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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Get started: Begin your workout routine slowly; two to three times a week is great.
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.
Bob Perry, the Trucker Trainer, working out with professional driver, Franco Ramos with Central Refrigerated.
- 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 www.rollingstrong.com.