that can help guide you through workouts and keep you fit even through long hauls.
Perfecting the best exercises for truck drivers takes time and effort and is no small task. The exercises mentioned above were chosen specifically for truck drivers because they are low-impact, simple, and don’t require extra equipment or gear. If you want to take it up a notch, feel free to bring free weights on the road or just use whatever you have lying around in your cab. A gallon of water is the perfect free weight and it’s always fun to get creative when trying new things.
Truck Driver Institute Can Help
At Truck Driver Institute, we are committed to growing and sustaining a healthy trucking community. Whether that means providing the highest quality CDL classes or just giving you some valuable health tips, TDI is here to help. If you’re looking to start your truck driving career, contact Truck Driver Institute today and get rolling. We have 11 great locations dedicated to helping you become the best driver you can be. In 3 weeks you’ll be able to hit the road and start doing those exercises that will keep you happy and healthy.
Check out this helpful video on how to stay fit and healthy while on the road. Following these exercises can help you stay in better shape and improve your health overall.
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