Being on the road can pose some fitness challenges for drivers . Space is cramped or non-existent, and time can be limited. Fitness is still important and even vital, however, so we’ve compiled a few ideas that might get you started.
Walking: It’s a mode of transportation as old as time itself. If it’s a reasonably short distance (depending on your time, and how far you want to go), you can walk to find a change of pace for a meal, or even buy a few groceries. Some locations might offer a safe and secure walking path. If there isn’t? Some drivers suggest parking the furthest from the door at truck stops, and some recommend walking laps around the parking lot. Need to stay close to the truck? If it’s safe to do so, you might even take some brisk laps around the truck itself. Want something more strenuous? Bump your speed up to a jog or run.
Calisthenics: Jumping jacks, sit-ups or crunches, push-ups, dips, squats, planks, and flutter-kicks. We’ve all done them at some point in our life, but, old school as they might seem, they can still get the heart pumping. Some drivers might have enough space in their sleeper for some of these, others might be able to do some on their flatbed trailer. There may be room to do a few in the parking lot, such as the lunges or jumping jacks. Crunches, sit-ups, push-ups, and planks might work on the bed or in front of the bed, again if there’s enough room. If you’re taking them outside, however, be careful and be safe, since other drivers might not see you. Do you know any martial arts? Perhaps some katas or forms, or just a mixed series of kicks or punches might be to your taste.
Free weights/resistance bands: You may have enough room to store some dumbbells, kettlebells and weight balls. Some, such as curls, might be done in the front seat, though it may take some tricky maneuvering to get into the correct position. Various websites offer routines and instructions. Some drivers have been seen to carry supplies to set up their own weight bench with plywood. Don’t have the room for weights? Try gallon jugs of water, oil, or washer fluid. You can put something heavy, such as chains or several cans or bottles of soda or water in a grocery bag or two, and lift that, instead. A full laundry or duffle bag might also work as an alternative. Bungee straps can add resistance, as well.
Bikes, skateboards, roller skates/roller blades: If you’re able to pack any of these, you now have an option for getting around town, at least for a short distance. Many places, obviously, do not allow truck parking, but if you can find a place somewhat nearby, you can use any of these options to get around for a meal, a small grocery run, or just to see what’s in the area. If you’re willing to pay the extra buck, there are some light weight bikes that fold or easily break down to store in a smaller space. You may need a good bike cover or bag, though, to protect it and keep it in good working order.
Videos: Fitness videos are everywhere, and cover a large variety to choose from including yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Tae Bo, and aerobics steps. The biggest challenge with these, will be finding something that works for the amount of space you have.
Gym: Does the truck stop or service shop offer a fitness room? Is there a gym or even a community center nearby? It might cost a bit to get in if there isn’t an option for a nationwide, all-access gym membership, but the variety of amenities, and the opportunity to change up your workout for a session or two might just be worth it.
There are several options one can pick from if they truly wish to find a way to exercise while they’re out on the road. If you have a confined space in the sleeper, you might even try an internet search for cubicle workouts, which have suggestions such as walking or running in place or even doing push-ups against a wall. The internet offers a large variety of instructional videos, and step-by-step descriptions of any number of exercise options. All you’ll need to do now is find the workout that fits your situation.
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More resources for trucking business owners:
- What’s the difference between HVUT, Form 2290, and IFTA?
- "How long do I have to keep these?": FMCSA record retention for owner-operators and small fleet owners
- Top tax filing tips for owner-operators
- Tips for owner-operators with tax problems
- How are fuel surcharges calculated?
- Simple rules for maintaining long-term profitability in your trucking business
- Starting out with an owner-operator trucking business
- Owner-operator expenses: Fixed costs vs variable costs
- Understanding owner-operator expenses and costs
- Gaining half an MPG can put more money in your pocket than adding $90,000 in revenue
- Cutting fuel costs and improving fuel efficiency for Owner Operators
- Top truck-buying tips for owner-operators
- New versus used truck pros and cons table
- Buying a truck: Should you get a new or used rig?
- Preventative maintenance strategies to avoid major repair costs
- IFTA fuel-buying strategies: Where is the best place to buy fuel?
- Calculating your cost per mile
- Owner Operator Expenses - Fixed Costs vs Variable Costs
- How do I calculate IFTA?
- How does IFTA work?
- How did IFTA start?
- What exactly is IFTA?
- Tracking miles for IFTA
- Fitness for the road
- Acronym cheatsheet for the trucking industry