Cross train to vary workout options

Jeff Clark | April 01, 2012

MARATHON TRUCKER

As a teenager, I took up tennis. It is a fun game that involves both skills and conditioning. My skills were lacking, but I worked to improve them, often hitting a ball against a wall for an hour at a time. I was a good ball sport player, and the basics of the game came fairly easily to me. Conditioning was not a problem because at that age I was active. After a while, I could compete with and sometimes beat the lower level pure tennis players by just being a better athlete. I did notice that the best tennis players were both good athletes and had a good skill set.

Some players played once a week. They were passed by other once-a-week players who were in better shape. Some of the players might run or ride a bike a couple of times during the week. They were beating their once-a-week partners. Professional players Ivan Lendl and Martina Navratilova were taking their conditioning to another level. They became the best in the world.

Today’s top marathon runners do more than just run. A new TV ad shows top swimmer Michael Phelps doing all kinds of conditioning work besides just swimming.

Many truckers have a favorite form of exercise. Mine is running. Sometimes I get into high altitudes and my body does not adjust. Running is limited, so I ride a bike. Likewise, it can be unsafe for cyclists to ride when there are poor road conditions. They can take an easy jog or a walk. Sometimes runners or cyclists have small windows of opportunity to get exercise in. Maybe we have a 30-minute window while getting loaded. Preparing to run or ride can eat into that time. That time is better spent going for a walk.

We need to look for opportunities to exercise, not for reasons we can’t. Multiple activities broaden our options. Be active. Park in the back of the lot and walk into the mall or the truckstop. Short bits of activity help. The more options we have the better. Jump a rope. Lift weights or use resistance bands. Do pushups and situps. Adding variety will help you enjoy your favorite sport longer.

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