Drivers can still ‘roll strong’ to a healthier lifestyle

If you read my column last month, you would have gained an understanding of how important I feel it is that truck drivers make an effort to maintain good health. You also would have read about my disappointment that Snap Fitness was no longer offering the Rolling Strong program, which aimed to do just that – provide drivers with an option to stay active while on the road.

Well, I’m happy to report that drivers can indeed still ‘roll strong,’ because the program is being offered in partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) in both the US and Canada.

The TCA Wellness program, which Rolling Strong operates on behalf of the TCA and its members, provides companies with the expertise and resources to implement an in-house fitness program tailored for each individual companies’ needs.

The baseline program provides every participant with free access to thousands of health-check stations and an annual bio-screening, a smartphone app for exercise and nutrition with GPS guidance to participating pharmacies and clinics and unlimited access to commercial driver’s licence (CDL) health coaches trained to work within the difficult limits that professional drivers experience every day.

The baseline program costs US$1.80 per month, per driver, and there are several features that can be added on to the program as well, including health challenges and reward programs, customized newsletters and recruitment and training of a company’s own in-house CDL wellness coaches.

CDL wellness coaches are more than just personal trainers; they evaluate the health of the driver and then develop a plan with the driver to best fit their needs and goals, with the unique challenges of being a truck driver taken into account.

Honestly, not many people can get this kind of personal, one-on-one expertise without forking over a lot of money. Personal trainers do not come cheap, and with the level of attention a CDL wellness coach gives to each individual client, I would imagine they would put an even larger dent in one’s wallet.

Sean Mohr, vice-president of Rolling Strong, said the program is offered in the US and Canada, and, as mentioned on Rolling Strong’s Web site, can also help companies retain drivers by keeping them healthy, feeling well and better able and willing to work for more years of their lives.

And Rolling Strong is not the only option out there for drivers looking to get in shape: there’s also the Truck Driver Fitness program developed by Chris Nerat, which is a 90-day challenge tailored to help truckers lose weight, get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle.

The program can be done right from the driver’s truck, and there is no need to go to a gym. So, if you’re not already part of some kind of fitness regime, why wouldn’t you want to take part in one of these programs?

Rolling Strong has said that in recent years, more than 150,000 drivers have lost their jobs due to medical conditions, and a large percentage was because of elevated blood-sugar levels and/or high blood pressure.

There are options out there for truckers who would like to get in better shape, and even just do something a little different from what the daily routine of driving can entail.

Like I said in last month’s column: ‘It’s not just about you, it’s about your family,’ and I’d be willing to bet that if they were asked, they’d like to see you around for as long as possible.

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A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.

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