Nutritionist & Health Coach Healthy Trucker
Two excuses I often hear for why people (including drivers) can’t be healthy is that it costs too much money and takes too much time. I’ve addressed how to deal with this from a diet and nutrition standpoint, but this month I’m focusing on the physical fitness side of it!
Short, Intense Workouts
I recommend trying HIIT workouts, which means High Intensity Interval Training. Basically, you repeatedly work at your full capacity for a short period of time, and then rest or do something at a lower intensity for a short period of time. You can create your own intervals, such as 30sec on, 20sec off. Workouts can be any length, but I recommend 10-30 minutes depending on the intensity. You should be pretty exhausted by the end, to help you gauge the effectiveness. For the spike, any move that raises your heart rate works, such as burpees, sprinting, squats, etc. To rest, you can walk, stretch, or take a break.
HIIT workouts are effective because they raise and drop the heart rate repeatedly, which helps boost the metabolism, burn calories, and improve overall athletic performance. If strength exercises are being incorporated, it’s also a great way to build muscle.
Skip the Cardio
Steady-state cardio (jogging, cycling, walking) typically takes longer and results in less change to the body. That’s not to say you should never do it, because it still has great physical and mental health benefits. However, if you’re short on time, you may want to opt for weight lifting and Tabata or HIIT workouts like mentioned above to get the most out of your time.
No Gym or Equipment needed
You don’t need an expensive gym membership to be fit! You can workout at home, beside your truck, or while walking (or lunging) down a sidewalk! When we think of working out at home, we often think we need a fully decked-out home gym. Trust me, that’s not the case at all…I’ve been working out at home for the past 8 months with just 2 sets of dumbbells, a yoga mat, and a resistance band!
Optional: Small, versatile equipment
While you can get away with doing all of your workouts with absolutely no equipment, it can be a good idea to switch things up using a few small pieces of equipment that you can ideally use for hundreds of different workouts. My top picks, as mentioned above, area couple of sets of dumb bells (lighter and heavier),a set of resistance bands, and kettlebells. The smaller the equipment, the easier it is to transport with you. For example, a pair of dumbbells and resistance bands are great options for the truck, while an exercise ball obviously is not!
Workout in chunks throughout the day
You don’t need to spend half an hour or more working out at one time. If your day allows you to take 10 minute breaks here and there, then spend those 10 minute periods exercising! Do that 3 times daily and it will add up to your recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
Take advantage of your days off
Whether you have 3 days off or half a day off, use it! People often think they “deserve” to rest on their day off, but it’s the best opportunity to get a good workout in. Get it done early, and you’ll have plenty of time to rest.