A Driver’s Guide to Health: Simple In-Cab Stretching Tips for Truck Drivers
You might have experienced your body feeling stiff or even cramping up after long hours of driving and sitting in the same position. Professional truck drivers have to work hard to avoid developing sedentary habits and pursue a healthy lifestyle. Though the nature of the truck driving job can make it difficult to work out frequently, regular exercise will prevent health issues caused by inactivity, and it is good for the overall wellbeing of your body and mind.
If you don’t already have a workout routine, an easy way to start is with stretching. Benefits of stretching include improved flexibility and range of motion, energy level, blood circulation, posture, reduced stress, and more.
Stretching throughout the day can really make a difference and it can be done without much hassle. Here are quick and easy ways you can stretch your entire body without any equipment and without leaving your cab.
Set a realistic goal and make a plan around it.
First, pull out your planner and set regular stretching plans and goals. If you make it specific and realistic, it will be easier for you to follow through. Start with something short and easy and gradually move up.
Make the most of each rest stop.
Each stop is your chance to stop focusing on the road and rest from driving. Use this time to do a few simple stretches, incorporating movements for different parts of the body throughout the day.
- Lift your shoulders up to your ears, hold the position for 10 seconds, and release. Repeat for 10 to 15 times throughout the day.
- Extend your left arm in front of you and wrap your right hand around your left elbow. Gently pull your left arm to the right, across your chest. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Do the same for the other arm and repeat for 5 times.
Neck: For the following four neck stretching moves, keep your back straight, hold the position for 20 seconds, release, and repeat for 5 times.
- Bend your head forward so your chin is brought toward your chest.
- Bend your head backward so you are looking up.
- Turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder. Do the same to the right side.
- Bend your neck as if you are trying to touch your left ear to your left shoulder. Do the same to the right side.
Hands: For each hand stretch, hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat for 10 times.
- Start by resting your arms at your side. Lift your hands up with your elbows at your sides, palms facing down. Slowly rotate your forearm so your palm faces up, and then down.
- Rest your forearm on your knee with your hand hanging off the end of your knee, palm facing down. Gently move your hand upward, so your fingers point up. Repeat the same motion with your palm facing up and thumb facing up.
- Begin with hands facing outward, as if you are looking at the back of your hands. Fold in your thumbs across the palms and back to the starting position.
- Extend your left arm with your palm facing out. Gently pull your fingers back toward you with your right hand.
Legs, Glutes, and Feet
- While seated, with your both feet flat on the floor, extend your right leg forward. Gently point your toes up and down, holding for 10 seconds. Rotate your ankle 10 times as if you are drawing circles with your toes, both clockwise and counterclockwise. Repeat with your left leg. Repeat the set 5 times.
- While seated with your back straight and both feet flat on the floor, place your right foot on your left knee. Gently push down on the right knee until you feel your right glute stretching. Hold for 20 seconds. Do the same with your left leg. Repeat for 5 times.
- While seated or standing up, raise and pull your left knee up toward your chest, holding with both hands. Hold for 20 seconds. Do the same with your right leg and repeat for 5 times.
- Stand on your left foot and raise your right foot behind you. Hold your right foot with your right hand and pull toward your right glute. Hold for 20 seconds. Do the same with your right leg and repeat for 5 times.
- While seated with your back straight, grab the right armrest with both hands and gently turn your upper body to the right, keeping your lower body facing forward. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat for 5 times, alternating the direction you turn your body.