Putting the hammer down on overweight truckers

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 10:33 PM

DALLAS — There are three-and-a-half million truck drivers in the U.S., and and they are among the most unhealthy Americans because so much of their time is spent sitting.

And eating.

Timothy Owens recently began driving professionally, and he said it was an alarming change. "I gained like 12 pounds in like a month," he said.

"The mind is always going, but your body's not," explained Rick Limitone, a manager and personal trainer, "And we've got to change that a little bit."

That's why Arlington-based Snap Fitness is opening gyms at truck stops nationwide. The first one is located at the Flying J on Interstate 20 in Dallas.

"Most of the guys who drive today, they go from the steering wheel to the sleeper," said truck driver Herbert Mingo, "and that's no exercise."

Mingo said that's how he packed on the pounds. Now, he's afraid he'll lose his trucking license if he doesn't lose weight.

Before Snap Fitness, Mike Murphy said there was no way to work out on the road. "About your only choice was to keep some equipment in the truck, and walk laps around the parking lot," he said.

Now, for about $20 a month, Murphy can stop and sweat. He hopes that truck stop gyms from the West Coast to East Coast will keep professional drivers healthier so they can keep rolling strong.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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