On-the-go Exercise Gear


Roughly one out of four people needs a specialized shoe because of high arches, flat feet or other problems. Hersey Custom Shoe Co. produces custom athletic shoes, starting at $130. For more information, go to www.herseycustomshoe.com or call (207) 778-3103.

Working a workout around a life on the road is hard to do. But a little well-chosen equipment can go a long way, even with space and money limitations. The payoff for sticking to an exercise program can be weight loss, decreased blood pressure, increased energy, prevention of cardiovascular disease, stress and tension relief, increased resistance to fatigue, and improved sleep.

SHOES. What better way to burn off the calories from the all-you-can-eat buffet than by walking or jogging around the truck stop parking lot? Don’t let improper shoes hold you back. Exercise shoes fall in three categories:
Running shoes: Suitable for running, walking and other activities that do not involve repetitive lateral motion because the ankle is not supported.
Cross-trainers: Suitable for most activities, but they lack the cushioning for serious running.
High-topped shoes: Suitable for basketball, aerobics and other activities that involve a lot of lateral motion. Look for firm cushioning, good traction and proper ankle support.

HAND WEIGHTS/RESISTANCE TUBES. Strength training not only helps you increase muscle strength and shed unwanted inches, but it is important in combating the age-related declines in muscle mass, bone density and metabolism. This type of workout on the road is easy with hand weights, which cost $10 to $30, or with resistance tubes, which are elasticized bungees with handles that cost about $10. You can find upper and lower body workouts in exercise books, such as the Men’s Health Home Workout Bible, which includes more than 400 exercises that don’t require a gym.

BICYCLE. A bicycle provides an innovative way to get away from a truck stop, see local scenery and get a workout at the same time. Roland Mogle, an owner-operator who pulls a dry van across 48 states and Canada, loves his fold-up Matrix bicycle that he bought from Better Bicycle Co. “It’s the best way to relieve stress, and it fits in my truck,” says Mogle of Wichita, Kan. Better Bicycle offers bikes that fold up in about 10 seconds and weigh about 25 pounds. They range from $180 to $500.

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ALTERNATIVES. With a jump rope, you can strengthen the heart and muscles and improve agility, coordination and rhythm. Exercise balls – oversize inflated balls that you sit on or exercise on – challenge your balance and work your core muscles. Yoga, practiced on a thin foam or rubber mat that’s often available at discount stores, helps with balance and stress relief.

Go to www.primusweb.com/fitnesspartner, type in your weight and how long you want to exercise and you can find out which activities will burn the most calories.

These websites offer exercise equipment or information:

  • yogajournal.com
  • yogabasics.com
  • www.onlinefit.com/health
  • fitball.com
  • www.bodytrends.com/ballcomp.htm
  • betterbicycleco.com