Hello and welcome to the BW Mitchum Trucking blog! We’re bringing you the latest information on topics that matter to commercial truck drivers. BW Mitchum has been a leader in customized intermodal and domestic transportation, while still maintaining the core principles you expect from a 3rd generation family business. We pride ourselves on our reliable and personalized customer service, and provide whatever logistical support customers may need in addition to transportation, including warehousing, trans loading, and brokerage services. We are committed to continuing to provide the highest-quality transport services as we continue to grow.
In today’s blog, we will be talking about how to exercise on the road. We all know that exercise is important to our overall health, but your health certainly shouldn’t take a back seat on the road! Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to a variety of health conditions. It is important to exercise on a regular basis to keep yourself, as a driver, in healthy condition so that you can perform your job to the best of your ability. If you are interested in learning more about how to exercise on the road, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.
First, let’s take a look at some of the risks of sitting for too long. When you sit, you use less energy than you would when standing or moving. Sitting for long periods of time, whether at a desk or behind the wheel, can lead to high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and excess body fat around the waist. An incredibly severe side effect of sitting for too long is the risk of DVT– Deep Vein Thrombosis. This is a blood clot that forms in the leg after sitting for an extended period of time. This can be deadly if the clot breaks free and lodges in your lung. Research has also found that too much sitting overall can increase your risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer. A joint study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute For Occupational Safety and Health found that truck drivers showed increased rates of obesity and conditions such as diabetes.
These risks are why it is absolutely necessary for truck drivers to exercise while on the road! Ideally, anyone sitting for long periods should get up at least every 30 minutes to stretch. However, we understand that this is not always possible when you are a truck driver on a tight schedule. Luckily, there still are easy ways to stay active and healthy.
Walking Or Running
Walking or running may be the simplest of exercises, especially if you aren’t looking for an in-depth workout routine. Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated! One of the great things about walking is that you can start off slow and gradually increase your speed and distance. The faster, farther, and more frequently you walk can provide you with more benefits. Regular brisk walking can help you strengthen your bones and muscles, increase energy levels, strengthen your immune system, improve cardiovascular fitness, and prevent or manage various conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Consider pulling over for a short break every so often to get up, stretch, and walk around. You can even walk in loops around your truck.
When walking, the posture or technique you use can also impact how effective the exercise is. For example, your head should be up and looking forward when you walk, with your neck, back, and shoulders relaxed. Swing your arms freely with a slight bend at the elbows and make sure your stomach muscles are tightened slightly. Your back should be straight, rather than arched or hunched forward or backward. Also, be sure that you are walking smoothly– Roll your foot from heel to toe when you walk. It helps to have comfortable shoes with proper arch support. It may help you to start with simple goals, such as aiming to take a short, 5 or 10-minute walk. Then, slowly work your way up to 20 and 30-minute walks!
Although they are often seen as a basic exercise, push-ups help you utilize all of the muscles in your body when performed the correct way. One of the great things about push-ups is that they can be done anywhere– In the cab of your truck or in a parking lot, provided you have a blanket or exercise mat. (It may be worth investing in one if you plan for more intense workouts!) For the most part, push-ups do not require expensive equipment, making them a convenient exercise for truck drivers. Some of the health benefits of push-ups include burning calories, improving flexibility, improving balance and posture, and protecting your shoulders and lower back from injuries. Just like with walking, your posture and form matter.
In order to do push-ups correctly, you should begin in a plank position, face-down with your body straight. Your palms should be flat on the ground and your arms should be straight and in line with your shoulders. Keep your feet together or about 12 inches apart, settling your weight on the balls of your feet. Make sure your back is straight and lower your body to the ground with a controlled movement, until your elbows are at 90-degree angles. Then, push back up into a plank position. Be sure to look down as you perform push-ups– This helps keep your spine in alignment. Lower slowly and push up quickly for optimal results.
Squats are another great and convenient exercise, as they can be done anywhere at any time. This exercise is a great way to strengthen your lower body, emphasizing your glutes, and it is also a great way to exercise your core muscles. Squats can be especially beneficial for truck drivers, because after sitting and driving for long periods of time, drivers often experience tingling or swelling in their legs. This is because when you are sitting, blood flow is restricted, which can cause your legs to get stiff. Squats are a great way to stretch and exercise your legs, including your calves and hamstrings.
As with most exercises, performing squats properly is key so that you avoid injury. The proper way to squat is by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other. Place your hands on your thighs, look up, and lift your chest. Then, bend your knees slowly at a 90-degree angle, as if you were sitting down, putting all your weight on your heels. Hold this position for up to five seconds, and then stand back up straight until you are back into your starting position. Repeat this exercise five times– Or more if you’re feeling adventurous! Squats are one of the most effective strength-training exercises and can help you improve your flexibility.
Jump ropes aren’t just for kids! Perhaps the best part of this exercise is the fact that it is cost effective– You can find a jump rope for pretty cheap at most stores. Plus, you can invest in a more heavy weight, athletic jump rope later if you choose. Jump roping may be an underrated exercise, but it provides great benefits. It improves coordination, is great for cardiovascular health, strengthens your bones, and offers a full-body workout. By jump roping, you can strengthen your calves, glutes, and quads, while also engaging your core, shoulders, and arms.
While jump roping may seem pretty straightforward, it is important to have the proper technique. Be sure to start with the rope behind you, right at your heels. Rotate your forearms forward and then your wrists to swing it overhead. Then, bend your knees slightly and jump by springing up from your toes when the rope reaches your shin area. Stay on the balls of your feet as you jump. Start off slowly and then pick up speed once you get used to the routine. Once you feel like you’ve mastered this workout, you can try switching up your workout routine to incorporate other exercises. For example, you can try 10 minutes of jump roping, 10 minutes of squats, and so on.
These are just a few of the exercises you can do as a truck driver to keep yourself in the best shape possible. It is incredibly important to take care of yourself and your health while on the road. We hope you found this article informative, and we hope to see you back on the blog soon for more tips and insight on topics involving truck drivers. If you are currently seeking new opportunities in the commercial trucking industry, we are always interested in adding new talent to our team! Visit our opportunities page to learn more about our requirements and apply to one of our open positions. Thank you for reading!