How to stay healthy tips for Public Hire Taxi insurance drivers
A New Year often provides motivation to kick start new health regimes. We always want to assist our public hire taxi insurance client’s efforts. So we enlisted the advice of one of our Public Hire Taxi insurance clients and fitness fanatic, Tommy Crudgington.
Tommy has been a London black taxi cab driver for over 30 years and followed in the footsteps of his father. He is known by many cabbies as “Badge Number 5” as he has one of the earliest licenses to have been issued.
He also happens to be a 2 time Iron Man finisher ( PB 12 hours 24 mins in Ironman Sweden held at Kalmar in case you’re interested) and a sub 4 hour marathon runner.
With Tommy’s help we’ve compiled some top tips and useful info to give a guiding hand to other our public hire taxi drivers wanting to get in shape. Tommy says,
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never been a slim Jim and I love a take away as much as the next man. But I’ve always enjoyed exercise. Even if I’m carrying a little insulation I know my ticker is working fine. A few years ago I got the triathlon bug.
Before I knew it I was getting up at 5 a.m. to go on 6 hour training rides. I don’t think many London taxi drivers are going to get that carried away. But there are plenty of easier ways to shift a few pounds.
It would be great to pass on some useful tips. That’s why I’ve started my own blog at Cab Man to Ironman.
Public Hire Taxi Drivers have a particularly hard time staying healthy as;
- Being self employed they push themselves to work long unsociable hours.
- In quiet periods eating may prevent boredom whilst waiting for a job.
- In a black cab there are no kitchen facilities to prepare or store healthy homemade meals.
There is no magic wand to losing weight or being healthy. All of the above are factors that make keeping a healthy routine more difficult for taxi drivers.
But carrying excess weight can result in a number of health issues. Heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes are three prime concerns.
Ultimately in the long term these conditions could prevent many of our public hire taxi insurance clients being able to work.
Top health tips for our Public Hire Taxi insurance clients
Tommy believes that, “Setting goals, finding workable ways to maintain a healthy diet and to take part in regular exercise sessions are crucial to public hire taxi insurance drivers shedding pounds.”
Tip 1 – Have a goal and make it a priority
Tommy believes the key is for drivers,
To value the importance of their health as much as the pound. Its an old phrase but without your health you have’t got much.
First you’ve got to make getting in shape a priority. Then it comes down to finding ways to fit your health around work and socialising. Tommy says, “I don’t who you are. It just takes a little bit of time management and motivation. 99% of drivers will be able to find a few hours a week to take care of themselves.
Its difficult being self employed. But they must make that hour window. Don’t let your best intentions go out the window and become a slave to the cab. You’ve got to stay on top of your health. Otherwise before you know it, it runs away. I should know. With my commute I was in the cab 13-14 hours a day. My weight crept up over the years until I got to 16 stone 6 pounds.
Setting a goal with an end date really helped Tommy on the motivation front.
It could be getting your weight or waistline down before a big family event or finishing a race. This year for me its both. I want to PB in my next IronMan. I also don’t want to look a fat git when walking my daughter down the isle at her wedding.
Tip 2 – A strict approach to calorie intake
Driving a taxi is a relatively sedentary occupation. Long periods spent sitting will almost inevitably lead to weight being gained. That is unless a big effort is made to keep calorie intake down.
When training for his Ironman Tommy stuck strictly to a calorie in take of 2000/day during the week. He didn’t even allow himself more if he’d exercised. At the weekends he would go on long runs and cycles. So on Saturday and Sunday he would eat more to provide the necessary energy to train.
Tommy believes thinking about food in advance and preparing meals is key for our public hire taxi insurance clients.
Training really opened my eyes to the importance of diet. Its so easy to consume 600 calories in 5 minutes. It can take an hour to burn it off on a treadmill. One of my many problems with weight was I’d gorge myself. I’d get too hungry and over eat. So I started preparing snacks such as fruit and nuts.
I’d make healthy packed lunches that I’d keep in a cool bag. As soon as I did I didn’t really miss all the crap I’d been eating. Using the time sat waiting for a fare to plan meals was essential. Also if I knew I was eating out in the evening, whilst I was sat on a rank I’d check the restaurant’s menu online for sensible options.
Tip 3 – Exercise in the quiet hours
Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than you burn. Consuming fewer calories than you eat means your body should burn energy that’s stored as fat. Sensible amounts of exercise on top of this will aide weight loss. If you can’t stick to a diet, then you’re going to need to burn more energy through exercise. It will prove a shock for many of our public hire taxi insurance drivers but Tommy worked out he was;
Spending £60-80 a week on junk food from cafes, take aways and coffee shops. The money I saved on food I put towards gym or sports club memberships in town. Its important in my opinion to build up to doing something for at least half an hour. For example you could start with brisk walks. You can park up and do that in Hyde Park for half an hour. After the morning rush hour when it’s quiet. That’s the perfect time.
Tip 4 – Find something you enjoy
It’s important you find something you enjoy. I like triathlon as its varied. It’s also very social and I love a chat. If I had to go to the gym every day I’d get too bored. If you don’t enjoy the sport or exercise then you won’t stick to it. You don’t want a fad. You want a change in life style.
I really believe in healthy body, healthy mind. A short sharp run or swim in the morning and I’m wide awake. I’m much more alert at the wheel and I’ve loads more energy since shedding the weight. Imagine carrying 3 stone around with you all day, every day. That’s a lot of weight.
Health warning for all Public Hire Taxi insurance drivers and readers
We hope Tommy’s Ironman training and weight loss tips have proved inspirational. However we’d ask any of our public hire taxi insurance clients and other readers for that matter to please note Tommy built up his fitness over a sustained period before attempting to race. Please consult an appropriate medical or fitness professional before commencing an exercise program or diet.