Staying behind the wheel and driving for hours take a toll on anyone's body, not to mention their mindset. Truck drivers must be extra vigilant and incorporate stretching daily to avoid lower back pain and posture damage from too much driving. Some may see it as work, but there are plenty of benefits in even doing some simple stretches, especially after long hours on the road.
Stretching helps with blood flow, strengthening, and keeping muscles actively healthy. Doing daily stretches is essential in maintaining the muscle's flexibility, which lets a person maintain a wide range of motion using their joints. Failure to stretch often results in the shortening and tightening of muscles. Daily stretching can spare the drivers from using a truck driver back brace, and other, more permanent health issues.
Why Doing Exercises for Truck Drivers is Beneficial:
Flexibility - Constant stretching will help drivers become more flexible. Don't worry if you feel some discomfort while stretching at first. Doing stretching exercises, after all, gets easier over time.
Posture - Strengthening the core is another benefit provided by stretching. Core strengthening will result in the improvement of the posture and help in the proper alignment of the spine.
Prevent injuries - Loose and stretched out muscles can help make movements easier, which is a major factor in preventing injuries.
Increase the nutrients to the blood supply - Stretching also helps increase the blood flow and other fluids throughout the body. This allows for better distribution of nutrients in all body parts.
Has a calming effect - Exercises help in addressing anxiety. Even light stretching can provide a mental break that refreshes both the mind and the body. It also aids in releasing general tension.
Which Body Parts Should Drivers Stretch?
Stretching requires the use of proper techniques and some warming up of the body. It is essential to do some warming up like a short run or walk before doing stretching exercises. A person should focus their stretching on the sore muscles to help blood circulation in those specific areas first.
Arguably, drivers don't have plenty of time to spare for stretching. As such, those with only a few minutes to exercise should focus on these important areas:
- Upper and lower wrist
- Shoulder and neck
- Upper chest
- Neck and shoulders
- Arms and elbows
- Back of legs
- Lower back
Just the simple act of hanging on a bar or ledge, with knees bent, suspended, for 30 seconds or a minute at a time aligns the spine and stretches out a lot of the muscles in your upper body.
Drivers can check out some stretching training materials from trusted sources. YouTube is a great resource with plenty of short, visual videos that can get drivers started with the basics. Plus, they can find some good stretching spots in rest areas or even inside their trucks.
Stretching is one way of helping combat the effects of long hours of driving. It can also aid in regulating one's mood and the prevention of anxiety. Fortunately, doing some daily stretching doesn't need lots of space or time but pays big dividends for such a small investment.
*Please consult your doctor or medical provider before performing any strenuous stretches or exercises.