It All Adds Up: The Benefits Of Breaking Up Your Workouts

Shorter, More Frequent Workouts

In an ideal world, you’d be able to make it to the gym to work out for a full hour five days a week.

Newsflash. This is not an ideal world, especially for truckers.

A full hour to devote to exercise is a tall order for someone who drives 11 hours a day. Even 30 minutes is not an option for many time-crunched truckers.

But how about 10 minutes? How about 5? Even 3?

When it comes to exercise, anything is better than nothing. Here are some tips and information about breaking up your exercise time to make fitness work for you.

Several small burst of exercise may actually be more effective at fat burning than a longer workout session. Working out for 10 minutes three times per day may actually burn slightly more fat than exercising for 30 minutes at a time, according to a recent study in Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging.

Staggered shorter workouts are shown to control blood pressure better than longer workouts. Researchers at Arizona State University found that three 10 minute walks were actually more effective than 30 solid minutes of walking for controlling high blood pressure.

Suggestions for fitting in exercise throughout  your day. 

  • During a break, set a 10 minute timer on your phone and keep moving until it goes off. You could walk quickly, climb stairs, or do jumping jacks. Any kind of movement is good for your body and a great way to break up a long day behind the wheel.
  • Keep dumbbells or resistance bands in your truck. Weight training is one of the most effective ways to keep in shape because muscle tissue burns lots of calories, even at rest. Exercises like bicep curls or tricep kickbacks don’t take up much space and won’t take a lot of time to complete, but they can make a big difference in your overall health.
  • If you’re having trouble getting started with even shorter bursts of activity, make a deal with yourself. If you’re so tired that even a ten minute walk sounds impossible, tell yourself that after two minutes, you can stop. Most of the time, once you start exercising, you’ll find that you want to keep going.
  • Make your time off count. During your 34 hour restart or home time, you may have time to fit in longer exercise sessions. Take advantage of this time.

Sources:
Peak Health Advocate
Prevention Magazine
The New York Times