Exercise is not an option
It’s hard to exercise after a long day of driving. It’s just as hard to “move around” when we first wake up, especially since we often don’t have a regular sleep schedule. But we need to get a sufficient amount of exercise daily and a vigorous workout three times a week, one where we raise the heart rate for at least 20 minutes per session.
I know, I know. Who has that kind of time? And where can we do such a routine when we’re one place one day and 600 miles away the next? I’ll answer that, but first we need to focus on some facts.
It’s been said that exercise is the best medicine. When we work out, our muscles actually tear with tiny lesions. That’s why they hurt when we do a hard workout. In turn, our brain sends healing power, endorphins, to those damaged muscles during our sleep. Consequently, the cell receptors on those muscle cells open to receive these chemicals and the receptors on the fat cells close. Then the fat cells begin to burn as energy to compensate. The higher our metabolism, the faster the process.
When we do activity that results in breathing harder, our lungs have to expand beyond the normal, resting state. They also expand and contract at a faster rate, which brings in more oxygen in a shorter period of time. We have an increased heart rate so we are pumping more blood through the lungs, which are holding more oxygen, thus creating a compounded effect. Every cell in our bodies responds by functioning as it should. Our thoughts and memories are crisp. Our vision is clearer. Our breathing is easier. Our joints stop aching. Our fatigue begins to dissipate. Our blood pressure drops. Our insulin resistant blood sugar begins to regulate. Symptoms of depression start to go away.
But wait, there’s more! For the longer term, our immune system becomes peaked. We get sick less often. Injuries heal faster. We look and feel better. All this needs to be supported with good nutrition.
I lost 180 pounds as a truck driver. I still drive full time. I use a behind-the-wheel workout I developed. It’s a total body, resistance-training workout that works the arms, abs, back, chest and legs. I also use the 19th wheel. It is a quick, but extremely intense and effective upper body workout. You can do it anywhere. Check out my Web site, safety-thruwellness.com, for more information.
The more you know about what’s going on inside your body, the more apt you will be to do the right things to make it function properly. Take care and live well!
Jack Kelsh is a professional driver and certified sports nutritionist.