Stay Strong and Stretch On: The Best Exercises for Courier Drivers

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If you drive for a living, you'll be familiar with the double-edged sword of getting to "sit down on the job" all day. On one hand, it's often quite nice to be able to take the load off, but on the other, there are negative health connotations associated with a sedentary job. If you carry out courier jobs, you may be in and out of your vehicle fairly regularly, but there's no getting around the fact that you'll spend a lot of time in the driver's seat. Having a van for an office is no excuse to neglect the maintenance of your own body, however, because there are many small but very effective ways to stay active.

Simple and Effective Exercises

The following exercises are not just easy to squeeze into your day, but are also highly effective. If you make them a habit as you're going about your courier jobs, your body is sure to thank you.

Hand stretch: We all know that feeling of stiff fingers from gripping the steering wheel, which is prone to occur on long road trips or if you’re stuck in heavy traffic. Regular hand stretches will not only negate stiffness, but will also help reduce the risk of carpal tunnel and arthritis. A great marker to get you in the habit is to do them every time you stop at a red light. Rotate each wrist in a clockwise and then anti-clockwise direction several times. Next, stretch out your hands and place your fingertips at the top of the steering wheel while gently pressing your body weight down.

Abdominal crunch: You can do this exercise in time to your favourite music, in between traffic lights or at any other time that suits you. All you need to do is squeeze and hold your abdominal muscles for as long as you can, and then release slowly. It's a great reliever of boredom as well, as you can challenge yourself and continually try to beat your last result.

Shoulder shrugs: Shoulder shrugs are ideal for an almost instant release of neck tension and for combating general feelings of stress. Simply raise and lower your shoulders, emulating a “How would I know?” expression. Repeat in sets of around 10 to 15 shrugs several times a day to keep your neck and shoulders loose.

Quick and Easy Stretches

The above exercises can be done on the road, but when you've finished your courier jobs for the day, you can supplement your exercise regimen with these quick and easy stretches to iron out the kinks.

Standing hamstring: Your accelerator leg will love you for this one! Stand with one leg slightly forward and bend your back leg as the front one takes your body weight. You'll be able to feel the release and pull on your hamstring as you stretch gently.

Hip flexor: Your knees might complain at first, but this is a great exercise to make a daily habit. Kneel on one leg with the other bent at a right angle. Keeping your back straight, push your hips forward until you feel some resistance. Hold the position for about 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat. Do as many as you feel comfortable with.

Long adductor: This is one that a lot of people have trouble with, but it's worth persevering, as it provides a really good stretch of the thighs and calves. Sit on the ground with your knees straight and your legs as far apart as possible. When you've settled into a comfortable position, keep your back straight and lean forward from your hips as far as you can without pain. Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Healthy Habits

If you can commit to making these basic body movements a regular habit, you'll be able to gain some real health benefits with relatively little effort. The beauty of using quick and simple exercises like these is that they not only fit around your courier jobs, but that you'll also begin to feel healthier and suppler in no time at all!
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
 

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