Carlos Soto hopped onto an elliptical trainer at Life Time Edina at Southdale on Thursday.
“Gotta warm up,” he said with a smile.
The 43-year-old truck driver from Little Canada always has a long drive ahead of him — he typically drives between 3,000 and 3,500 miles a week — but he doesn’t skip his workouts: He has spent years planning his routes and his routines around Life Time health club locations — all 152 of them in North America.
They’re his homes away from home.
“I’ve been to all of them,” he says. “They’re always there for me.”
The trucking life
Back in the 2000s, Soto wondered if driving a truck would be hazardous for his health.
“When I went for my CDL (commercial driving license), I trained with a guy in Salt Lake City, Utah,” he says. “We were in a truck together for about eight months. Looking at his habits — pizza at the truck stop, drinking Coca-Cola every day — I was always asking if he was concerned about his health. I thought it was just him, but the more I kept driving, living the trucking life, I learned there were a lot of drivers living like him.”
In fact, a 2010 survey by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, published in 2014, found long-haul truck drivers were more likely to smoke, be overweight and less likely to be physically active compared to other U.S. workers.
That wasn’t how Soto was used to living. Growing up in Costa Rica, Soto played soccer and surfed. Later on, bodybuilding became a passion.
“When I started trucking,” he says, “I didn’t want to give up my active life.”
By 2010, he had joined Life Time. The chain suited his life on the road, with locations “pretty much everywhere” and some clubs open