Make Your Move
Fast and effective exercise strategies
By Siphiwe Baleka
Drivers who want to lose weight or increase their fitness and health need to reset, or “spike,” their metabolism to a higher level. That requires exercise, which many drivers believe they just don’t have time to do. But by adopting the right strategies, any trucker can incorporate an effective exercise routine into their time on the road.
Strategy #1: No Matter What, Get 15 Minutes of Exercise a Day. Fifteen minutes is long enough to get an effective physiological benefit and short enough that a driver can reasonably commit to it every day. No matter how hard you are running, there are 15 minutes in your day to do a workout. Whether you are getting loaded or unloading at a shipper or receiver, you can exercise inside the truck or by the side of the truck. You can stop at a rest stop for 15 minutes. You can exercise during your 10-hour break.
The bottom line is, whenever the opportunity presents itself (and it always will) do your 15-minute workout. Commit to this every day with no excuses!
Strategy #2: Each Workout Must Be Vigorous. Research has shown that two minutes of high intensity or “vigorous” exercise can burn as much fat as 30 minutes of moderate activity such as jogging. Any movement that elevates your heart rate to 75 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate is generally in the vigorous activity zone. At this level, your body is burning fat at the maximum rate possible. At Prime Inc., where I am Driver Fitness Coach, we issue heart rate monitor watches to drivers in our health and wellness program that let them know their heart rate and when they are in the fat burning zone. You can also calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
Strategy #3: Work Multiple Muscle Groups At The Same Time. Single arm bicep curls use just two muscle groups. They do not elevate the heart rate to a level of cardiovascular benefit or cause the body’s fat-burning system to be engaged. In the same amount of time that it takes to do three sets of 15 bicep curls, a driver could do three sets of 15 squats with double arm bicep curls. In the latter case, the driver is using 10 different muscle groups — two in both arms, the core, the back, and two groups in both legs. In addition, the driver also will start breathing heavily, a sign of an elevated heart rate and cardiovascular activity. The increased energy demands of the extra muscles force the body to work harder. And that’s how you get the benefit of a one-hour workout in 15 minutes. Instead of isolating and exercising muscle groups individually (which takes an hour), combine them and shorten the workout time. The more muscles you use at the same time, the more effective and efficient your workout will be.
Start doing this before your next shift and you will be burning calories while you drive!
3 Simple Bodyweight Exercises
Burpee Start in a squat position with hands on the ground. Kick your feet back so that you are in push-up position. Do a push-up, jump back up into a squat and then leap into the air. Repeat, as quickly as possible, and keep your moves smooth and fluid.
Shadow Boxing Simply stand up and start throwing punches. Get into a rhythm and start “bouncing” and moving your feet. Every now and then throw in a front kick, side kick, or knee kick. Just keep moving and have fun!
Bear Head Crusher Knee Kicks Proper form is key. Stand up straight. Move your right leg behind you until you get a good stretch. Then raise both arms overhead above your left shoulder. Imagine grabbing a bear’s head and slamming it down into your right knee as you raise it — MMA knee kick style! Repeat this 10 or 15 times then switch legs/knees. Do several sets. This is one of the best “low-impact” fat burning body weight exercises. It works a ton of muscles, elevates the heart rate and gives you a good stretch all at once!
Check with your physician before starting any exercise program, and whenever you do any exercise, be sure that you use proper form.