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How Chiropractic Can Help Truck Drivers

Sitting for hours, lifting heavy objects, having to work long nights – these are important duties that truck drivers do, but they can take a toll on their health. This can lead to many serious problems, including tension and back pain. This article will explore more behind what a chiropractor can do to assist truck drivers.

Frequent Health Problems That Plague Truck Drivers

young truck driver and truck

Truck drivers can run into some serious health issues due to long days of sitting and being on the road. Some of the most common problems are:

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Back pain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Joint stiffness
  • Stress

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a holistic form of medicine designed to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. A chiropractor will adjust your body by twisting certain parts and applying pressure to them. Some might also implement tools depending on how severe the problem is.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help Truck Drivers?

Chripractor

There are plenty of ways chiropractic care can assist truck drivers.

It Reduces Stress

Trying to meet strict deadlines can be stressful. This stress can cause hypertension which can result in symptoms like trouble breathing, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and fatigue. If not fixed, it could lead to even more severe trouble, including a heart attack or stroke.

A chiropractor can reduce signs of anxiety and stress by ensuring your spine is aligned. Many don’t realize that the spine is mainly connected to the brain. If there are blockages between them, it can heighten your stress levels. By adjusting your spine, a chiropractor opens up this pathway to help calm the signals.

In addition to this, chiropractic adjustments will release an impressive amount of endorphins. These natural painkillers treat tension and help you to feel more positive.

It Treats Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that makes it difficult for you to breathe when sleeping. Most of the time, it’s the result of obesity. This is because the extra weight pushes against your airways making it hard for air to pass through.

A chiropractor will feel around your spine, especially around your neck, to feel where airway obstructions might be. They’ll then adjust your spine to ensure vertebrae are in place and to reduce tension. This will help you to breathe better when sleeping.

It Ensures Your Spine is Aligned

One of the best benefits of chiropractic care is that it keeps your spine aligned. You might not realize it, but many sources of bodily pain are the result of a misaligned spine.

A chiropractor will touch various portions of your spine to see if there are misalignments. They might also ask you if you’re experiencing any strange symptoms and request that you walk around so they can monitor your gait.

After observing you, the chiropractor will get to work on fixing areas of concern. To realign your spine, they will press on certain portions of it. This will help to slide any vertebrae back in place and release tension around your spine. These adjustments will also prevent tightness around your nerves which could lead to uncomfortable tingling sensations up and down your spine.

It Improves Your Flexibility

Truck drivers need to be able to move goods in and out of their truck. However, this can be difficult if you suffer from back pain or joint stiffness. Chiropractic care prevents and treats these issues with the help of various adjustments.

Some chiropractors might also incorporate massage into your treatment. Massages have been shown to improve your flexibility and range of motion because they increase fluid around your joints and muscles. This can also reduce tension which makes it easier for you to move them.

Three of the best massages for flexibility are the therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, and sports massage.

Therapeutic Massage

One massage type your chiropractor might use is the therapeutic massage. This type of massage focuses on the body’s tissues. By using gentle motions on them, it will help to loosen up tightness. To give you the ultimate relief, this massage will be used on all parts of your musculoskeletal system.

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage applies a bit more pressure to the body compared to the therapeutic massage. This massage will untighten knots and reduce inflammation around your joints. It can also improve your blood circulation.

Sports Massage

While a sports massage is designed to help athletes, it can be beneficial for truck drivers. This is because it increases your flexibility and works to build up your body to prevent injuries. Because of this, your body will be better equipped to carry and move heavy objects.

It’s Natural

Chiropractic care is a natural way to treat many ailments. When you’re a truck driver, it can be dangerous to rely on pain-relieving drugs, especially since many make you drowsy. By using special adjustments, a chiropractor can instantly provide the same relief. Unlike drugs, chiropractic care fixes the problem rather than masking it. This way, you can be sure that your bodily ailments or pain will actually be treated.

In addition to this, your chiropractor will give you some tips to use when driving. This might include:

  • Doing certain exercises each day to prevent pain and stiffness
  • Changing your hand position on the steering wheel to stop cramping
  • Sitting on a cushion to keep your spine aligned
  • Ensuring your mirrors are in an easy position for you to see when driving

How Often Should Truck Drivers Visit the Chiropractor?

As a truck driver, it can be difficult to find time to consistently visit the chiropractor. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, a chiropractor will recommend that you visit anywhere from one to three times per week. While this might be an investment at first, in the end, you’ll find your body feels invigorated and free from pain.

Chiropractic care is a great option for truck drivers to consider. It can naturally treat many health concerns and prevent them from coming back. Because of this, you’ll find it much easier to move around and do your job.

About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His top-rated chiropractic clinic has treated thousands of Alaska patients from different health problems using physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy designed to help give long-lasting relief.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.

6 Rules for Over the Road Fitness

6 Rules for Over the Road Fitness

6 Rules for Over the Road Fitness

 

The idea of over the road fitness is not the norm for some. And for others, they think of it only as taking their traditional workout with them. And that is great. But for the rest of us, being smart and looking at how you can add movement, fitness, health into your day, even while doing what you always do is what I call over the road fitness. And fitness in your everyday life!

 

Long drives can trigger multiple health issues! Old News!

We can pull through the long-distance travels effortlessly!

Good News!

Let us take look at

“How can we avoid backache on the way?” Back pain is not new news, but the reality is there is a large group of people who have back pain, or any pain and it doesn’t bother them enough to make a change. There is a story that a mentor told me some years ago. 

 

There was a cat laying on a nail crying meow. 

And the owner’s friend asked, “why is the cat meowing?” 

And the owner said, “oh, she’s laying on a nail”. 

And the friend said, “well, why doesn’t she just get off the nail?” 

The owner said, “Because it doesn’t hurt that bad”. 

 

The moral of the cat story is some people’s pain is only bad enough to complain about it. They don’t actually want to do something about it. Where is your pain? Where is your desire for being healthy and improving your fitness? We won’t change anything we don’t want to change. Here are a few road rules to help you stay healthy, fit, and happy while traveling, driving, rolling down the open road. 

