Trucker to Trucker
Exercise, it does a body good!

Is your idea of exercise playing the cherry machine or pinball machine at the truckstop? Do you have a waistline? When you bend over, are you exhibiting a crack for everyone to view?

Well, maybe it’s time for a lifestyle change. I am 54 years old, and I’ve had a serious illness. Sometimes that’s what it takes to remind you of your own mortality and convince you that anything you can do to help prolong your life is worth the effort.

So, if you are 30 pounds overweight and your belly hits the steering wheel, how about a new hobby? One that makes you exercise while you’re having fun. Golf can be a good hobby as long as you forget about using a golf cart. And golf is a sport you can play away from home, too. Make use of that layover time. Find a golf course or a driving range.

Can you still ride a bike? A bicycle can be carried on a truck, and you can even buy one that folds up. It’s also a good means of transportation. And speaking of wheels, if you are really brave, you can try in-line skating. Get out there and play “dodge the potholes” in the truckstops!

Walking, of course, is easy and one of the best things you can do for your body. If you truck with your dog, get out and take him/her for a brisk walk.

I have been going through extensive physical therapy, so I took the opportunity to quiz these fitness professionals regarding exercises for truckers. I explained that drivers sit behind the wheel for many hours. Then you get out of the truck and work very hard loading and unloading. My physical therapists had some good suggestions. One form of exercise a driver could benefit from is stretching. This will help avoid injures. A few examples are:

Knee to chest stretch
Lying down, pull one knee to your chest until you can feel a comfortable stretch in the lower back and buttocks.

Sitting stretch
Sitting on your bed with one leg stretched on the bed, reach down along the leg until a comfortable stretch is felt in the back or thigh. Be sure to keep knee straight.

Standing and extension
Stand upright with your hands on your hips. Gently bend backwards as far as you can go comfortably.

In the standing position grasp your left ankle with your left hand, slowly stretch your foot toward your buttock, so that you feel the stretch on the front of your thigh.

These should be done slowly and no pain should be felt, just a gentle stretch. Hold each stretch for a count of 20. These are just a few of the stretches you can do. But it could be a start to help you avoid injuries.

Another thing you can do is use stretch cords to exercise. These cords are like big rubber bands, and if you get tired of using them, or just don’t like them, you can always make a big sling shot that you can use on a four-wheeler (just kidding).

So just ask yourself this one question and let your answer be your guide. If there was a bad accident and you had to run a mile, would you need the ambulance for yourself instead of the victim? It’s time to get a start on a healthier lifestyle.