Most of us could use more walking in our lives — it’s great exercise. But for many drivers, it’s not easy to find the time and a safe space to walk. Here’s some good news: You don’t need a lot of vast, open space or even a lot of time to get up and walk.
Walking is a basic human movement we all must do to age healthily, and walking can be a full-body workout when done correctly.
Feeling stiff? Walk!
Back hurt? Walk!
Want to lose weight? Walk!
Feeling stressed? Walk!
Looking to tone up? Walk!
Have five minutes? Walk!
The mental health benefits of walking range from helping to manage stress and anxiety to clearing brain fog and boosting your ability to solve problems quickly. Walking is also linked to better sleep, reduced risk of depression and higher levels of happiness and self-esteem.
But walking benefits don’t stop there. Walking can also:
- Lower blood pressure;
- Improve oxygen levels;
- Burn belly fat;
- Tone legs, glutes, abdomen and back;
- Reduce sugar cravings; and
- Improve immunity, digestion and relieve constipation.
Instead of thinking you have to block out 30 to 60 minutes to exercise, consider adding walking to an activity you are already doing, or focus more on getting in just 15 minutes of walk time — even if that means breaking down that 15 minutes into five-minute bursts.
The key is to up your walking game to get the most success for your stride.
1-MINUTE, PAIN-FREE WALKING PREP ROUTINE
- Drink water.
- Stretch your feet.
- Squat three times.
- Stretch your calves.
- Stretch your groin and back.
- Twist from side to side.
- Do a forward bend.
So, you ask: What do 15 minutes of brisk walking do for me? In 15 minutes, at a brisk pace, most people can walk about 1 mile; in that time, a person who weighs 175 pounds will burn about 78 calories.
6 STRATEGIES FOR PROPER WALKING MECHANICS
- Feet pointing forward.
- Body upright.
- Shoulders Relaxed.
- Mid foot strike.
- Move from the hip when you walk.
- Breathe deeply.
5 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WALK
Reflect on your day and notice where you can add a few steps.
An extra lap around the truck stop? Walking trail nearby? Or even a few extra laps around your truck while doing your pre-trip check? It all adds up.
- Interval walking
Get the most out of five minutes and boost your metabolism with this routine:
- One-minute moderate warm-up walk.
- Walk 30 seconds at a brisk pace.
- Walk 30 seconds at a fast pace.
- Repeat these steps three to four times.
- Finish with a one-minute cooldown walk at a moderate pace.
- Walking with weights
Incorporate hand weights to add more upper body and core strengthening and burn a few extra calories. Change your arm movements as you walk, and notice what muscles are active and engaged.
- Chi meditative walking
Meditative walking requires that you pay attention to every part of your body. Step with a mid-foot strike and relaxed muscles and supple joints to create freedom in your physical body.
- Meditative walking with music
Listen to relaxing music and focus on your breathing. Be aware of your surroundings and thoughts without overthinking or engaging. Practice awareness.
- Walk in place
Set a timer and walk in place when space is an issue or safety concerns are present. Add in any of the above, turn on some tunes, or call a friend. This is easy to do right in the cab of your truck.
Walking is an essential movement we all must do to age healthily. If you focus on the small pockets of time throughout the day to walk more, you will find yourself happier and healthier in body, mind and soul.
Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. She has been featured in Forbes and Yahoo News, and is a regular guest on SiriusXM Radio. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again. For more information visit www.mothertruckeryoga.com.
Hope Zvara is the CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga, a company devoted to improving truck drivers’ fitness and wellness standards. She has been featured in Forbes and Yahoo News, and is a regular guest on SiriusXM Radio. Her practical strategies show drivers how they can go from unhealthy and out of options to feeling good again.