The Rolling Strong team had a great week in Dallas for GATS! It’s always rewarding to talk to so many drivers that are excited about getting back on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
As GATS was the official launch of Team Run Smart, many of you are new to the team, so welcome! Now that you’re back on the road, let’s go over the importance of good exercise programs that will keep your motor running. In future articles, I’ll be sharing my exercise programs that are designed with the lifestyle of the professional truck driver in mind.
Everyone knows that exercising is beneficial to your health, in some cases, even life-saving. But do you realize just how many benefits an exercise program can provide? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity will help:

  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Improve your ability to do daily activities
  • Increase your chances of living longer 

So why isn't everyone exercising? While reasons for not attempting a program or failing at one vary from person to person, we know it can be especially difficult for the professional driver that is constantly on the go and may lack the "know how" to begin an exercise program. We’ve put together five steps that will mentally and physically help you down the road to a healthier you. 

  1. Decide to change: Recognizing the need to make a lifestyle change is an important step. Taking ownership of the decision will help motivate you to want to lead this new lifestyle. Things are going to change and at times it will be tough. But because you want to do it, you will.
  2. Set goals: Sit down and write exactly what you want to achieve. The goals could range from weight loss, to increased strength and endurance, or even relief from depression. Be honest with yourself and make your goals realistic. Everyone is made up differently. Never compare yourself to someone else; you are unique.
  3. Plan to succeed: Now that you have your goal, write down the steps you are going to take to get there. It's impossible to reach that higher level without taking one step at a time. Picture your goal as a flight of stairs; without steps it's impossible to reach the top. Your small goals might be losing one pound a week, increasing your cardiovascular exercise a few minutes each week, or something easier than that. Keep it basic and simple, planning out steps that are accomplishable. If you try to go too far too fast you are sure to get discouraged and give up.
  4. Get started: Begin your workout routine slowly; two to three times a week is great.
    Bob Perry, the Trucker Trainer, working out with professional driver, Franco Ramos with Central Refrigerated.
    Your workout should consist of strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Start your strength training by doing one set at 12-15 reps per body part. If you don't have weights in your cab, carry a couple of extra one-gallon water jugs; less than $3. Never work the same muscles on consecutive days. Start your cardiovascular exercise at 5-10 minutes, and build up to 30-45 minutes. You could also start off by simply walking from the back parking lot, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator - anything that gets your heart rate up. Starting off slowly will help you from burning yourself out before you see results.
  5. Stay motivated: Consistency is the key to long-term success as well as knowing how to motivate yourself over time. If you do the same thing, you will stay the same. Adding some spice to your routine is essential for change. Always change your exercises every four to six weeks. Your muscles will adapt to a certain repetitive motion and will not progress. Not only do your muscles need to be shocked again, but learning new exercises helps ensure boredom doesn't set in. That also applies for cardiovascular exercise.

It may sound cliche, but once you've taken that first step, the rest is easy. Through Team Run Smart, I will provide hard-working drivers with valuable and useful health and wellness information that can change your life.  Most, if not all, health-and-fitness information is focused on the general population and professional athletes who have access to gyms and personal trainers. I believe that you, the professional truck driver, are the real professional athlete. Together we will re-shape you. Just like the tools you carry to maintain your rig, driver health and wellness will provide you with the necessary health tools to take care of you.
To get more health and wellness tips from Bob Perry, go to

Comments (15)

Bob Perry

Bob Perry is on a mission to educate drivers and share life-changing products and services to help professional drivers while on the road. Recognized as the Trucker Trainer™ by professional drivers nationwide, Bob brings a unique perspective to the transportation industry. As the President of Rolling Strong™, Bob provides the transportation companies and drivers and owner operators with in-terminal and on the road wellness programs.

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Comment ()

Great article, I've lost 30 lbs. but I need to lose about 12 more I just seemed to stall. I'm going to try the water jugs. Thanks

November 09, 2012 18:55:05 PM

Thanks Heather I will check that out

October 08, 2012 16:57:45 PM

That was a great article. I think most truck drivers need to get more exercise. Even a driver that maintains an ideal body weight needs to exercise. When it comes to exercise, I like to get away from the truck/truckstop when possible. I think that's sometimes mentally relaxing. It's going to be hard to find a gym that's truck accessible, but not impossible. Snap Fitness and Anytime Fitness are two nationwide fitness centers that often located near where a truck could be parked. Both are open 24/7 and usually a membership runs about $40 a month. This will provide you a good workout and get you away from the truck for a while. Check out their websites for a list of locations and see if this is something that might work for you. Most locations are located in strip malls Whether you workout at a gym or do exercises in and around the truck, the most important thing is to get regular exercise.

September 25, 2012 19:50:47 PM

Thanks for a great article. provides a free place to track food and exercise and there is also a team for professional truck drivers there.

September 14, 2012 8:19:39 AM

This is a great article! As someone who has always hated exercise, I have realized I need to change this part of my life. I plan to set aside some time this Saturday to work through the 5 points listed. I plan to post my "results" on my bathroom mirror to help keep me going on a new path. Thank you for the insight especially on taking ownership, being honest and not comparing myself to others.

September 13, 2012 10:08:40 AM

Ray - have you read "Eat this, not that at the truck stop?" It has some good information on food that is healthier for you to eat at the truck stop restaurants. Check it out!

September 06, 2012 11:01:12 AM

Ray: I hear ya loud and clear. The unhealthy items on menus are all too accessible, and worst of all, are the most appetizing. I get serious cravings for items that I really should do without.

With that said--fight the cravings and stick to healthy eating. You'll really find the cravings subside and are easier to keep at bay. It's okay to indulge on occasion...use it as a reward for all that healthy eating.

September 04, 2012 7:12:35 AM

I am so weak when it comes to choosing the right foods and it doesn't help me one bit that the wrong foods are so easily accessible. I just wish the right foods were just as easily accessible.

September 02, 2012 8:59:30 AM

That first step is the most important to me. You have to want it. We've all heard the saying "if you want different results you must do things differently". Change is often difficult but usually possible. Bob's tips area great place to start. We're all in this together. I look forward to more tips from Bob and throwing in a few of my own.

August 31, 2012 13:38:39 PM

Thanks Bob; great information!

August 31, 2012 8:22:30 AM

Great article we all need to take more time to look after our selves.
@ 48 years old I had a Triple by-pass NOW I take care of myself like I should have all my life. All Drivers take the advicefrom Bob to just do it!

August 30, 2012 11:49:31 AM

Great article Bob, staying motivated is tough but reading articles like this helps. Thanks for the motivational boost.

August 29, 2012 10:53:43 AM

Thanks Linda and Henry. Great story idea Linda. We'll work on an article specifically for team drivers!

August 29, 2012 10:13:39 AM

Looking forward to your tips Bob! It is very easy to put ourselves after our business and without us we have no business. Give us some ideas on how to stay healthy as a team driver.

August 29, 2012 10:09:21 AM

Keep the healthy tips coming... this is the area I need to work on the most. I manage to do a good job of maintaining my truck and business but more time needs to be made to take care of myself.

August 29, 2012 8:17:28 AM