No Time to Work Out? 4 Easy Ways Truckers Can Squeeze in Exercise

One of the most common questions we hear from drivers beginning their journey to becoming a healthy trucker is this:  “How do you find the time to exercise on the road?” When you spend much of your time behind the wheel of a big rig, a common misconception is that there’s no remaining time to get some physical activity in. Well, that’s just not true.

Simply put, it all comes down to prioritizing. There’s always time for a quick truck driver workout — you just have to manage your time. An extra hour isn’t just going to drop out of the sky for you. Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day, and if you really want to get healthy, you need to set aside the time to do so.

Black and white image of a clock showing 10:52

Image via lett, Flickr

So when exactly are the best times to workout when you spend your days on the road? Today, I’m going to talk about just that. Here are our suggestions.

During Your 10-Hour Break

How long does it take to run (or walk, even) a mile? No more than half an hour. We hear people use the, “But that’s my down time!” excuse all the time, but really, is that a valid reason? People who work office jobs have to use their down time to exercise too. How is it any different? And what would you be doing with that down time, anyway? Watching TV? Surfing the net? Might as well do something productive.

While Being Loaded/Unloaded

Waiting to be loaded or unloaded is the perfect time to get a quick workout in. You may not be able to leave the truck, but you can always get some jumping jacks, jump rope, push ups, or laps around the truck in. Again, what else would you be doing? Sitting in the driver’s seat twiddling your thumbs? A killer workout sure beats complaining about wait times!

Before You Start Your Day

A workout doesn’t have to take a long time to do. It’s entirely possible to wake up 30 minutes early and do some crunches in your bunk or take a walk/run around the truck stop. Not to mention, starting your day with a workout will give you a nice energy boost! Plus, you’ll get it over with early and you’ll then have the rest of the day to do what you please.

Upcoming 30 Minute HOS Breaks

The new hours of service rules state that drivers must take a 30 minute break after driving 8 hours. This would be a great time to get a quick workout in! You’re forced to stop anyway — you may as well make that 30 minutes productive. Do some crunches or pushups or laps around your truck.

A Few Things to Consider

First of all, keep in mind that you do not need to start with a bang! If you’re trying to get more active on the road, you can start out slow. Begin with a 15 minute workout and judge how much time you sit around during the day. After a while, you’ll begin to see where you can fit little workouts in throughout the day.

This brings me to my next point — you do not have to set aside an entire hour to workout! It’s perfectly acceptable to split your daily workout into smaller, “mini workouts.” Walk a mile or so before you take off for the day. When you stop for a lunch or bathroom break, spend 10 or 15 minutes jump roping or doing something to get that heart rate up.

Remember, truck driving is a very sedentary career. You cannot possibly expect to stay healthy if you don’t make a conscious effort to do so. You might have to prioritize a little more than other people — that’s the nature of this career path. Deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, and strokes tend to be very common in this industry, so it would behoove you to prevent these truck drivers health issues from the start by incorporating an exercise routine into your daily life.

The “I don’t have time,” excuse is just that — an excuse. If you want something bad enough, you’ll make the time for it. And really — the time is there. It just boils down to whether you want to take advantage of it or not! If you don’t believe me, here are some nuggets of wisdom from the folks in the Truckin’ Runners Facebook group we’ve mentioned before in the past…

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How do you find time to exercise on the road? Share your tips with us below!


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About Amanda

Amanda is a former digital communications coordinator and frequent blogger for the TheHealthyTrucker.net, a website focused on truck driver health initiatives. Our mission is to encourage truck drivers to embrace a healthier lifestyle by providing both expert advice and real world experiences. Let us be your co-driver on the road to a healthier, happier life!