Making fitness a priority when you’re on the road can feel like a challenge. Between driving long hours and minimum breaks, it can seem daunting to commit to a new health regimen. But as we enter into a new year, maybe it’s time to make fitness a priority and a part of our new year’s resolutions. If you need inspiration to get you motivated, check out truck driver and personal trainer, Michelle Boldridge’s fitness journey and her advice for fellow drivers.
Michelle Boldridge is an over the road truck driver for a small trucking company in the US. She is committed to her trucking profession, driving her reefer typically 3 weeks out of each month. Despite her nomadic lifestyle, Michelle has managed to make fitness a high priority in her life. When she’s not carrying loads from point a to be point b, she is competing (and dominating) in body building competitions across the country. She is also a personal trainer, guiding her clients over video chats and customized nutritional plans. With her “no excuses” mentality, Michelle has not only become a pro body builder herself, but has also helped her clients transform their lives (and their bodies) through fitness as well. Check out Michelle’s top tips on how to reach your fitness goals over the road:
The First Two Months are the Hardest:
“People usually end up quitting after the first month of committing to a new diet/fitness regimen. It’s frustrating because they are giving up at the point where the progress has just started to pay off. If you can commit to 2 months of sticking to your plan, then you are creating a habit that is easier to implement into your everyday lifestyle,” Michelle states. Once you get past the beginning stage, you’re able to create a lifestyle that in the long run you will be happier and healthier for. “It takes sacrifice and dedication,” Michelle adds, “but anything great in life, you have to work for.”
Customize Your Plan:
“I’ve tried every diet in the book. At the end of the day, you have to create a work out and nutrition plan that works for you and your schedule. If you try to force yourself to do a nutritional or work out plan that doesn’t fit your schedule or your likes, then you are setting yourself up for failure,” personal trainer, Boldridge explains. If there are certain foods you don’t particularly enjoy, don’t include them in your nutritional plan. There are a variety whole foods you can meal prep that will make you look forward to your meals, not dread them! Check out a list of healthy fats and carbs here.
Be Creative with Your Cardio:
“When I’m on the road, I have to create workouts that I can do during my breaks, in or outside of my truck. I always have a set of weights in my car and my stepper, so that I can work out whenever and wherever I need to. I either do 30-40 minutes on the stepper, or if I find a set of stairs at my truck stop, I will run up and down them for a good sweat session” Michelle says. Where there is a will, there’s a way. “By doing cardio on my breaks, I can not only check that off my list for the day, but I can also get a boost of energy before my next stretch of miles driving.” Need motivation for your cardio session? YouTube has plenty of free work out videos that will make you break a sweat – in 30 minutes or less. Check out a fitness favorite here that you can do on your next OTR break- no equipment needed!
Assign a Buddy for Accountability:
Even when you’re over the road, it’s beneficial to have a fitness friend or community to keep you accountable. By teaming up with a buddy or joining an online fitness community, like Big Truck Health and Fitness on Facebook, that provides fitness tips and support for truckers. It will not only help you stay on track with your goals, but you can celebrate your victories and receive support from like-minded people with fitness goals too!
Track Your Fitness and Nutrition:
Boldridge says, “I keep a fitness journal so I can track my daily work outs, how my energy levels are, and to review my fitness goals. By taking 10 minutes out of my day to do this, I’m able to reflect on my fitness journey and the daily steps I’m taking to achieve my goals.”
Tracking your daily nutritional intake, is also a great way to keep yourself in check. “I have my clients use the app Fitness Pal, it’s a mobile app that allows them to keep track of their daily caloric intake and also share their stats with me. It’s easy to use and it helps them stay accountable for what they’re eating,” Michelle adds. You can download the Fitness Pal mobile app for free!
Have a Cheat Meal Not A Cheat Day:
“When I’m preparing for a show, I have to be very strict about my nutrition. If I allow myself to indulge too much it can set back the results I’ve worked so hard to achieve. This also applies to my clients as well. I recommend (if you’re not training for a show) to schedule a cheat meal you can look forward to instead of a cheat day. By allowing yourself to indulge a little, you are rewarding without setting yourself back,” Michelle advises. So go ahead, have that slice of cheesecake, just don’t make a whole day out of it.
Listen to Your Body:
Although it’s important to create a fitness schedule and stick to it. You also need to listen to your body, if you are fatigued or not feeling well, don’t push your body past his limits. Michelle adds, “The way I listen to my body, is if after a ten hour drive I am feeling particularly exhausted, I take a rest day! By allowing yourself rest days, it gives your body the break that it needs to recharge and be prepared for the following day’s work out.”
So create your own success story, set fitness goals and smash them!