When trying to lose weight, it can be hard to know whether to focus on diet or exercise to get results, and what exercises you should actually be doing. This is especially true for drivers, who are dealing with challenging schedules and food options on the road.
Here’s how I often break it down: diet should be 2/3 of your focus, and exercise should be 1/3 of it.
This means that your diet plays a bigger role in whether you’re losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight, but exercise is still crucial to getting the results you want.
So if you want to lose weight (and get healthy), start cleaning up your diet ASAP!
However, if you’re eating a very healthy diet but not exercising at all (or maybe just doing some walking), you will likely have a thin yet “soft” body, with little muscle mass or definition. When you add in strength-building exercise, you will gain muscle, improve your posture, and have better overall muscle definition. Building muscle also improves your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories, helping the excess weight to fall off. When combining this with proper nutrition, this is where your clothes will fit better, you’ll feel better, and people will start to notice how great you look!
Now, there are many different types of exercise, from walking to weight lifting, boxing to yoga. I encourage people to try and incorporate several types of exercise into their routine, but when your goal is weight loss, it helps to know what workouts will benefit you the most.
Many people assume cardio is best for weight loss, but running or walking at a steady pace will only burn a limited number of calories and it doesn’t build much strength, not to mention how boring it can be!
So, how do you incorporate exercise specifically for weight loss, and make the most of your limited time? It’s important to make sure you’re building strength AND getting your heart rate to rise and fall repeatedly, like a strength workout that incorporates cardio.
For a trucker, HIIT workouts are perfect for this. HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a type of workout that alternates intense (heart pounding) moves with slower paced exercises, hence the rise and fall in heart rate.
The best part? They require very little time since it’s an intense workout, and require little to no equipment so they can easily be done right beside your truck! Bonus: the time flies, and you’ll never get bored! You can amp the workouts up by using a set of dumbbells, a kettlebell, or a skipping rope, but they aren’t required either.
The combination of workouts is endless, and they can include anything that challenges your strength and your lungs. Think of push ups, skipping, bicep curls, and jumping jacks.
Ready to try a HIIT workout? Head to Youtube or Google and search “Beginner HIIT workout” or add in any other specifications you may have, like “15 minutes” or “no equipment” based on your interest and needs. Have fun!
Andrea Morley is the lead nutritionist and health coach at Healthy Trucker (a division of NAL Insurance), where she educates and motivates drivers and office staff across the industry to improve their health through simple, consistent changes in their diet and exercise routines. She has a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Guelph, and is passionate about wellness and helping others reach their goals. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org All posts by Andrea Morley