 

Forestall the trigger

Each time you enter your car or any vehicle, open your door wide. Use your hand to hold the seat, keep your back straight, bend your knees, and take your seat at your near edge of the seat while facing the vehicle. Then, in one move, lift and swing your legs together and place them on the car’s foot-mat.

 

Adjust your seat accordingly.

You just can’t fix your seat where you can see everything clearly to feel like a boss on the road and let your back handle all the discomfort in the world.

Setting your seat at a height that your hips lie in the same height as of your knees is more befitting.

Are you in need of a new truck seat? Many drivers think they can’t afford a supportive truck seat. But can you afford years of pain, spinal damage, and discomfort from years of driving? Invest in yourself before things breakdown- that includes your body! Check out the AIR CHIEF STANDARD STYLE ON-HIGHWAY TRUCK SEAT from Bud and Tony’s Truck Parts.

Standard Features to this seat include:

Air Chief Seat Mother Trucker Yoga blog

  • 20” Wide Soft Seat Cushion
  • Height Adjustable Headrest (can be removed)
  • Fully Reclining Backrest
  • Triple Chamber Air-Lumbar Support System
  • 3-Position Seat Cushion Extension & Tilt Adjustment
  • Fore & Aft Slides (7 Inch Tracks)
  • Poly-Dynamic Air-Suspension™
  • Integrated Isolator
  • ICP -moves with Suspension & Isolator
  • Bellow

 

 

Relax Your Body

Easy Stretches for Travel with Mother Trucker YogaDo not sit like a statue and try checking regularly, reminding yourself to relax your arms or legs while driving. Not only will it trigger back problems but will also hamper with blood circulation. Muscle cramps and stiffness. Let’s be honest, we get lazy and even though we can move while driving, we don’t. So make it a point to move more while driving. Need help getting creative with movements? Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Audio Easy Stretching for Travel: Safe Yoga While Driving Download.

 

 

Arms position and pedal distance

Your arms should be bent at 20-30 degree angles while your legs should bend at a 45-degree angle. It will prevent you from slouching and support your spine. Look for your sweet spot and commit your driving for a lifetime to it. This may require you to purchase additional support tools for your truck or vehicle. 

 

Lumbar Support

This invention is no less than a blessing for people suffering from backache—use quality lumbar support to keep your back in a right and comfortable position. BackShield is lumbar support designed for a comforting cushioning effect to your back and improves your posture. It is conveniently portable and can nicely fit in cars, trucks, and R.V.s. Purchasing yourself a BackShield is a profitable investment for your lifetime. Use our code at checkout: MTY10

In case you don’t want to buy lumbar support, you can roll a towel and place it in the back near the lumbar vertebrae. But take it from me, it won’t work like a BackShield. 

BackShield for RV Driving

Mirror Positioning

Position your mirror at the right angles to avoid unnecessary twisting and turning of your neck and back. And when you look out at your mirrors use your whole body, look at that mirror peek as a movement for your body too. 

 

Other Important Points

Take small intervals

If you travel a long distance, it will help your body relax from stiffness in your muscles. Stretch your body, walk for a few minutes, and restart your journey.

Hydration

Keep yourself hydrated on your way. Generally, our mind and body are on autopilot mode while driving, and our blood pressure tends to lower down a bit, and we start to feel off. To maintain your blood pressure, you need to hydrate your body frequently to stay in a conscious state and a good mood.

Music Therapy

Listen to your favorite music album. It will help your nerves to calm down and relax your entire body.

Fuel your body

Don’t let your stomach starve. Give it proper nutritious food because, “When the tummy is happy, nothing is crappy!” when you are in a good mood, it will fight the stress hormone released in your body.

Drive Safely

Last but not least,

“Drive Cautiously”

“Follow the traffic rules.”

“Don’t get a ticket for speeding.”

 

Being fit is not an overnight change. And in my mind, it’s not based on weight, size, or gender. It’s based on how you feel. So ask yourself: “how do I feel?” And don’t be afraid to answer. So many people deny that they need to work harder, improve themselves, and pay more attention to their fit-ness in life. These road rules are meant to help you see the options available. You probably noticed that the rules above are not based on squats or hundreds of push-ups daily or running a couch to 5k. These are rules to help you improve the quality of your life! 

 

  • See more clearly where the road is taking you. 
  • See more clearly where it is you want to go. 
  • See more clearly how easy it can be to change lanes in your fitness and health. 

 

This post is sponsored by:

Bud and Tony's Truck Parts

Bud and Tony have known each other for over 50 years (brothers – from another mother you could say) and have been in business together for over 30 years. They have always believed in our economy thriving and work hard to make sure it continues upward. They both know the trucking industry has and will continue to be the backbone of our economy. With this in mind, they came together to be a part of this ever-growing, ever-changing but steadfast, and traditional business that will always keep moving American and the world forward.

Travel Workout resistance bands mother trucker yoga blog post

A Truckers Workout: Resistance Bands Exercises

Resistance Bands could be a trucker’s best workout.

Exercise comes in all forms and using resistance bands is one quick and simple way to stay fit!

Movement, working out, exercise, call it what you want, it and I (is that how you say it-the English language) have a very special relationship.

Movement is partly what saved me from a life strangling eating disorder. And when I’m not moving, long story short, it is often a slippery slope to the land of sorrows, depression, and anxiety.

And there is something so amazing about feeling strong, feeling alive, feeling in my body.

I love exploring movements, I love being creative and pushing myself in a way that can best serve my body.

But too much of anything can be a bad thing-even exercise. As I get older I’m more conscious of my joints, my bones, and trying to stay pain-free, not just trim and fit.

And about two years ago I took a very bad fall and it landed me a slow recovery and a body that felt like it was well into it’s 70’s or 80’s. Muscles wouldn’t let go of the trauma and I started to develop imbalances that were wreaking havoc on my body I fought so hard to keep living in.

