Everyone knows that exercise does far more than just control weight, it also reduces our risk of heart disease, aids in managing blood sugar and helps cognitive skills keeping our memory strong. We all know that exercise is important but according to the CDC one-fourth of truckers are not doing any form of vigorous activity. Life on the road adds extra challenges to find time and space to exercise, but it is possible. Every step we take can make a difference, even 15 minutes a day reduces our risk of death by 35 percent. Now due to new FMCSA medical regulation weight, health and fitness standards will need to be met to keep a CDL, this is the time to start to focus on fitness.
Safety is always first whether behind the wheel or creating an exercise routine. There is a slight increase of heart attack or cardiac complications when going from sedentary to active so getting a green light from a doctor is recommended for good reason. Another professional to consider is a personal trainer. Doing an exercise properly decreases the chances of injury and a trainer can help put together the ultimate work out. There are trainers who will meet a client at a truck stop or rest area.
Making the most of 15 minutes can be accomplished by working multiple groups at the same time. There are single moves that incorporate more than one muscle group like squats, they are the perfect compound exercise, they activate the quadriceps, glutes and calves. Combination can also be created by doing two types of exercises at the same time like a lunge and a bicep curl. The benefits of working multiple muscles include burning more calories, improving intramuscular coordination, elevating heart rate, improving strength and gaining more muscle mass. Your workout needs just five exercises, one from each of these categories: push (pressing away from you), pull (tugging toward you), hip-hinge (bending from the middle), squat (flexing at the knee), and plank (stabilizing your core). If you are asking yourself if 15 minutes will really make a difference keep in mind that the average time it takes for the body to use up your sugar reserve is 15 minutes. After the reserve is exhausted the body starts burning fat. The best plan would be to gradually take the work out from 15 to 20 minutes to optimize fat burning. However, as with most things, consistency is the most important habit to create.
High Tech Help
There a plethora of apps geared specifically for truckers building a workout. Cleo Hardy, from Atlanta, created an app called Iron Trucker Fitness and it includes a data base of exercises drivers can do using their tractor-trailer. This same app also has an exercise log to help track progress and keeping ourselves accountable is crucial to maintaining routine. The Active trucker is another popular app worth checking out. The Active Trucker program is a driver-specific exercise program that features 15-minute exercises that drivers can do each day to help them get in better shape. The program is divided into two units: Active Trucker Phase 1 and Active Trucker Phase 2. Each of the workouts are 15 minutes or less. Rolling Strong is another app geared toward truckers. It accesses your health database on the road to find those important clinic locations, health check stations, and coaching sessions.
Truck Stop Support
In addition to apps there is additional support for drivers. Pilot Flying J truck stops offer a wellness program and 600 travel center gyms. Travel America has locations with free exercise rooms, outdoor fitness stations and walking trails. Regular truck stops without special equipment can still be utilized for an effective work out. Cardio can be done in place by jogging, dancing or jumping rope. The biggest obstacle is getting past the perception of others. Starting with even five minutes will help overcome feeling on display, by passers may notice but most will respect the dedication. Work out tools like weights, resistance bands and mats just make the work out even more official looking.
The truth is the information on fitness is endless and we know what we should be doing, but are we? Start with an easy goal of just 15 minutes of movement every day for 21 days (they say that is how long it takes to develop a habit) and start to slightly increase your time. Our health is a lifetime commitment so results will take time, but the benefits begin with the first day.