Between sitting behind the wheel for 10-plus hours per day and the limited food options that come with truck stop meals, it's not always easy for truckers to stay fit. However, it is important to set aside time every day to make sure you're prioritizing your physical well-being, especially because some aspects of trucker life can lead to some serious health risks if you're not careful.
The following are a handful of suggestions to a better life on the road:
1) Stretch at every opportunity
One of the simplest ways to keep your body in good shape is to try to remain as flexible as possible, to avoid all the little aches and pains that can make it harder to move, according to 123 Loadboard. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stretch - even from the driver's seat - and make sure you're not getting uncomfortable.
2) Don't feel like it has to be all at once
As a trucker, you likely don't have a ton of time to set aside an hour or two per day to exercise, 123 Loadboard added. However, if you give yourself 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there, you may find your fitness goals easier to manage overall. Basically, if you get the opportunity to work out even for a few minutes - with stretching, walking, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc. - you'll be in better shape.
3) Start your day with a light, healthy breakfast
Many truckers skip breakfast altogether or, if they don't, eat entirely too much heavy stuff, according to CDL Hunter. As a general rule, breakfast food is loaded with calories and carbs, which fuel your body on some level but also can lead to weight gain. Instead, start with a small breakfast - something as simple as a hard-boiled egg or two - to power up for the day without compromising your fitness goals.
4) Set realistic goals for yourself
Of course, having fitness goals means sitting down and working out how much weight you'd like to lose, how much you'd like to be able to run or ride a bike and so on, CDL Hunter cautioned. The problem is when many people are making these plans for themselves, they become overly optimistic or ambitious and create benchmarks that would be difficult or impossible to reach. Take it easy on yourself and try to walk before you run.
5) Eat more often, but reduce portions
People love to load up with two or three big meals per day, but nutritionists say this is a no-no, according to Truck Servicez. Eating smaller meals more frequently is actually better for your body, as it gives your system time to process the food you ate without turning the excess into quite as much fat.
6) Count your calories
It's hard to make progress with fitness goals when you're not sure how much you're putting into your body, Truck Servicez advised. There are plenty of calorie counter or nutrition tracker apps available and keeping tabs on everything you eat will help to highlight areas where you might be able to improve your diet.
Find a job near you now.Search Jobs