Rediscovering resistance bands was one thing that jump-started my body’s recovery and really began to heal my injuries and imbalances without pushing it too hard (and I had no intention of being as big as the Incredible Hulk).

In my eye’s resistance bands are a very unappreciated piece of exercise equipment. So many get sucked into believing that the more expensive the better, and then never use it. But truth be told, bands are great, think of them as one step up from bodyweight exercises and super nurturing to your joints!

resistance bands easy workout guide blog post mother trucker yoga

10 Benefits to a resistance bands workout:

  • 1) They improve the quality of your exercises.
  • 2) They help to focus your control, form, and function.
  • 3) They recruit your stabilizing muscles.
  • 4) They’re fundamental for functional training.
  • 5) A great alternative to machines.
  • 6) They’re lightweight.
  • 7) They’re designed for compound exercises.
  • 8) You have control over the angle.
  • 9) They help you feel your muscles working or not working
  • 10) They work your muscles differently than the use of free-weights

Variety is the spice of life. Stop thinking you have to do the same old thing every day. You can easily add in a resistance bands workout that lasts 5 minutes and you can get an amazing workout in no time!

How do resistance bands work?

Unlike weights, resistance bands don’t rely on gravity. The more you stretch the bands, the more they resist your movement, want to work harder, increase the stretch in the band. That means that if you work with a free weight you can only go as far as your joint will allow, but with a band, create more resistance and you have just increased your workout. And I love resistance bands because you can get creative, way more creative than you can with weights.

Here are some of my current favorites when it comes to working with resistance bands.

Resistance Band Exercises

Foot Work with Resistance Bands

Place a tied resistance band about the length of your forearm and place it over the balls of your feet. Stretch the band just enough so there is no slack. Keeping a tall body (no rib thrusting or booty pushing), start to march in place. Really work to lift your knee without leaning back or tipping forward. March in place 30 times.

Next ground into one leg and keep a strong neutral rotation on the leg (pit of the back of the knee pointing back and on dumping into the hip), engage your glute, and press out with the opposite leg for a lateral lift. Think about kicking out with the heel, not the toes (almost like internal rotation). Do this 10-20 times on each side.

Resistance Band Arm Workout

Standing strong in neutral, feet grounded and no rib thrusting. Place your fists inside the tied off resistance band. First, anchor your elbows at your sides and press out with both fists (the movement comes from the elbow) on an exhalation.

Try this for 10-20 times. Next to keeping your upper body strong and stable pull one fist up and one fist down, like your arms, are marching in place. Do this 10-20 times. Finally, pull your fists diagonally and then back to center 10-20 times. Notice which arm is stronger and tune into making sure you don’t dominate the movements with that stronger arm.

 

Resistance Band Exercises for Hips and Glutes

This was a lifesaver for me because my left hip and hamstring weren’t cooperating and my right glute was weak (very unstable pulley system). Place the tied off resistance band around your ankles (shoes optional) and walk 30 paces forward and back in the following ways:

  1. Wide Monster Strides (pull the band as wide as you can comfortably and walk forward and back)
  2. Normal Walk (Walk in a normal hips distance and stretch the band with enough resistance when you walk)
  3. Diagonal Walk (Step to the right one foot at a time, then to the left, alternating forward and back)
  4. Sideways Walker (Create a slight squat and step foot to foot to the right, then to the left)

Leg Strength with resistance bands Mother Trucker Yoga blog

So many think their workout has to be at the gym in workout clothes and X minutes long to be “worth it”. But here’s the thing, I carry my bands with me in my car. Yes, I do a three-minute workout here or there and it all adds up! To step out of the box, you have to start to think out of the box!

And you might as well add resistance bands into that thinking too!

Don’t have bands? I got you covered! Grab this kit and join me! 

Want more great moves like these? When you buy our mini travel resistance bands kit you get: 

  • One Large Physical Therapy Grade Resistance Band (Medium or Heavy Resistance)
  • Two loop bands with varied resistance
  • Door Loop to attach your bands to your truck cab door or door at home for an easy portable workout
  • 13 Page Resistance Bands Guide for easy go-to workout ideas!
    Mother Trucker Yoga Resistance Band Travel Set - Medium

    Perfect travel workout resistance band set.

     

And after a great day of movement with your new-found love of resistance bands. Don’t forget to help your muscles recover with our exclusive pain relief cream made for drivers… STIFF Mother Trucker.

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Travel

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog - The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

The Benefits of Capsicum for Natural Pain Relief

 

When I set out to create my pain relief cream, I had a list of ingredients I wanted in my pain cream and a list of what I didn’t. For the past 20 years I have been using, searching, and sampling other peoples pain relief creams and some of them worked, some didn’t. But all of them had something I didn’t like about them (in the ingredients). I have been saying, “one day, I’ll make my pain relief cream” for nearly five years. But when you live in a small town in Wisconsin, when will you plan to meet a manufacture and a formulator and someone who knows how to create a legit product? 

 

But while assisting one of my mentors at a workshop and hearing what I do with Mother Trucker Yoga, the great question came out of their mouth, “have you ever thought about creating a product?” A few months later, after several samples, ingredient combinations, texture trials, container sampling, and label creation- STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream was born. 

stiff mother trucker pain relief cream blog

One of our favorite ingredients:

Capsicum or chili peppers are increasing their debut in the pain management department. You’ll find its chemical compound Capsaicin in many pain-relieving creams, gels, lotions, sticks, and sprays. Its topical formulation is an efficient pain management tool.

cap·​si·​cum | \ ˈkap-si-kəm  \

Definition of capsicum (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

1aany of a genus (Capsicum) of tropical American herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family widely cultivated for their many-seeded usually fleshy-walled berries

 called also pepper

2an oleoresin derived from the fruit of some capsicums that contains capsaicin and related compounds and is used medicinally especially as a topical pain reliever

What is Capsaicin?

