TRUCKERS‘ HEALTH – Trucking up to the challenge

6 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMay 11, 2020

So I am very excited to announce that I have found a trucker who has signed up as a member of my latest 8-week health and fitness challenge at TCA Fitness Club in Thames.

Every month I bring you new ideas to try help you to improve your overall health and fitness. I understand that I am in a completely different boat from you as I work fixed hours, 40 hours a week, and, of course, I work at a gym. As a truck driver you obviously work a lot more hours, are constantly travelling, and wouldn‘t always have a set routine as to when you get home each day. So I am very excited to announce that I have found a trucker who has signed up as a member of my latest 8-week health and fitness challenge at TCA Fitness Club in Thames. I wanted to get a trucker on board to show what is realistic to achieve around a trucker‘s lifestyle and hectic work commitments. Let me introduce Maurice Watson.

Maurice was born and bred on the Hauraki Plains and currently drives for LJ Paul Limited, contracted to Mainfreight Thames. Initially, he wanted to become a mechanic, but his family ties were too strong and he was drawn into the trucking industry five years ago and has never looked back. As a general freight driver in his Kenworth K104 day cab, Maurice begins work at 12pm and returns home around 2am Monday to Friday. As with any job, trucking has its pros and cons. He struggles with big deliveries in the heat of the day and finds “the hardest part of the job in terms of fitness and health would be finding the time to get out and go to the gym or play sports. I‘m normally too tired or straight lazy and can‘t be bothered to be honest. Instead of making a healthy lunch I end up just buying food because I am too tired.” But Maurice loves his truck. “It‘s old school, well looked after, and a reliable truck. I wouldn‘t change it for any other,” he says.

Photo: Maurice Watson is going to prove keeping fit and healthy while living the truckers‘ lifestyle is possible.

Maurice also has a busy family life with his partner Sharna. They own a home together with their three young girls. “If it wasn‘t for her holding down the fort I couldn‘t do my job. She works part-time as well as looking after our girls.” We will be following Maurice‘s journey throughout the 8-week health and fitness challenge and I will keep you in the loop as to how he is managing to balance his job and family life as well as trying to improve his health and fitness – which is one of the main reasons he wanted to take part in the challenge.

“I want to make a change and improve my health in general so I can live a longer and healthier life,” says Maurice. There are many ways that I track progress throughout the challenge. The classic weigh in (scales), body measurements, before and after photos (everyone‘s favourite) and a fitness test. “I thought my fitness wasn‘t too bad. I play golf most weekends and go on bush walks with the kids – until I had to do the fitness test and that was a big wake-up call,” says Maurice. Another massive part of the challenge is helping the participants with their training and nutrition. Nutrition is an absolute make or break in terms of improving overall health, losing weight, maintaining, or even gaining weight. Maurice says his current diet isn‘t great. “I go to the Papakura BP each night and get a coffee and grab a pie or chocolate bar just to help keep me awake on the way home.”

Maurice‘s workmates are in full support of his 8-week mission. “They think it‘s a good idea to show an insight to being able to manage fitness and health while pulling a standard 70-hour working week in the truck.” I will be checking in with Maurice each week to look at his daily food and exercise diary and give him pointers on how to make small improvements and adjustments each week, so that by week eight he will have improved his nutrition and training regime with small, sustainable steps along the way. Stay tuned to see how Maurice goes throughout his 8-week mission.