I will never try to convince you that a marathon runner is healthier than a 5k runner.
An elite marathon runner will be out on the course running hard for more than 2 hours. An elite 5k runner will be out there less than 15 minutes. They each expend everything they have. The 5k athlete will recover quicker, but when they cross the line they are completely spent. The 5k athlete trains just as hard but differently.
I love the challenge of running 26.2 miles. Someone else might love the challenge of running the 5k faster than they have ever done it before. Find your own challenge. Your challenge might be to walk 10 miles per week. It may be to bike 30 miles per week. Do something.
The problems come when we do nothing. Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are common in our industry. Both diseases are affected by exercise. Truckers work hard. We work long hours. The hours that we work and sleep can vary on a daily basis. When we are working we are sitting still. We need to fight back. Interstate truckers were excluded from fair labor laws when they were first introduced before WWII. We can fight for fair labor laws, but we can’t control the results. We can control our own habits. Take control of yourself and do something 20-30 minutes a day 5 days a week.
Doing something gives you a sense of control. It gives you a sense of confidence. Even taking short walks can add years to your life expectancy. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to running, or exhausting yourself. Moderate exercise will do you a world of good. Really all that you have to do is something. Set yourself a goal of walking 20 minutes. Take charge of your own health. See your physician on a regular basis. Don’t rely on your DOT physical for anything but being certified to drive. You are responsible for yourself.
Jeff Clark is a trucker, a grandfather and an eight-time marathon (26.2 miles) finisher. He is dedicated to helping truckers improve their health through better habits. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.