Capsaicin was first isolated from chili peppers or capsicum in 1878 in crystalline form. Capsicum except bell pepper has its hot and spicy flavor from this little fellow, a remarkable health-promoting substance. It increases gastric secretions and stimulates nerve endings.

Capsicum blog mother trucker yoga

The Scoville Scale

However, its intense burning and irritating properties make it intolerable. Since it is a self-administered medicine, prescriptions are not required. Hence, to avoid the side effects from large quantity administration, a tool named Scoville scale was derived by W. Scoville which is used to determine the healthy amount of capsaicin in these medicinal preparations.

Pain Relief Stiff Mother Trucker Blog Mother Trucker Yoga

Uses of Capsicum for Topical Administration

The topical formulation of Capsaicin is absorbed well through the human skin. It is conveniently useful in the relief of:

  • Minor aches and pains from daily life
  •  Joint pains from age or injuries
  • Backache from long-term sitting or driving
  • Strains from muscle overuse, or muscle underuse coupled with jarring movements
  • Sprains from exercise, work-related injuries, or life!
  • Stings and bites from  bees and insects
  • Chronic pain from injuries, stiffness, and lingering pain
  • Pains like sciatica and piriformis syndrome

Indications of Capsaicin

F.D.A. Labeled Conditions
  • Arthritis
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Fibromyalgia
  • Musculoskeletal Pains
F.D.A. Non-Labeled Conditions
  • Neuropathy Postoperative complications
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Migraine
  •  Postoperative nausea and vomiting
  • Psoriasis

Stiff Mother Trucker for Hand Pain Relief

Mechanism of Action

Capsaicin works in topical administration, although its exact mechanism has not been elucidated yet.

Capsaicin is a neuropeptide-active agent that renders the pain-sensitive areas insensitive to the pain sensation by depleting and preventing the accumulation of pain impulse mediators (from peripheral to the central nervous system). With this phenomenon, painful sensations fail to travel to the Central nervous system’s pain-sensitive regions, which gives us temporary relief from the painful episode.

 

Precautions

Do not apply Capsaicin cream to the cuts and open wounds.

Wash your hand immediately after applying the cream to avoid unnecessarily touching the burn sensitive areas such as nose, eyes, or mouth, etc.

Always consult your physician for directions before using the cream to get desirable results.

 

Side-Effects

Like all other topical herbs, chemicals, treatments, and oils, there are precautions you wan tot take and things you want to consider when using. These side effects can occur due to excessive use or use in forbidden areas. They include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Itching or Irritation
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain 

These side effects are often short-term and are often associated with improper use (IE- private parts, eyes, mouth). Some notice this with its first use, but they will gradually fade away after its continuous application. In our STIFF Mother Trucker formula, we are using just the right amount of capsicum combined with other soothing and cooling ingredients to give you the perfect combination for your muscles and skin. 

 

Read your labels on ALL your pain relief creams. Read your labels, many focus only on immediate cooling, but nothing to penetrate deep, nothing to do anything beneath the surface. That’s where STIFF Mother Trucker comes in. Let us be your number one solution for pain relief that hits you deeply! 

Ready to try the amazing benefits of capsicum and our other amazing all-natural ingredients??

Grab a tube HERE + get FREE Shipping + Free Stickers

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Truck Drivers

7 Rules of Life to Stay Positive

7 Rules of life to stay positive and focused on what matters.

Sometimes we need to stop and remember what’s important. Now I know that seems a bit cliche, but when we…
Re-focus
Re-evaluate
Re-connect
 
We can then see life in an entirely different light. And that can mean new opportunities. New friendships, and new efforts put forward. And as a result, we are more positive towards life and what comes our way.
 
To all our friends out there… It’s about the little things, and the small mental shifts we can make today to help us make better choices and decisions tomorrow!
 
What is your favorite out of our list here?

Mother Trucker Yoga’s 7 Rules to Life to Stay Positve:

Mother Trucker yoga 7 rules for life blog post

1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your future.

You are the only one holding onto your past with a tightly clenched fist. Loosen your grip, you might be surprised at what happens when you do. By holding onto the past you never get the opportunity to be present which is the real gift.

2. What other people think of you is none of your business.

It can be easy to get consumed with what others thing. But opinions are like a$$ holes, everyone has one and nothing good ever really comes out of them (insert humor). My point, what others think of you doesn’t matter. Most people’s opinions of others or life is a pure reflection of them and how they think of themselves. So focus on you, my friend.

3. The only person in charge of your happiness is you.

We can look to others for inspiration, for support even for ideas or help. But you are the only person who gets to decide your level of happiness. And much of that is determined on how you look at life and yourself in it. It’s what Carol Dweck calls a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset. If you always tell yourself you will never be happy, then you will never be happy. If you always say you can’t be healthy or fit when you are a truck driver, then you will never be a health and fit truck driver. If you say you are not good at math, then you will never be good at math. If you want to be happy, then choose to be happy. 

4. Don’t compare your life to others. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I believe that we walk one path, and it’s when we try to hop over to everyone else’s and walk theirs too that we get stressed out, we strikeout, and feel left out. Other people’s lives are theirs to live. Yours is yours. And when we compare we rob ourselves of all the progress and uniqueness we have to offer the world. You don’t know their past, their struggles, or what they had to do step by step to get where they are. So keep your eyes on your own path. Look out for help and encouragement, but not to judge yourself or your progress. 

5. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.

It is true, time does heal(s) (almost) all wounds. My advice, stop looking at the wound. Look up and see there is a lot of other life to be lived. When my daughter died, I was crushed, frozen, and empty inside. But there did come a point where I had to look up and keep moving forward for her. And in time, the wound of her loss began to heal, it’s still there, but now I have chosen to do something different with it. You can do that too.

6. Stop thinking so much. It’s alright not to know all the answers.

It is my experience that we as a culture like to overthink things. Overanalyze things. But thinking too much leads to a lack of action and a lack of useable solutions. There comes a point where we must stop out of our heads and into the field and give it a try. Move even blindly at times, but the results of that will always be far greater than only having thought about it. Because now you know. 

7. Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world.

No one ever said you have to carry everyone else’s problems on your shoulders. Smile. Smile often. For one entire day, smile at everyone you see, everyone you meet. And see how different you see the world. But even more, see the ripple effect you can do for someone else who may also be feeling the need to carry things that aren’t theirs to carry. 
These are just seven ideas to help you see life a little differently. It’s easy to be bombarded by the media. To be overwhelmed with everything that is going wrong that we forget to look out and see what is going right. The voices in my head like to keep me stuck, unhappy, and overwhelmed. But over time I have learned to stop listening, or at least drown them out. I suggest you consider doing the same. I am positive you will see more good, more smiles, and more opportunities in life than you did before.

What are other life tips you have that you’d like to share?

 

Feeling motivated to move more? Looking to stay positive in life? Check out Mother Trucker Yoga blog post on travel exercise.

strong abs with mother trucker yoga blog post

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers when they don’t have a lot of time.

We have all heard how important it is to strengthen your core, but the only problem is most people are still doing traditional core work. 

What is traditional core work?

Traditional core work in my experience is exercised flat on your back, where you flex your body (crunch) up off the floor. When movements like these are coupled with flailing fast and furious body parts, you feel out of breath and hurt for the wrong reasons. Yet there we are calling “sit-ups” an excellent core workout when there is a better way. 

Times have changed and so has how we move, with the average person sitting 13 hours a day that’s enough if that’s not enough to consider moving more, I don’t know what is. And if you average in 8 hours of sleep on average, a person gets, that 21 hours PER DAY people are sitting. 

The stats don’t lie, we sit way to much!

On top of all of that sitting at work, and for meals and commuting, the respondents:

  • Sit another 1-2 hours while watching TV (36 percent)
  • Game another 1-2 hours (10 percent)
  • Lounge for 1-2 hours for things such as reading (25 percent)
  • Use their home computer for 1-2 hours (29 percent)” (PRNewswire)

And truck driver or not- we Americans sit WAY TO MUCH! 

So when you choose exercises to try to improve your health, fitness, and overall well-being, we want to make sure we are selecting movements that aid us in our everyday life.

Why Not Sit-Ups?

The traditional sit-up is done flat on your back; when core-based exercises are all performed this way, we lose the opportunity to use our back muscles (which are a part of our core). So if you are concerned with the health of your back and spine, it is best to opt for other movements when focusing on your midsection. 

Sit-ups also focus primarily on flexion, and for someone who spends most of their day sitting, this is not helping you. All of that flexion encourages the chest, pec, and neck muscles to stay short and tight, and the upper back and neck muscles to continue to be overstretched and strained. Think about your driving position (or if you are in an office, how you sit at your computer), after a few hours you end up with your head sinking forward and your shoulders and chest collapsing forward over the steering wheel. Like you would yank and pull on your upper body during a sit-up. 

Finally, those good-intentioned sit-ups only work a small portion of your core, and the movement you are choosing to do shortens the abs rather than lengthens them. And if you are going to work on your back, make sure you are finding what is called “neutral.” A place where your lower back is not pressed flat into the floor nor overly arched. 

So when you choose the best types of exercises to strengthen your core as a truck driver, choose movements that:

  1. Focus on form and function.

     Gone are the days that huffing and puffing, yanking and jerking your body all over the place and calling it a good workout are over. Core exercises or not, challenge yourself and see how well you can hold a move or move slowly and control how you move every step of the way. 

  2. Focus on movements that extend more than flex.

    The extension works the body 408% (roughly 10x) more effectively than flexion does.

  3. Focus on movements that include working your back muscles.

    When all we do is “front core” exercises or what many of us call “ab” exercises we actually leave our back vulnerable for injury. By inadvertently over strengthening our front core and neglecting our back muscles (which are a part of our core) we can sometimes do more harm than good. (Read more about neck issues what exercises to do to help)

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), core training is an essential part of any personal fitness routine. Your core helps transfer force and power from your lower to upper limbs. The stronger your midsection is, the safer you’ll be during exercise, plus when you have a stronger core, you are less likely to injure your back.

4 Exercises for Truckers to Strengthen Their Core:

Exercise #1 – Weighted Extension:

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Find a place to sit on your sleeper, the ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Bend your knees (optional place a pillow or small ball between your knees to squeeze for lower body stability. (If your tail bone is sensitive place a blanket under your tailbone)
  3. Grab your weight (1 lb – 10 lbs) and place it at your chest.
  4. Keep a straight spine (no rounding in the shoulders, upper back, or lower back).
  5. Inhale and exhale to prepare.
  6. Inhale slightly tuck your tail bone under and lean back to 45 degrees (do not go all the way down).
  7. Exhale and with control draw your body back up sitting tall and press your arms overhead/weight.
  8. Do not round your upper body when pressing up overhead. If your shoulders are tight press the arms to a 45-degree angle.
  9. Repeat this 10-30 reputations working on form, function, and control.

Weighted core full extension truck driver core workout mother trucker yoga blog post

Exercise #2 – Oblique Weighted Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Find a place to sit on your sleeper, the ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Bend your knees (optional place a pillow or small ball between your knees to squeeze for lower body stability. (If your tail bone is sensitive place a blanket under your tailbone)
  3. Grab your weight (1 lb – 10 lbs) and hold it in front of your chest (imagine there is a pole keeping your hands in front of your chest).
  4. Keep a straight spine (no rounding in the shoulders, upper back, or lower back).
  5. Inhale and exhale to prepare.
  6. Inhale slightly tuck your tail bone under and lean back to 45 degrees (do not go all the way down).
  7. Inhale and work to rotate to the right, really pay attention to your spine and rib cage rotating (not your hips and pelvis).
  8. Exhale and return back to center (stay at 45-degree angle).
  9. Inhale and work to rotate to the left, go as far as you can without rolling onto one hip or rounding your spine.
  10. Repeat this 5 to 20 rep each direction.

