Hurtling along stretches of road, amassing copious mileage and spending endless hours glued to the helm of a cargo-loaded transportation truck. This is a day in the life of a trucker. These long hours can be taxing on the body. It’s hard enough for ordinary professionals to regularly populate their fitness center. It’s much more difficult for those constantly on-the-go to make it to the gym. However, exercise is key to maintaining physical and mental health. For truckers, it can be as easy as taking a lap around the next truck stop.
Siphiwe Baleka was a collegiate swimmer with Olympic aspirations. However, his life took a detour when he found himself full-time behind the steering wheel of a semi. As a result, his health quickly suffered. Luckily, Baleka’s extreme fitness background kept him from completely spiraling. He created a fitness system (which includes intense 1-minute workouts at truck stops) that has kept his body in check. His suggestion for other truckers is to commit to four minutes of exercise a day, like walking, running or doing jumping jacks and crunches and eventually build up to 15 minutes.
Exercise should not be a solo act, however. Eating healthy is just as crucial. Baleka encourages drivers to consume wholesome snacks every three hours in conjunction to regular meals. “Limit carbs and stick to protein: a handful of almonds, a low-fat cheese stick and tuna are examples of between-meal snacks for on-the-go people,” Baleka says in an article on fredericksburg.com. As for meals, try to choose nutritious cuisine. Austin Haskew from everytruckjob.com says “it’s easy to grab fast food and often cheaper, too. But the money you save on that food will be eaten away by future medical bills!”
Also, Baleka emphasizes a third component that contributes to better health - sleep! Sleep deficiency leads to weight gain, he explains. “Without adequate sleep, your body can’t regulate food intake properly.” Make sure and get those “zzz’s.”
Multiple methods exist to halt packing on the pounds. For example, working various muscle groups simultaneously can achieve the most out of a short exercise. Just keep some small weights and resistance bands in your truck to supplement any activity, Haskew recommends. If getting sweaty isn’t your jam, try a few short yoga videos - it’s great for body and mind. There are a plethora of short tutorials on Youtube.
If you’re ever stuck on what particular exercises to use, Baleka launched the Active Trucker Fitness Program which can be found as an extension of the Skimble’s Workout Trainer program app. This will help remove the stress of preparing a workout and help keep you on track. Whatever your regime may be, always keep this in mind: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
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