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Pelvic Tilts Best Move For Truckers with Back pain Blog Post

Pelvic Tilts: Best Move for Truckers with Back Pain

When back pain is on the rise, Pelvic Tilts are here to save your back!

Pelvic tilts are an easy and very effective movement anyone and everyone can do, especially truck drivers when dealing with back pain.

 

I watched my father for years try to rearrange himself in his vehicle prior to his drive from Wisconsin to Indiana Sunday nights. He would be gone for the week and back hopefully on Friday night. 

 

I remember watching him try to adjust his seat. Those weird roller balls he had hanging over his seat. But mostly I remember his face when he would get (and out) of his vehicle anticipating that long drive or coming back from it. My father wasn’t a truck driver, but he laid sewer pipe for a living and drove all over the Midwest to do it. He lived in his little Horizon car. A 6’2” rough around the edges man tooling all over the open road to then climb down into the smallest, most dangerous spaces every single day. 

 

To say the least his body was his wrecking ball. Both on the drive and in the hole. But now in his 60’s, practicing a bit more self-care could have saved him one of his greatest assists…his body. 

 

I got into yoga nearly 20 years ago. And as I got older, I began to feel back pain of my own and realized that now more than ever I really needed to zone in on what works. And pinpoint movements that I could do within my daily life. Because time is precious and why not make the most of those in between moments. 

 

I believe that pelvic tilts are one of the fastest ways to reduce back pain and increase mobility. Plus, you can do them while you are driving. 

And the best part is drivers can do simple exercises just like this and then get out and stretch their legs. Afterwards, go into their favorite TA and take a look at the StayFIT Menu for a meal that is just perfect for them. The StayFIT Menu has dozens of healthy options on it made to order. So there is no need for fast food. Just another way to feel better, wherever you are. 

 

What are pelvic tilts?

 

Pelvic tilts are a super simple movement that asks you to tip the pelvis back and forward at varying degrees to help release tightness and also build resilience and strength in the pelvic area, lower back and abdomen.

 

Pelvic tilts are my #1 go to move for just about anyone with lower back pain. They are a simple yet effective exercise for those seeking back pain relief.  

 

As a truck driver time is of the essence. You have miles to get under your belt and a deadline to meet. So I like movements where you can double up. Moves that can be done safely while you are driving. 

 

While sitting many people struggle so much because their spine and pelvis sinks backwards into the seat. Taking their spine from an “S” curve, to a “C” curve, causing you back pain. And to further cause pain, that “S” curve is designed to help absorb impact, when you begin to lose that curve, pain begins to increase. 

 

Where can pelvic tilts be done?

  • Standing
  • Seated (in your truck)
  • Lying down (in the sleeper or on the floor)
  • On a large exercise ball 
  • In a Tabletop (all fours) position
  • In any of the Fitness Centers in the various TA’s located across the US.

 

Easy how-to pelvic tilts instructions:

  1. Sitting in the driver’s seat of your truck, sit upright and tall. 
  2. Notice your pelvis upright (sitting bones underneath you). 
  3. Take one nice full deep breath, in and out. 
  4. Inhale, and work to arch your lower back away from the truck seat (feel your belly drop forward). 
  5. Exhale draw your navel in and round your lower back towards the seat. 
  6. Inhale again and arch the back really exaggerating the arch and try to spread open your sitting bones underneath you and spilling your belly in-front of you. 
  7. Exhale and breathe out fully, rounding out your lower back. Imagine tucking your tail bone between your legs. 
  8. Repeat this for one to five minutes. As time goes on you should notice the stiffness dissolving and more mobility increasing. 

Pelvic Tilts Blog - Anterior Tilt

Pelvic Tilts Posterior Tilt Blog Post

Crossing Your Arms is Optional

I hear from many drivers it’s the discomfort while driving, but then those few minutes once they get out that they really notice the stiffness. And doing pelvic tilts regularly will dramatically help with that stiff feeling you get when getting out of the truck. 

 

Remember to breathe!

 

In anything that you do breathing is essential. The average person breathes 21-24,000 times per day. Imagine what merely tuning into your breath could do for stress, anxiety, fatigue, and yes, reducing physical pain. 

 

Shallow breathing can be linked to fatigue, dizziness, and anxiety. But it can also make using your physical body more challenging. Muscles need oxygen, breathing makes that possible. 

 

You’re Using Your Core Incorrectly

When you engage your abdominal muscles, make sure to focus and really engage them. Don’t just push your belly out or suck it in as you perform the movement. You’ll feel deeper muscles (transverse abdominus) working once you’ve fully engaged your core. Still not sure if your core is kicking in? Take a moment and with your hands on your waist cough and feel your core muscles contract as you do so. 

