Dating an over the road truck driver

Except for a few spikes when he may have been pumping diesel or walking into KFC, that driver could be dead.

"Most drivers I work with are sedentary almost 23 hours a day," says Siphiwe Baleka, who's a Yale grad, Ironman triathlete, Masters swimming champion, and former driver, and now the driver fitness coach at Prime Inc., a 5,400-truck firm, and Boschee's employer.

But since he launched his 13-week driver health and fitness program at Prime in July 2012, Baleka reports that 131 drivers have graduated and lost an average of 19 pounds apiece. When traveling, the tendency is to eat what's available, so make only good food available. Baleka makes this simpler by giving every driver a Mio heart rate monitor and Body Media armband activity monitor.

But applying the brakes to a situation that's been going downhill for decades is a slow process.Last summer he even staged a "Fittest of the Fleet" competition, in which Boschee finished second. "Maintain 75 to 85 percent of max heart rate," explains Baleka, who did his Ironman training during a year when he drove 150,000 miles in 323 days. The latest research says 20 grams of fast-acting protein (for instance, whey isolate powder) eaten within 30 minutes of exercising is best for building muscle. It's a raw November morning at the Travel Centers of America truck stop in London, Ohio, just off I-70.Baleka uses seven simple strategies to encourage results: 1. It doesn't have to happen in a gym, and you don't need a formal plan. "This maximizes fat burning and, more important, your time." 3. He gives drivers a list of 32 exercises they can combine for total-body workouts. Dressed in gym trunks and a bright-blue top, Boschee hops down from the cab and begins his workout.But over-the-road drivers can become easily distracted by a number of things throughout the day. Check your local regulations and company policies about hands-free options. Drivers should only enter their routes and adjust the settings when parked in safe place. Try to pack foods that don’t require you to use any utensils. Driver drowsiness is a hot topic for this industry.Drivers need to be smart about what they pack in their lunches. In recent years, several state and federal laws have resulted from this problem.

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