Physical fitness helps to relieve stress and recharge mentally. Rest periods can be used well to engage in physical activity. Here, of course, the location of the truck break sets the scene, but some activities are possible even in a confined space.
Yoga or simple stretching exercises help to relieve muscle tension caused by prolonged sitting. In the long term, these exercises mainly improve the flexibility of the muscles.
Training with small equipment
For added challenge and activity, bring along exercise equipment such as small dumbbells or space-saving resistance bands. There are many simple exercises that can be done with minimal equipment to stay fit.
Depending on the location, jogging or walking during breaks will help increase concentration and keep you moving.
If the driver’s cabin allows it: Nowadays, bicycles can be folded into minimal space and are assembled in no time. With the bike you can discover a larger radius around the rest area, get new food if necessary and at the same time get valuable exercise, especially for the hips and blood circulation in the legs.
Fitness apps and YouTube videos can support fitness beginners at this point with simple exercises and lower the inhibition threshold for exercise during rest periods.
Nearby attractions, cycling/hiking trails or simply a nice place – the break in driving can also be used to go exploring. It’s worth looking to see if there’s a nearby park, wooded area or lake to spend the break or time during the driving ban in the calming atmosphere of nature. Google Maps can help with research, and apps such as Komoot show nearby walking and hiking trails for free.
Reading is a wonderful way to relax and immerse yourself in another world. Magazines are very suitable for a short break; they offer current news, reports, opinions and entertainment in a compact form. Digital print media are also available on tablets to save space.
New hobby and skills
The breaks can also be used well for hobbies (of course, only if the appropriate equipment can be brought). It’s also worth starting a new hobby. Here are a few ideas:
Creative painting or writing
It is not important that the result is perfect, painting or writing in itself can relax and bring pleasure. Stories, poems, articles or even diaries help to express thoughts and escape from everyday life.
Play a musical instrument
Guitar, harmonica or a small keyboard are good to take along. On Youtube there are free tutorials for learning these instruments.
Relaxation techniques such as meditation or breathing exercises help to reduce stress and achieve inner peace. There are special apps and podcasts with simple audio instructions, such as Balance or Headspace, which are particularly suitable for beginners.
Photography is a great way to capture moments and be creative. With today’s technology, it’s also possible to take stunning photos with your smartphone, such as landscape or street photography. On an Instagram account, the photos can be uploaded and you can share with like-minded people.
Games and puzzles
Puzzle books, crossword puzzles or Sudoku banish boredom and increase the ability to concentrate. Suitable puzzle magazines are also quickly acquired at many rest stops and gas stations.
Crossword puzzles are a classic form of brain teasers. There are many books or puzzle apps that offer crossword puzzles at different difficulty levels.
Sudoku is a logical number puzzle where you have to arrange numbers in a grid. There are books or even digital versions of Sudoku that are suitable for on the go.
Quiz, word, thinking and memory games
Word puzzles, anagrams, word grids, chess and even memory are fun and banish boredom. They are also available as digital versions on smartphone and tablet if no game partner can be found on site.
There are many card games that can be played alone, such as Solitaire.
Healthy snacks and meals
Healthy and tasty foods, such as fresh fruit, vegetables or nuts give energy for the onward journey. Chips made from vegetables such as beet, chickpeas and but sugar-free muesli bars are also practical snacks.
Communicate with friends and family
In this age of technology, it’s easy to connect with others and talk on the phone or see and share via video call. Sharing with family and friends can help you continue to feel connected and supported.
Music and podcasts
Music can immensely improve mood and motivate. Podcasts offer the possibility to discover new topics easily. Platforms such as Spotify also offer the option of saving content in advance in the premium version, so that it can also be listened to offline if there is no Internet at the location.
Caution: Be careful with too much online time
It’s tempting and so easy: during the break, the cell phone or tablet is at hand and online games, social media or chatting with the family pass the time in no time at all. However, a study published by TK Insurance shows that excessive Internet use massively promotes stress factors such as fatigue, nervousness and concentration problems. More than a third of the test persons showed these after five hours of Internet use at the latest.
It should therefore be important for truck drivers to have as varied a set of activities as possible during their breaks. Even if the break location does not always provide the suitable space for all kinds of leisure activities, some of our suggested activities can certainly provide distraction, physical regeneration, but also mental balance during the next break.