 

Need a Modification?

There are several ways you can practice pelvic tilts.

When you are laying down ready to go to bed, bend your knees and practice pelvic tilts. Inhale and work to arch your back away from the bed like there is a pin behind your lower back. Exhale and press the pin into the bed without lifting your hips. 

 

You can also try this standing. Either lean against the wall with your feet angled out. Or standing, bend your knees and plant your hands on your knees bracing yourself. Now move through the pelvic tilt sequence several times.

 

While standing and kneeling pelvic tilts can be a little more of a challenge, they’re a better option for people who are pregnant or unable to lie on their backs.

 

Always check in

As always, check with your doctor before starting or intensifying a workout routine, especially if you have conditions, injuries, or are healing from surgery involving your neck, spine, abdomen, or pelvis. And if you are wanting to lie down and practice pelvic tilts, check out one of TA’s various indoor fitness centers available to you along with other great health and fitness options through TA-Petro’s StayFit menu. Just don’t forget your mat! 

 

Why this works

Trucking can wreak havoc on many drivers bodies, particularly your lower back. Long-term sitting and poor posture is a recipe for many drivers leaving them with pain, stiffness and unwanted injury not because they didn’t exercise. But because they weren’t moving the body enough during the day. 

 

Pelvic tilts are an easy movement that keeps the lower back and hips mobile, increases circulation in those areas and reduces stiffness when you get out of the truck. And practices like yoga are a great way to help decrease the effects of back pain and stiffness many drivers are struggling with. 

 

Try It Out

Pelvic tilts can be done anytime, anywhere. No need for fancy equipment. No need for a gym membership or a personal trainer. All you need is your body, driver’s seat and an intention to move the body more. 

 

Making the commitment to insert just a little more movement into your day will make a big difference when you do it consistently. Every move counts. And it’s about the consistency. Can you see yourself doing this regularly as you drive? While you are laying down in the sleeper before you go to bed? Wherever you are. 

 

This simple move could be the difference between you throwing your back out, you getting out of the truck stiff and immobile for three minutes while you try to go from sitting position to standing. Pelvic tilts could be the one simple change that you make that takes you down the road to an improved routine of your personal self-care. 

 

Where do you see pelvic tilts fitting into your day? 

I challenge you to add them in today.

Want to learn more?

Join Hope with Mother Trucker Yoga, alongside TA-Petro and St. Christopher Truckers Fund for all things truckers and health at participating TA-Petros this week and throughout the month of September!

Check out Travel Centers of America’s Facebook Page for details on each of the upcoming events!

 

 

Healthy Recipes for Truckers

Healthy and Simple Recipes for Truckers

On the go: healthy and simple trucker food recipes. Anytime, anywhere.

I just trucked 18 hours home from GATS in Dallas, Texas back home to Hartford, Wisconsin. We team drove our RV and made it back safely.

Many of you came to see me (hey all, Hope here) at the Landstar Health Stage to learn more about how to live a healthy life over the road. And one of Saturday’s presentations was: Fueling Your Rig, Fueling You: Eating Healthy Over The Road Made Easy. Sponsored by RoadPro Family of Brands

GATS Fueling Your Rig Fueling You Presentation

Cooking at GATS 2019

The presentation was a hit! We had just enough food, and no one left hungry!

Everyone at the event loved what we not only talked about but ate.

  • I believe that you can eat healthier on your truck.
  • I believe it’s about small simple changes, not big huge leaps that will help you change your life’s current route to health.
  • I believe you can do this!

It’s not about getting up and doing a complete 180 (although no one is saying you can’t). But what I am suggesting is to start small.

If BIG HUGE DRASTIC changes worked so well, more than 8% of New Years resolutions wouldn’t fail!!!

Eating healthy on the truck and over the road starts with you saying to yourself, “I can do this”.

At GATS we discussed the notion of GOOD, BETTER, BEST. And with this idea we recognize the opportunities to improve in little ways, and when you do that consistently, it add up.

Instead of a soda with every meal, how about you eliminate one soda a day. Or better yet, just one soda, one day a week. I want you to make changes you can stick to. Not changes you give up on because you did too much too soon.

Why I’m so passionate about this approach is because I struggled with an eating disorder for YEARS. Almost half my life.

Every day I would wake up and say:

  • “Today I’m not going to over eat.”
  • “Today I’m not going to binge and purge”. 
  • “Today, I’m going to magically be changed”. 

And not even one hour into the day and I was back in the cycle of no return…

Sound familiar?

