By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm
It’s not always easy to get and stay healthy when you are a driver, but many truck stops like Iowa 80, are helping by offering fitness centers where drivers can workout whenever they have time off. Some truck stops have even built walking paths where a driver, or a driver and their pet, can get out and take a nice leisurely walk.
Walking is great exercise, its low impact, good for getting your blood pumping and working your muscles, besides, getting fresh air is always good for you! Parking way at the back of the lot is an option many times, doing this will increase your exercise for the day just by making the distance you have to walk that much farther to get into the truck stop itself. If you choose this option, be sure you are extra vigilant when you are out walking around among moving trucks, always be sure they can see you and take extra precautions to remain safe. NEVER walk out from between two trucks, stay in aisles and driveways, stay in lighted areas, wear visible clothing, carry a small flashlight to be sure other drivers can see you! The best prevention is caution.
There are many useful tools today that are available to help us get and stay fit; from something as simple and basic as a pedometer to something that I, personally have, a FitBit. I love it! It not only keeps track of my exercise, my steps, my calories, etc., it tracks my sleep! It tells me how much, how well and how interrupted my sleep was. It’s amazing. I set it to sync it with my iPhone continually and I charge the dongle about once a week (it even tells me when it needs to be recharged), and it keeps me on track with as much information as I choose to input. This thing even has a feature on it that allows me to set a silent alarm! It vibrates around my wrist so it can wake or alert me without bothering anyone else, I happen to think that’s pretty cool. There are also plenty of apps available you can put on your smartphone that are free and easy to use; apps like Map My Walk, Fitness Buddy, Daily Workouts and such. All of these can provide you with help on your journey to get fit.
Eating right is not always easy to do while on the road. The ‘grab -n- go’ choices that are so readily available to us are usually the wrong choices. There are alot of greasy, fatty, salty, starchy, sugary fast foods with zero nutritional value. Thankfully though, changes are being made, there are healthier options showing up if you just look for them. There are fresh salads and fresh fruit cups at almost every truck stop fuel island these days along with mixed nuts, hard boiled eggs, celery and carrot sticks as well as yogurt and cottage cheese. There are also a variety of granola and protein bars. The right choices are there and available, it’s up to us to choose them. You have to fuel your body like you fuel your rig if you expect to keep them both running and running right.
Soup is a winner any time but seems to taste even better on a bitter cold day or night. Chili is good and most places have that one as a staple and then offer a variety of other choices sometimes rotating them on a day to day basis. We have noticed that a lot of truck stops have begun carrying 3 or 4 different soups on their take out counter area so that its an easy thing to get, hot, nutritious soup to go.
The beating our bodies take while driving our nation’s highways is beyond description at times and it definitely does a number on us physically. There are times you get so out of whack that you really would benefit from a visit to a chiropractor, both of us are firm believers in them! It’s a wonderful thing when you find a truck stop that has one, getting an adjustment can do wonders for an aching body!
Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!
Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.