Let’s face it. Some days, you don’t have time for a walk. And getting to a gym is usually outside of the realm of possibility. We get that. But the fact is, when it comes to fitness, anything is better than nothing. That’s why we compiled some tips to help you make the most of the time you spend in the driver’s seat. Every little calorie you can burn does add up!
1. Give yourself permission to fidget. Studies have shown that people who fidget actually burn 350 more calories per day than people who remain stationary. This is good news for truck drivers, because there are lots of opportunities to fidget while in the driver’s seat (don’t go crazy and lose focus on the road, of course). Tap your foot, drum your fingers on the steering wheel, bob your head with the beat of a song. Any movement you can get in is good for you.
2. Try isometric exercises. When you can’t move around a lot, isometric exercises are a great option. Isometric exercises just mean that you’re contracting a muscle without really moving it. So you might flex your fist up to your shoulder and hold a strong bicep contraction to activate the muscle, burning a few more calories and helping to improve muscle tone. You can use this technique on almost any muscle group in your body: calves, shoulders, chest, you name it.
3. Focus on your abs. Pulling your stomach in like you are trying to fit into a tight pair of jeans can help you to use these important muscles, burning extra calories and helping you to tone up. If you suffer from lower back pain, this is a great way to exercise while you drive, because stronger abdominal muscles will help to take pressure off of your back. Here are some other great ways to work your abs behind the wheel.
4. Exercise your breathing muscles. Your body has to expend calories to power the muscles that help you to breathe, namely your lungs, diaphragm, and abdominals. Researchers at Hampton University found that deep breathing can increase metabolic activity in the brain and even reduce body mass index. Experts recommend that you focus on slowly inhaling through your nose until your feel your belly expand, pausing for two seconds, then slowly exhaling through your mouth.
A bonus reason to try these calorie burning techniques? You’ll find that along with burning a few extra calories, you feel less stiff at the end of the day. You also might find that these techniques help to keep you feeling alert while you’re driving.