Oblique Weighted Twist Core Exercise Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post

Exercise #3 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the sleeper, ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Drop to your forearms and place your elbows and fists a forearm’s width apart.
  3. Step one foot back at a time until your body is in one straight line.
  4. Press your fists into the floor to help activate your core.
  5. Drop your tailbone between your legs and press your lower abs and hip bones into your lower back.
  6. Draw your shoulders back and breathe.
  7. Now rotate your hips and lower body to the right.
  8. Press your hips up slightly to activate your obliques.
  9. Hold for 5-20 breaths, then repeat the opposite side.

Plank Oblique Twist Best Core Exercises for Truckers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

Exercise #4 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Start by lying down on your sleeper, the ground, or the floor.
  2. Adjust your pelvis so it’s level, do not press your lower back into the floor, imagine a small arch in your lower back.
  3. Draw your legs up to a tabletop position (optional: put a mini ball or pillow between the knees and squeeze for more stability) and flex your feet (you can opt to keep your feet on the ground OR do a few reps with one leg, and then switch to the other).
  4. Grab your weight (optional) and extend it up overhead. Turn the folds of your elbows towards your nose (shoulders move in external rotation).
  5. Inhale and exhale, work to stabilize your core, remember only go as far as you can keep your back and ribs from arching and pulling up towards the ceiling.
  6. Inhale, and begin to lower your legs towards the floor and your arms overhead.
  7. Reach through your fingers to stretch the shoulders.
  8. Exhale and draw your arms back up and knees back up over your hips.
  9. Repeat this 10 – 30 times moving mindfully with your breath. This is not a race.
  10. To make this more of a challenge (as long as you can keep your back from arching) once your heels meet 1 inch off the floor, press your legs long and engage your glutes and inner thighs.
  11. You go this!

Weighted core full extension truck driver core exercise mother trucker yoga blog post

weighted core full extension for truck drivers mother trucker yoga blog post

Strengthening your core is extremely important regardless of your physical state or your age. When implemented correctly, you can experience a decreased risk of injury, better stability, and performance during workouts. A strong core improves the quality of life for everyone and reduces the chances of severe injury.

Age, mobility restrictions, or past injuries shouldn’t prevent you from strengthening your core. You can get all these benefits by performing these exercises safely and effectively. Focus on proper breathing and posture first and ditch the sit-ups. You’re bound to notice better balance and stability and may even see a reduction in back pain. But they won’t do anything for you unless you allow yourself to start today with 5 minutes of simple core work. 

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10 Steps to Goal Setting for Truck Drivers

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

Goal setting can seem like a mountain to climb, but it doesn’t have to be. So much of what we want to accomplish, achieve and get to is available to us. But it is in m experience that if we right from the start don’t set ourselves up for a successful path it’s going to be less than blissful and may end up being one of the 92% that give up on their New Year’s Resolutions.

I don’t like resolutions, I prefer goals because rather than telling myself I’m bad and suck here so I should change. I like to look at what I want, and how to get there.

Seven months ago I closed my yoga studio of 14 years. It was hard, and for two to three years prior I talked about doing it. I knew deep down it was what needed to happen for me to reach my bigger goals and dreams, but I was scared. Yep, long story short, I was scared and afraid. I chased my tail, stood still and felt lost, I wasn’t taking action, I never created a plan of how to get there. I just floated through mad because I wasn’t there yet. And frustrated because I saw others making changes I wanted to make and I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t happening for me.

I know now. I want to share with you what I figured out when it comes to goals, changes and dreams. What I wasn’t doing and should have been. What I recognized I did do in other areas of my life but I wasn’t applying to this particular situation and once I did, everything changed.

10 Steps to Setting Your Goals and Reaching Them:

    1. Choose ONE goal. Yes, choose just one goals. You may have many, but today just choose one to focus on. If you can’t decide, write them all down in a notebook. Yes, buy a notebook and write all of this down in ONE place. Write down all your goals and then looking at them choose one. What you may discover is that many of then feed into each other. So it will help to see them down on paper. When you choose one goal you will accelerate the process faster. You can only put so much energy into something at once time: exercise, studying for a new career, learning how to food prep, etc. For now, just choose one.
    2. Know where you are staring from. There is a reason addicts that truly hit rock bottom are the ones that make it out and fully recover. Because in that moment they decided to get well, they knew exactly where they were starting from. I tried for years to “get better” get into recovery, and it wasn’t until I truly hit rock bottom that I saw my life as it actually was and I didn’t like it. So I stepped through my anxiety, and guilt and got help. Real help.
    3. Make a timeline. A time line gives your goal an end date. Now be realistic, where are you right now and what would it take to get to where you want to go? Once you decide that…WRITE IT DOWN. Yes, don’t just think it in your head. If that method worked you would be there already…am I right? Yes, of course I am. In that notebook you invested your all of $2 to buy, write down your goal and an end date next to it.

