Siphiwe Baleka Talks Living Healthy While on the Road
At our recent Shipper Symposium, keynote speaker Siphiwe Baleka took the main stage to discuss the importance of living healthy while on the road as a truck driver. A former world-class competitive swimmer, Baleka is unofficially titled the “Fittest Truck Driver in America” because of his combined success as an entrepreneur and a health and fitness coach for truck drivers across the country. Baleka’s presentation addressed his firsthand experience with food and fitness while driving, as well as how he overcame the challenges of having inadequate access to good nutrition and exercise while on the job as a truck driver. Here are the key takeaways from his presentation.
The Issue at Hand: Truck Driver Health
Truck driving is one of the unhealthiest professions in America, as 69% of truck drivers are obese. Since these drivers lack access to a kitchen, a way to store food and appropriate exercise facilities, Baleka compares long haul truck driving to being an astronaut in outer space without the proper space suit.
And there is a direct connection between the health of a truck driver and the amount of accidents they may get in. This makes the health of truck drivers an issue that everyone should be concerned about because we all share the roads.
After recognizing this problem, Baleka saw that there was “a nutrition and fitness program for everyone in America, except one that was designed specifically for long haul truck driving in their unique environment.” He set out to create such a program in order to boost truck driver health, longevity and overall wellbeing.
Health: The Prerequisite to Everything That You Want to Do
When Baleka posed the question, “What’s most important to you?” many responded with “family.” While family is important, Baleka pointed out, “Your health is the prerequisite for taking care of your family, doing your job and living your life. Health is the most important thing. When it comes to your health, in the moment of truth, when you have to decide to go do your workout, you’re not actively thinking of the consequences.”
Changing Your Mindset: Considering the Consequences
As individuals, we are motivated to work hard at our jobs, complete tasks and strive to be successful, because if we don’t, there are going to be consequences.
However, we hardly look at our health through this lens. Each time that an individual has an unhealthy meal or skips a workout, they fail to think about the negative long-term health consequences. By changing that person’s mindset about nutrition and exercise to focusing on long term consequences, his or her life will have a healthier outcome overall.
Optimal Health and the Abundant Life
Siphiwe Baleka’s main goal for himself and when working with clients is to reach “Optimal Health.” When you live a healthy lifestyle with limited stress, healthy eating and exercise, you increase your vitality. This is what Baleka calls being “fit in all areas of your life.” An increase in vitality leads to a growth of opportunities and experiences in everything that you do and want to do, or what he refers to as an ‘Abundant Life’.”
The Four Minute Movement
The “Four Minute Movement” is what Baleka has created to help anyone, especially truck drivers, lose weight. He helps individuals “turn their metabolism on” by exercising for four minutes with maximum intensity and eat lean proteins every three hours. He says this is something “everyone can do, not just truck drivers, but before a shift at your computer, too!”
To learn more about what Siphiwe Baleka had to say about the strategies and importance of living healthy while on the road as a truck driver, watch the video from Shipper Symposium below!