Many people do not realize how essential stretching is for overall health. As a truck driver, you should consider add stretching to your daily routine, even if you’re not planning to exercise. There are multiple benefits to taking the time to stretch your body, especially after a day spent in the cab.
Stretching keeps your muscles strong and healthy. It is key for helping your muscles remain flexible, which is needed to maintain a range of motion in the joints. When muscles are not kept stretched out daily, they can shorten and become tight. Then, when you are active, your muscles will be weak and unable to extend, putting you at risk for strains, sprains, joint pain and muscle damage.
When you sit in your seat in your cab all day, your hamstrings will get tight in the back of the thigh. Then, when you try to walk it can be harder to extend your leg or straighten your knee all the way, making it harder to walk. In addition to helping to keep your muscles long and flexible, stretching will ensure exertion won’t put too much pressure on the muscle itself.
Here are 4 ways stretching will help your body feel better. Stretching will help with:
1. Flexibility – the more you stretch, the more flexible you will become. Stretching gets easier with time so don’t give up!
2. Posture – Stretching will help strengthen your core muscles, which will result in a better posture and will encourage proper alignment.
3. Injury prevention – when your muscles are loose and stretched out, movement becomes easier which helps prevent injuries.
4. Increased nutrients to the blood supply and reduced soreness – stretching increases the flow of blood and other fluids through your body, increasing nutrient supply and reducing soreness.
Stretching will also help you have a calm mind. It gives your mind a mental break and allows you to recharge and refresh your body and mind. Many people find that stretching daily will help to release tension and increase energy.
When it comes to stretching, it’s important to use proper technique. It’s best to warm up your muscles a little before stretching out, so take a short walk to get your muscles warm. Focus on muscles that are sore and tight to get blood flowing into those areas. Don’t bounce! Bouncing can slightly tear your muscles and could lead to scar tissue, causing even more inflexibility and increased soreness.
Stretching does not have to consume a lot of your time. You can get a good stretch in 10 minutes per day. Stretching will help increase your range of motion so it’s best to get into the habit of stretching every day.
Truck drivers should focus stretching in the following areas:
· lower wrist
· upper wrist
· shoulder and neck
· upper arm and shoulder
· upper chest and neck
· back of leg, seat and lower back
· shoulder front and upper arm
Make sure you look for stretching training materials from reputable sources. You can do some of your stretches in your vehicle or rest area; you don’t need a special location in order to stretch out.
Stretching is a great way to take a break from driving. You will experience so many benefits from taking a few minutes each day to stretch your body and calm your mind.
When it comes to becoming a healthier truck driver and owner-operator, turn to AAOO for information and support. Click here to join AAOO today and start living a healthier lifestyle.