  1. 10 Stepping stones. What are ten things that need to happen in order for you to get to your goal, your dream? What has to happen today, tomorrow, a month from now to get there? I like to work backwards. To lose 100 pounds I need to be working out five days a week and clean eating. Well I don’t recommend doing all of that all at once like a magic trick. Work backwards. Well to clean eat, I need to stop eating at the truck stops so much. Well to do that I have to buy healthy food. Well I can’t do that until I buy a frig to fit in my truck. Well I can’t do that until I reorganize my truck. See the path. This is not to cause frustration, but rather help you see a clear path to get to where you want to go. The same can be true about exercise. Because you know you need to do that to get to your 100 pound goal in one year. Decide if food happens first or second to exercise. Once you do that, working out five days a week. I need to figure out what to do. I need to enlist an expert or follow and work with Mother Trucker Yoga (shameless plug). Then I need to map out my days, even if that means I do it always the night before because my days are different (no excuses right). Research what truck stops have fitness centers and walking trails. Call my buddy and ask to walk and talk at 5pm each day. See what I did there? You can do this too!
  2. Once you set that path, ask yourself what is is achievable today? What can I do today to influence the outcome tomorrow? And just start. No more BS, just start!
  3. Recognize that 70% of the choices we make are actually habits. Yes! Habits! Not choices. You keep saying you are going to walk once you park each day, but you don’t. Instead you eat, shower and watch T.V. Why? Well, because it’s a habit, it’s what you have always done. You are choosing it before you even see it is a choice. So set your alarm, change your shoes mid day so you are ready for action. And when you park, hit the Jon, but don’t take in your wallet and get your a$$ moving and start walking. Call your buddy and chat it up for 30 minutes while you walk and talk. Make a new habit.
  4. Remember it’s a decision. You are not “trying”. When you try, you are giving yourself an out. You are saying that if you fail, it’s OK. A decision is a decision. There is no going back. You are all in. So when you look at your goal in your notebook each day (yes every day) and write it down like it happened each day- you are not “trying” you have decided!
  5. Write it down EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yes every day you have to write down your goal and write down what step you are on like it has already happened. Remember that sub-conscious part of our brains, well we remember things too. So do you want your brain to remember that you are “working on it”, “trying” or ARE there?
  6. Motivation comes from within. If you are waiting to be motivated by someone or something, you will be waiting for a long time. I love inspiring people, helping others to see things differently, but ultimately I cannot “motivate” you. I can’t force you out of bed. This is exactly why rehab doesn’t work for those who aren’t ready. They aren’t yet in a place of motivation. They have not set a goal. They don’t yet see the point. But you my friend, you do.
  7. Balance is bull sh!T. Yes, here is a yoga teacher by trade telling you balance is bull. It is, having balance as a goal in life will drive you bat sh!T crazy! I tried this path for more than ten years and just felt like a failure. It’s about learning to ride the waves with grace and swing with the pendulum. Some days life will take you one way and you learn to adapt. Other days you will swing the other way, and just go with it. Because now you have a clear goal, you have a plan and know where you are. So no matter what, nothing it going to get in your way. And if it does, get up and begin again.

Goals are for the motivated. Goals are for those who want more than what they have. If that isn’t you, no worries. Keep loving life exactly where you are! Love that! When I get to my end goal, I will surely do the same. But for those of you who are ready. Let’s jump in. First things first, buy the darn notebook. Buy a pen just for that notebook, and write down your goals.

Don’t think you have any? I beg to differ, I bet you a steak and salad that you have goals, you just have never taken the time to ask yourself what they are and then given yourself permission to write then down and see them with your own eyes.

I’m over here, believing in you. Cheering you on. You got this. You got this because you now have an actual goal. With an actual end date. With an actual plan and steps to get there.

You got this!

4 Tips to Start Eating Healthy for Truck Drivers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

4 Tips To Start Eating Healthy Today

Eating healthy in today’s world seems to be similar to solving a complicated murder mystery with multiple conflicting witnesses.

The people over here say this.

The people over there say that.

The people up in front are saying no to both the above and claiming that simply thinking good thoughts about your food is good enough. (Insert humor here)

I like to think I am a simple person in that the more someone makes something complicated, the more I actually don’t want to follow their advice. Have you ever been there?

Coming from an eating disorder food was a HUGE DEAL. I mean we kinda need it to survive, it’s fuel, and we shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying it. HOWEVER…too much of a good thing truly is too much of a good thing.

Today I want to encourage you, no matter where you are, to start small. Let’s not go and try to move the biggest most HUGE-NORMOUS moutnain in front of you today. Were just yesterday you were not even prepared to pack a bag for the big climb.

Instead, how about we take this one step at a time. Build momentum and ride the wave of little successes turning into big ones.

Here are my 4 Tips to Start Eating Healthy Today:

  1. S-L-O-W D-O-W-N. Yes, you heard me, just slow down. Studies show that your eating pace DOES play tribute to how much weight you will put on. Fast eaters are 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters. – YIKES!
  2. Drink More Water. You have heard this 9 million, 700 thousand, 41 times already. But if you still aren’t drinking your adequate supply then it might be time to consider this to be the mountain to climb. People who consume adequate water each day consume 200 less calories per day than those who don’t. And you didn’t even have to “diet” to do that. Score! Not to mention that those who drink more water tend to burn more calories per day than those who don’t.
  3. Try At Least One New Healthy Recipe…each time you hit the road with your next haul. Yes, there is a little bit of preparation involved. But when you have some skin in the game you are more likely to follow through. Living on the road is complicated at times, but with a little preparation- YOU CAN DO THIS. We often choose unhealthy foods when we feel frustrated, lonely, and in a pinch. Diffuse the situation before it happens, and drive prepared. If you haven’t yet, try the InstaCart App and have groceries delivered to you even at the truck stop!
  4. Eat Your Greens First. Did you know that eating greens before your carbs has been shown to have a positive affect on your blood sugar levels? You can take that information right to your plate. Eating your greens is one simple step on the eating healthy train we all can take together.

I want to encourage you to not let your mind over complicate this. Weight-loss may be your goal. But you didn’t get to where you were overnight. This was a process that likely took years. So be kind to yourself and let’s create new habits that will last you the rest of your life. Truck driver or not, the food isn’t the problem, it’s our relationship with it. Let’s change how we look at food. Buy food. Prepare food. And put food into our bodies.

Mother Trucker Yoga believes in small simple changes. Those changes when done correctly can and will make a huge impact on the rest of your life. Mainly because you will be doing them for the rest of your life. Let your relationship with food be no different. Eating healthy does not need to be complicated. Make sure you aren’t the one complicating it.

 

BreakTime Health and Wellness Discussion with Mother Trucker Yoga

BreakTime: Fitness Time with Hope Zvara

Have you heard? RoadPro Family of Brands has kicked off a drivers only private forum (chat room) where truck drivers can come ask questions, answer questions and hang out with fellow drivers in a virtual setting. This isn’t a place to complain or post rude comments, but rather a place for drivers to motivate one another, give and receive great information, take fun quizzes and win free products and swag.

