As a professional truck driver, you spend most of your day sitting in a stationary position. After long continuous periods of driving, blood flow slows down and muscles tend to stiffen up. You feel anything but limber and ready for physical activity when you finally stop and get out of the truck. However, once you do stop, you are often required to perform some sort of physical task – from cranking the trailer dollies, to pulling the fifth wheel pin, to assisting with freight unloading, to climbing out of or into your truck.
Sitting in the driver’s seat for long periods of time can lead to undesirable results. Blood clots can form due to reduced blood flow, and muscles tighten up, causing a greater risk of straining a muscle.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to help prevent these problems: STRETCHING!! Taking the time to stop and stretch does several things to keep you limber and to reduce the chance of injury:
- Increases flexibility and your range of motion, allowing you to move better.
- Increases blood flow to your muscles, reducing stiffness or tightness.
- Improves circulation, thereby lowering the chances of blood clots.
So the next time you stop after a long “stretch” on the road, take a few minutes to stretch your muscles. Your body will be much more prepared whether you are climbing down from the truck, unhooking your trailer, or moving freight onto a customer dock. Scott, one of our drivers, pointed out that he stretches and walks around the truck to loosen up whenever he stops. It helps Scott to stay relaxed rather than “cramped and sedentary.” Another driver, Jeremy, also stretches at truck stops to “keep the body moving and the blood flowing.”