The idea of exercising can be daunting. Simply finding the time to exercise is enough to deter most people. This is especially true, considering the recommended amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. Truck drivers may simply not have the time to get those 30 minutes of exercise all in one session. Between driving odd or long hours and home life, finding time to exercise may just not seem possible.
There is a solution. Several shorter workouts split up during the day are proven to be just as effective as one long workout. Working out for three to six shorter time intervals over the course of the day may be more realistic for a truck driver’s lifestyle. The shorter sessions should be at least 10 minutes long and are recommended to add up to at least 30 minutes total by the end of the day.
In order to see the health benefits, drivers need to accumulate 150 to 300 minutes of exercise a week of at least moderate activity. This means performing at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. Examples of moderate exercise include walking briskly, gardening, and bike riding at a slow pace. Performing at a moderate level will have you sweating but still able to carry on a short conversation.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), one minute of vigorous activity is equal to two minutes of moderate. Examples of vigorous activity include jogging, running, hiking with a backpack, shoveling, and riding a bike at a fast pace. Performing at a vigorous level will have you sweating and only able to carry out one or two sentences.
Health benefits of moderate and vigorous exercise include:
- Weight loss
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Reduced risk of some cancers
- Increased mood and energy levels
If weight loss, weight maintenance, or getting healthier is a goal, then shoot for a total of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
Here are a couple examples to help you get started:
- Brisk walking for 10 minutes before breakfast, brisk walking for 10 minutes during a break around the truck or stop location, and brisk walking for 10 minutes prior to dinner. This will total 30 minutes of moderate exercise at the end of the day and performing this 5 days of the week will total 150 minutes of exercise at the end of the week.
- Jogging for 10 minutes before breakfast, resistance bands or weights for 10 minutes during a break or at the stop location, and jogging for 10 minutes prior to dinner. This will total 30 minutes of vigorous exercise at the end of the day and performing this 5 days of the week will total 150 minutes of exercise at the end of the week.
- Brisk walking for 15 minutes in the morning prior to breakfast, and 15 minutes of gardening after dinner. This will total 30 minutes of moderate exercise at the end of the day. Do this 5 days out of the week to get a total of 150 minutes of exercise.
Exercising can be tailored to meet the driver’s goals, interests, and availability. Be sure to consult your physician first to be sure exercise is safe for you and how to exercise safely to accommodate any current condition(s) you may have. Then talk with your CDL Wellness Coach for helpful tips and tricks to fit more exercise into your day!
For further research and education: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=118017
Emily Erickson, M.Ed.
CDL Wellness Coach