RoadPro launched this online offering back at GATS (Great American Truck Show) back in August 2019 inviting drivers to come and join.

“I love the idea of BreakTime for truck drivers as it gives those who may not be on Facebook a place to connect with other drivers and say up to date on what is going on. I know I am not a driver and never claim to be one. However with nearly 20 years in the fitness and yoga world and a traveler myself, I get it. I grew up around the trades, and had drivers, family members of drivers and company owners of trucking outfits all as students over the 14 years I owned and operated a yoga studio in my home town. I have a real passion for helping drivers and am excited to help inside BreakTime. My expertise is movement, fitness, and lifestyle. My focus is making it super-duper easy, accessible, quick and fun.” -Hope Zvara

Ask questions, gain insights, inspiration and a kick in the pants to start your health and fitness journey over the road alongside Mother Trucker Yoga and Hope. Have back pain? Neck pain? Stressed? Can’t sleep? Wondering where to start? Hope will answer all those questions and more. But for now you can check out one of Mother Trucker Yoga and Hope’s recent blog posts all about back pain.

On Tuesday, January 14th 2020 at 7pm EST

(6pm CST, 5pm MST, 4pm PST)

Come join Hope Zvara, CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga for a private chat, Q & A and some fun giveaways inside BreakTime.

To join it’s fast and easy, no need to give your blood type, your first born child or take out a small loan (insert humor) it’s FREE to drivers.

At Mother Trucker Yoga we hope you come join in on the fun over at BreakTime with Hope. There are already questions posted waiting for your comments in BreakTime for Tuesday nights chat!

See you there!

BreakTime Chat with Mother Trucker Yoga

Meditation for Truckers

Benefits of Meditation — And Simple Ways To Start Meditating

When your profession demands for you to be on the road for the majority of the year, your physical and mental health can take a turn for the worst. As previously mentioned on the Mother Trucker Yoga blog, “while out on the road, movement can be limited and stress can be high.”

Thankfully, Mother Trucker Yoga has brought mobility and good health back in drivers’ lives. But if you would like to practice another stress-relieving method in addition to our easy workouts, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.

You might be asking yourself, why choose meditation? Can’t I just take deep breaths whenever I feel stressed? Though a post on Pain-Free Working indicates that simple breathing exercises could temporarily alleviate stress, practicing meditation strengthens the mind to cultivate inner peace and improve mental well-being in the long run.

The Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are limitless, and given the sedentary lifestyle of truckers, there’s a lot that can be gained. The road is long and lonely, and it can negatively affect your state of mind and physical health. However, with the help of meditation, truckers can get the job done while still taking care of their mind and body.

Based on scientific studies, here are the benefits of meditation, as shared by Healthline:

  • A good way to manage stress
  • Minimizes anxiety
  • Improves self-image and promotes a positive outlook on life
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Increases your attention span
  • May decrease age-related memory loss
  • Promotes kindness
  • May help battle addictions
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps manage pain
  • Can decrease blood pressure
  • Can be practiced anywhere

Different Forms of Meditation

Believe it or not, there are numerous forms of meditation; so if one form doesn’t work for you, there are still plenty to choose from. One of the more well-known forms is yoga meditation. The controlled breathing exercises and postures focus the mind on the practice and calm the mind, all the while promoting flexibility. Yoga is also a type of movement meditation, which is where you draw mindfulness from movement. Tai chi and martial arts also fall under this category. Spiritual meditation is often a huge part of Eastern spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. For religious meditations, this often involves prayers to divine power. For non-theistic traditions, self-awareness and self-actualization are the focal points of the meditation.

Another form is zen meditation. It can be part of Buddhist practice, where meditators must be mindful of their thoughts without judgment. At the same time, focus on their breathing and maintain a
comfortable position. According to Medical News Today, zen meditation requires more discipline and practice, and practitioners often prefer to study under a teacher, considering all the steps and postures that must be followed. With that in mind, this may not be the best meditation form for truckers. To see what other meditation forms could potentially work for you, check out this blog post on MindWorks.

Tips for Beginners

As straightforward as deep breaths in and out may seem, meditation is not as simple as you would think. But by starting off small and practicing every day, you’ll get the hang of it, and eventually, you’ll open your mind and body to new techniques.

To help you get started on meditating, here’s what you can do:

1. Designate one area, a comfy chair or cushion for meditation

Getting into the habit of meditating can be difficult; however, creating a small relaxing environment can help set you up for a successful practice, whether that’s just a chair in your living room or a cushion next to your bed. Cushions are definitely recommended for truckers since you can take them with you wherever you go. Eventually, you’ll have the ability to meditate anywhere, but for now, setting up the scene will help you get in the right headspace.

2. Start with just two minutes every morning

Before you go about your day, begin your morning with meditation. Doing it first thing in the morning will naturally become part of your daily routine, giving you a positive mindset to tackle the stressful drive ahead. As for the meditation itself, rather than following a specific type or technique right away, just spend two minutes listening to your own breathing. Take note of the movement of your body as you breathe in and out. When your mind wanders, and it will just bring your thoughts back to breathing. You could even count each breath. Do this for the first week or two, increasing to five minutes in the following, then possibly move on to guided meditations.

3. Stay connected with a meditation journal

A journal is a great way to track your progress, as your entries offer clarity and insight on how you might need to adjust your meditations and how far you’ve come since the beginning. Daily journaling gives an opportunity to reflect, gain perspective, and most importantly, be positive and kind to yourself. As for the entry format, it’s entirely up to you. It can be as simple as including the date, type of meditation, and comments on the practice, or you can use a guided format. With all these benefits and tips in mind, it’s clear that regular meditation is an easy way to achieve a good work-life balance, practice gratitude, and maintain a positive mindset as you trek across the country on your own.

 

4. Benefits of Meditation

If you are wondering how has meditation helped others? Check out Healthline’s benefits and stories from people just like you. And learn how meditation has impacted their lives. HERE

Article written by Mandy Rudd
Only for the use of mothertruckeryoga.com