STAYING FIT ON THE ROAD
Being a truck driver is often a thrilling job. Long haul and short haul driving takes you all over Australia, and truck drivers get to see the landscape in a way many Australians never experience. Truck drivers also get to live their passions, piloting and working on their truck’s day in day out.
However, the supply chain demands have begun to put increased pressure on Australian truck drivers. One of the flow on effects of this pressure is lack of time for truck drivers to look after their physical health and the maintenance of the body. This can impact quality of life as well the ability to have a long and fulfilling career as a truck driver.
Keeping your body in shape helps to keep the mind sharp. It can vastly improve your capacity to enjoy work and even extend your career, boosting your general health.
This blog explores ways to keep your body moving and fill it with the nutrients it needs even with limited cab space, and time constraints.
A LITTLE BIT EVERY DAY
Consistency is king. If you can only spare 30 minutes a day, that can be enough.
There are many free apps for your smart phone such as Samsung Health for Android, or pop culture-based apps like Pokémon Go, that include options like a step counter to set step and walking goals, along with instructions on easy to learn, on-the-go exercises.
Walking at every stop is a great starting point, and calisthenic exercises such as jumping jacks, running on the spot, squat jumps or skipping can be done in limited spaces.
Taking the time to stretch properly at every stop will also help with tension and work to maintain muscle and tendon health.
EQUIPMENT THAT FITS YOUR LIFESTYLE
It’s no secret that a typical truck cab doesn’t have a huge amount of storage space, but you don’t need bulky equipment to maintain a level of fitness.
Resistance bands are a space saving piece of affordable exercise equipment which have versatile uses to target every muscle in your body.
Kettlebells are dense and heavy but occupy minimal room and can be used to drastically increase strength, fitness, and comfort of movement through building and maintaining muscle.
A yoga mat can be rolled up and can mean that body weight exercises such as push ups, sit ups or stretches can be performed on almost any surface.
If you have a little more room to spare, a set of adjustable dumbbells can be an absolute game changer, giving you access to dozens of movements and allowing some real progress at the sacrifice of some precious cab space.
Depending on where your route takes you, a fold-up bike can allow access to some critical cardio – a world away from your workspace and away from car parks and truck stops.
The best piece of equipment, however, is motivation to improve and a will to achieve your goals.
EATING FOR FUEL
Undoubtedly the toughest part of staying fit and healthy is the nutrition side.
Exercising can be fun and challenging with immediate visible improvements, but no amount of work can out train a diet lacking in vital nutrients. This is especially hard for those who have no reliable access to fresh, healthy food.
Ditching fast food, sugary drinks and lollies is the quickest way to start off and you’ll notice an effect on your wallet too.
With some forward thinking, you can make the right decisions for what you eat to keep you strong and healthy.
Simple options such as rotisserie chickens from any supermarkets, sushi instead of burgers, fruit, Greek yoghurt with muesli or trail mix are all manageable and are readily available along major highways and byways.
This can be a difficult adaptation as you move away from a higher sugar intake, but you’ll feel lighter, stronger, and more energetic in no time at all.
Vitamin supplements, such as a basic multivitamin can help with providing the body nutrients it is lacking due to a restrictive diet that has been limited by the food options along a route.
Getting started is the toughest part but the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.
Improving your physical state has been proven to have a positive flow-on effect on your mental fitness, which is key for drivers who spend long trips in isolation.
Small incremental improvements can bring untold benefits to both body and mind. When starting out making simple changes like trying to get a few thousand steps a day, stretching at the start and end of each break or switching soft drink for water.
Sometimes the best motivator is having a mate join in, whether its friendly competition or the camaraderie of sharing activities.
Starting a group on social media to share photos or chat when doing activities can help with motivation and create a sense of community through getting others involved.
The pandemic has shown that reaching out and sharing successes, growth, interests, and activities can really go a long way to decreasing the sense of isolation that is too frequently felt by those in demanding jobs like truck driving.
Call to action: to learn more about how to reconnect with your community along with improving your physical fitness and mental fitness check out Gotcha4Life with their focus on connectivity for healthier communities and individuals.