Exercises you can do in your van

It’s tough work being a courier. You’re on the road virtually all day, every day, working long (and often unsociable) hours. And you’re lifting packages of all shapes and sizes from a warehouse into your van, then from your van into your customers’ homes or businesses.

It’s really no surprise, then, that after a long day behind the wheel you just want to get home and lay out on the sofa, run a hot bath or head straight to bed.

The last thing you want to do is hit the gym, go for a run, or do a home workout.
However, while your job is tough, it’s also a largely sedentary profession.

That means you spend a large chunk of your day sat down in the driver’s seat – especially if you’re used to covering longer distances with fewer drop-offs.
Similar to having an office job, ensuring you hit recommended weekly exercise targets can be tough as a courier driver.

The NHS suggests that adults should participate in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week at the very least. If you don’t think you’re hitting this target, it’s time to do something about it.


Say hello to your gym on wheels!

A courier leaning against the side of his silver vanNo more excuses… with some nifty tricks, it’s possible to turn your courier van into your personal gym on wheels!
But before we get to that, you need to make sure your new ‘gym’ is protected with the right level of insurance.

The Insurance Factory specialises in courier van insurance that’s tailored to reflect the unique needs of your business and the service you provide.
We offer a wide range of services and cover options including goods in transit, delivery insurance, hire and reward, light haulage and more.
And it goes without saying that doing exercises while you’re in motion could lead to a nasty accident, so wait until your lunch break to try these out!
Now, let’s take a look at three great exercises you can perform during the day, from the comfort of your own van.


The classic ab crunch

All you need is an exercise mat and a bit of space in the back of your van for this one. Crunches target your body’s core and, as well as being an effective way to burn calories, can help you to improve your balance and posture.
As VeryWellFit writes, strong abs and back provide the foundation to daily movements. They may even help to reduce the risk of injury when handling heavy packages. Here’s how to do crunches in the right way:
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest (making sure there’s no pulling on the neck).
  2. Pull your belly button into your spine just before doing the crunch.
  3. Slowly contract your abs, until your shoulder blades are around 1-2 inches off the floor.
  4. Breathe out as you come up from the crunch, keeping your neck straight and chin up. It can help to imagine that you’re gripping a tennis ball with your chin – keep this position the entire time.
  5. Hold the crunch for several seconds, remembering to breathe.
  6. Slowly lower yourself back down, but don’t relax entirely.
  7. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps, increasing the number of reps as you get used to the exercise and your abs get stronger (the exercise needs to be challenging to be beneficial).
 A man in gym clothing exercising his abs

Tricep dips

If you’re parked somewhere safe (and don’t mind getting odd looks from passers-by) then you can use the back of your van to perform tricep dips, which – as the name suggests – target the tricep muscles in your arms.

Strengthening your triceps can also help when it comes to picking up and carrying packages. VeryWellFit explains how to do them:
  1. Sit on the edge of your van (either at the rear or to the side) and grip the edge with both hands either side of your hip, pointing your fingers at your feet. Your legs need to be extended with your feet around hip-width apart and heels on the ground.
  2. Looking straight ahead, press into your hands in order to lift your body and slide forward so that your bottom is just off the edge of the van.
  3. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees (you should feel a burn in your triceps when doing this).
  4. Slowly push yourself back up to where you started, and repeat the exercise again. Make sure the movement is controlled throughout.
  5. Depending on your strength, this is a tough exercise to carry out. So, start with a smaller rep set (for instance, 10 reps) and increase gradually as you build strength.


A plank is a simple, yet incredibly effective bodyweight exercise. Performing them often can also help to prevent back pain, which is a real risk in your line of work.

Pure Gym shares its top tips for performing a full plank:
  1. Begin in a press up position (make sure your bum isn’t in the air and your back is flat).
  2. Bend your elbows until your forearms are on the floor underneath your shoulders, and your body is in a straight line from your head to your feet.
  3. Keep your abs tight and focus on the space between your hands to keep your spine position neutral (don’t let your head drop).
  4. Hold the position for as long as possible, remembering to breathe. Challenge yourself by setting a time and then adding 10 seconds each time you perform the plank.
A man in the plank position
Walk it off!
All of these exercises are great for improving strength, all with a potential long-term benefit of lowering the risk of injury.
But you need to get some cardio into your daily routine, too – though cardio exercises will be very difficult to perform in your van!

The best thing you can do is to factor in a few short walks during your working day – one mid-morning, the other at lunch, and then one final stroll mid-afternoon, in between drop-offs.
So says the NHS, walking stimulates the cardiovascular system (heart, lungs and circulation) and improves lower muscle endurance, including the hips and legs.

Walking is also a chance for you to get some fresh air and enjoy some much-needed time out from your job, so that you return to work feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Courier insurance from the Insurance Factory

Your health needs protecting but so does your van! Here at Insurance Factory, we can help you to protect your livelihood and will always try to find you great value courier insurance.
Get a free quote today!