It is no secret that your health has a direct impact on the amount and quality of work you do. If you are the operator of a commercial truck or any driver who relies on his or her vehicle as a main source of income, you literally cannot afford to be unhealthy. For you, being healthy means being able to safely drive all the hours it takes to make a living. Also, if you consider that some commercial truck insurance providers offer discounts to low risk, healthy drivers, staying healthy can mean more money in your pocket. In addition, if you can stay alert and healthy while driving those long hours, you will be less likely to be involved in an accident. Fewer accidents means lower risk and could help you to lower your insurance premiums.
Exercises for Truck Drivers
One way to stay healthy is to exercise. But, if you are behind the wheel for multiple hours each day, how do you find the time to exercise? Believe it or not, there are some simple exercises that you can do while sitting behind the wheel. These exercises, done consistently over time, will positively impact your health. Try a few of the following exercises for truck drivers the next time you are behind the wheel and see how much better you start to feel!
Wrist Stretch – Extend your arm and the fingers of one hand against the steering wheel. Gently press your fingers against the wheel and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat with your other hand. This exercise, along with the next one, can help loosen your wrist and minimize problems like carpal tunnel.
Fist Flex – Make a fist with one hand, and with your thumb facing upward, anchor your elbow on the center console or your seat. Slowly stretch the fist first to the right and then to the left. The action is similar to holding on to a flag and waving it back and forth with your hand. Do these movements 5-10 times. Repeat the movement with the other hand. You can also hold your arm out to the side and make slow circles with your wrist, keeping your hands in closed fists. Make circles in both directions.
Neck Stretch – Sitting with your head upright, slowly lean your head to the right as far as is comfortable. Hold the position for a few seconds, then lean your head slowly to the left and hold. When you are at a traffic light, lean your head forward and hold for a few seconds, then slowly lean your head back and hold. Do this 10 times. This exercise reduces tension in the muscles of your neck and head.
Shoulder Shrug – To combat fatigue in your upper arms and shoulders, do this simple exercise: With your hands comfortably on the steering wheel, raise just your shoulders to try and touch your ears. The motion is similar to shrugging “I don’t know” Hold the shrug for a few seconds and slowly release down. Do this exercises 10 – 20 times. This is an excellent exercise to reduce the stress in your shoulders
Ab Crunch – You will need a small pillow or some type of lumbar support on your lower back to get the most benefit from this exercise. At every traffic light or during every favorite song or news report on the radio, squeeze in your abdominal muscles and hold for the length of the traffic light or radio song/news report. You should be holding in the abdominal muscles for at least a minute or two each time (the more minutes, the better). After a long trip, you will really begin to feel the benefits of this exercise if you do it consistently. Remember, a spare tire looks best on your truck not on you!