Exercises for a truck driver: Stretch, Cardio, and Strengthen
Keeping your body limber and strong is the best way to make your long-hauls as comfortable as possible–no sweat! Small, daily routines of stretching, cardio, and strengthening for just 30 minutes will help keep your back and hips limber, your core strong, and help maintain a strong and healthy heart. Those 30 minutes can be broken into three 10-minute or two 15-minute chunks, making it even simpler to fit it into your day.
With any career that has you sitting many hours of the day, the hip flexors (the group of muscles that connect your hip to your leg) can take a hit with weakness and sometimes tightness because of under-use. To help determine whether your hip flexors are tight or loose and how to resolve either issue, this video, Best Exercises For Hip Flexor Pain by Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT, walks you through some tests and then shows stretches and exercises to loosen tight hip flexors and strengthen weak ones. Once you know the exercises that will help you, it only takes about 10 minutes each day to make improvements you will notice.
It’s important for everyone to keep their back loose and core strong for daily activities, but it’s especially important for truck drivers. Keeping these parts of your body well taken care of is a great way to decrease pain that can occur in these areas from sitting for a long time, making those long hauls easy to complete. This video, 7 Simple Core Exercises That Prevent Lower Back Pain by UC San Diego Health, shows stretches and exercises to help keep your back limber and prevent pain.
Now that you’ve stretched and strengthened for 10 minutes, add a segment of cardio for your next move-time. If you're delivering or breaking at a large retail facility, you could walk briskly around or through the store for 10-15 minutes. In the winter a speedy walk around a truckstop in winter gear, while not as comfortable, can raise your heart rate enough to be beneficial. If you plan ahead and have a podcast to listen to while you work out, that time will fly by. You’ll probably be quite surprised by how quickly your fitness improves and you may even see the numbers on the scale go down and your energy go up!
Building muscle is a great way to improve posture which can sometimes be ignored when sitting for long periods of time. Once you’ve stretched and warmed up with some cardio, you can add in some strength training! It’s amazing how fast you can build muscle bulk with even some seemingly small hand weights or a kettlebell. With any exercise involving weights, form is important, so pay attention to exactly what your body is doing and how it feels in order to prevent injury.
This video combines some cardio with kettlebell moves to make the most of your time: 10-Minute Total-Body Kettlebell Blast | Burner | Men’s Health.
We hope you use these tips to take small, daily steps toward better health. Be sure to check in with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen and listen to your body when it tells you to stop (or push a little harder). Let us know how the new year is inspiring you to make healthier, daily steps–leave a comment below or on our Facebook Page.