How to keep fit when on the road – Top tips and exercises for HGV drivers

21-08-2018

Many of HGV drivers suffer from obesity, backaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea to name just a few.

What if with only 15 minutes a day you could get a full body workout, get rid of those backaches and be able to get a proper sleep after?

Here are some tips and exercises for HGV drivers to keep you fit while on the road:

1. EXERCISES IN HGV DRIVERS

You might think you cannot do any exercises while in your seat, but that’s not true. You can do stretching exercises or so called isometric exercises that involve muscular contractions against resistance without movement, holding for a few seconds and releasing.  isometric exercises done in the car can offer cardiac benefits and some muscular strengthening. Places more stress on a single muscle group, thus resulting in a more complete workout.

Make sure you do these only when you are stopped (at the red light, traffic) or parked:

  • isometric exercises; Place your hands on either side of the steering wheel and press in to work your chest; pull back on the steering wheel to activate your back, shoulders and arms; or place your hands on the steering wheel and push, careful to maintain good posture, to work your triceps and chest. Hold each position and pressure for 10 to 12 seconds, breathing normally

 

  • Posture and core exercises: (these will help you with poor posture caused by long tips in a driver’s seat) Sit up tall, imagining that a string is pulling you up through the car roof. Bring your shoulders back and tuck your chin back so your ears are in line with your shoulders. For an extra challenge, squeeze your abs to draw your belly button as close as possible to your spine, then hold this for 15 to 30 seconds. Work up to 10 repetitions

 

  • Other exercises you can do in your seat include abdominal squeezes, shoulder shrugs or glute squeezes, also some simple stretching.

2.  STRETCHING EXERCISES FOR HGV DRIVERS

will loosen up sore, tight muscles and provide some relief as well as prepare your muscles for a full body workout.

You can do it both in your car seat or on the floor.

Top stretching exercises to do in your seat:

  • Neck rotation,
  • Shoulder pull
  • Wrist bend,
  • Chest pull

Top stretching exercises to do outside of your truck:

  • Hamstring square
  • Classic lunge
  • Arm rotation
  • Classic quad stretch

Below you will find 9 best stretches for HGV drivers and the link to the website with detailed instructions of how to do those.

Image Source: website www.healthytrucker.net/fit

3. COMPOUND EXERCISES

these rely on the coordinated actions of several muscle groups, thus making use of two or more joints.  As a benefit of this kind of exercises, you burn more calories, improve coordination and balance, reduce risk of injury, improve cardiovascular performance and also your muscular endurance and strength is increased, allowing you to exercise  for longer.

You can do some of the exercises on a mattress, on the back of your trailer assuming there is some room, or outside your truck.

Top exercises include:

  • Plank
  • Push ups
  • Squats,
  • Crunches

Here are 8 great floor mat exercises for a full body workout perfect for HGV drivers– no equipment necessary, so any driver can benefit from these. https://bit.ly/2M230g6

Depending on time and where you stopped for your break, you can do some running. It could be just a few rounds around your truck, round the carpark, or if you park somewhere outside town  – use nature trails.

4. HANDY EQUIPMENT IN YOUR TRUCK

You might want or need to have them on you, especially if you have some spare room in your lorry. They can come in handy.

  • Dumbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Ankle weights
  • Wrist weights
  • exercise bands
  • Exercise mat
  • Skipping rope

Let’s not forget exercises is not everything to keep you fit in your profession as HGV driver.  You also need to have a balanced diet. Make sure you drink a lot of water and eat healthily.  If you need some ideas and inspiration on healthy eating read our latest blog.

5. HELPFUL APPS FOR HGV DRIVERS

To help you track your fitness goals we put together a list of useful apps for drivers:

  1. 7 minute workout – The 7 Minute Workout app has users work through 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises with 30 seconds per exercise and 10 seconds of rest between exercises. This app is great for truckers not only because of its manageable seven minute time, but because it relies completely on bodyweight and doesn’t require any other fitness equipment. Available for free on iPhone and Android
  2. Nike+ Training ClubThe Nike+ Training Club app features over 100 exercises designed by Nike Master Trainers and pro athletes. Truck drivers can use this app to train anywhere and anytime for . however short or long they need. You can also use the app to set goals to help you stay motivated. Available for free on iPhone and Android.
  3. Couch to 5k . Zen Labs Fitness’ C25k app helps users build up endurance to run a 5k. It starts users at a gradual pace, and ups difficulty each week by extending jog times and shortening walk times. Users can repeat a day or week if they found it particularly difficult. For truckers looking to get into running but not sure where to begin, this app can help them get the training they need to be successful.
  4. Myfitnesspal – MyFitnessPal works as a calorie counter, letting users set weightloss goals and then showing them how they need to adjust their calorie intake to meet those goals. Users can input their food as well as their exercises for an idea of how many calories they’re ingesting versus how many they’re burning through physical exercise. This app also syncs with several fitness apps, saving users time by automatically updating their fitness information

We hope these simple exercises and useful tips will help will help some or all of you to keep fit, or at least fight back the pain and aches after a long journey in your seat.

Doing physical exercises don’t just help to build and maintain healthy muscles, joints and bones; increases strength, stamina and endurance or help manage weight. It also boosts energy levels, promotes better sleep, reduces stress, It also reduces the risk of depression,  of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer; and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke

Exercising improves mood and overall sense of well-being.

It’s all up to you now to be determined and consistent to do some exercises while on the road. It might be hard to get started and keep going but the benefits make it worth it.

 

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