It wasn’t until out-patient treatment and their encouragement of one minute at a time. One hour at a time. And one day at a time, that inspired me to break down my changes into micro-changes.

And that (along with healthy movement and yoga) got me out of that deep dark hole of self-destruction.

During our Fueling Your Rig, Fueling You presentation, I wanted to show every driver out there that eating healthy on the road CAN and IS easy. And wanted to turn everyone on to healthy options and simple recipes that actually taste good, and are easy to make!

Men and women were nodding their heads in the audience as they munched away. Loving the food that was going into their mouths.

And everything we made for them we made there! That day! In less the time it takes to take a 30 minute break.

I want to share two of the recipes we made at GATS that were top on the request list. Which also happen to be cheap, easy to make, and healthy on-the-go food for truck drivers.

Recipe #1: Spring Rolls for on the Go!

  • Spring Roll Rice Paper
  • Lettuce or Cabbage leafs (cut into small pieces)
  • Shredded carrots (you can buy them pre-shredded too)
  • Cilantro or Mint
  • Shrimp (or any other meat or tofu)
  • Lime Juice (optional)
  • Sticky rice or rice noodles
  • Plate size dish & cutting board or flat surface to roll spring rolls up
  • 8 oz of water

Demonstration of how to make spring rolls recipes

Directions for Spring Rolls:

  1. Put water in plate size dish.
  2. Take out one rice paper sheet and place in water for 30 seconds or so.
  3. Until the entire sheet is soft.
  4. Take the rice paper and lay it on a dry flat area.
  5. Take lettuce leaves and lay in a line at the end closest to you.
  6. Lay shredded carrots inside lettuce
  7. Now put rice noodles or rice on top.
  8. Squeeze lime over shrimp before adding.
  9. Add shrimp and cilantro or mint.
  10. Using the end closest to you, begin to roll the contents one time.
  11. Now take the two sides and fold them in and over the contents sticking the rice sheet sides to the folded end.
  12. Keep rolling, making sure the sides stay tucked in.
  13. Roll all the way to the end and the rice paper will stick to itself, keeping the contents inside.
  14. For dipping sauce use Thai Peanut Sauce, Sweet & Sour Plum Sauce, or Chilli Sauce and enjoy!

Option:

I bought the lime cilantro shrimp in the deli at Costco pre-seasoned and ready to be served. I cut up the shrimp and then added it to my spring rolls. You could also squeeze the lime and mix the cilantro or mint with the shrimp and marinade before use as well.

Keep chilled. Will last for a few days.

Spring Rolls are a great alternative to sandwiches, and a whole lot healthier. Be creative and play with other ingredients. These two are simple recipes you can make anytime, anywhere while on the go. Let us know what you come up with!

Hope Demonstrating How to make Simple spring rolls recipe

Recipe #2: Asian Slaw Salad

  • 1-Packet Beef Ramen Noodles
  • 1-Bag Shredded Cabbage
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Natural Sugar
  • 4 Green Onions-chopped
  • Sun flower seeds (unsalted), pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, crasins

Directions for Asian Slaw Salad

  1. Mix grapeseed oil, sugar, onions, and beef seasoning packet (see below for homemade seasoning) together.
  2. Break up noodles into small pieces.
  3. Mix noodles and seeds together. You can store them together for easy travel.
  4. When ready to eat take noodle mixture, cabbage slaw and liquid and mix together in a bowl (or container with a lid for easy storage afterwards.
  5. Once mixed, enjoy with a fork!
  6. The longer you let the ingredients sit together the noodles soften and you get a whole new crunch.
  7. Stores perfectly in a 12 cup container.
  8. Keep cool in cooler or frig.

Homemade Beef Seasoning (I like Wilhelms Kitchen version):

Mix together and store in air tight jar. Use 1-2 TBSP per packet of beef seasoning. Simple Asian Slaw Salad Recipe for Truckers Mother Trucker Yoga

Beginning to eat healthy starts with one small simple change. Simple recipes you can make right on your truck. It doesn’t have to be extreme, fancy, or expensive. What if you simply make your own food once a week? Then one day a week? Then two days a week, and so on. This does not have to happen over night. But my hope is you begin to see that YOU CAN DO THIS!

I believe in you. And I believe you can stay healthier over the road one move at a time. One meal at a time.

Please try out these simple recipes and comment below telling us what you think!

Share your photos of your food creations on our Facebook Page – Mother Trucker Yoga

Join our family here at Mother Trucker Yoga!

Mother Trucker Yoga and Backshield

Mother Trucker Yoga and Backshield

 

Mobility Exercises for Truck Drivers Blog Post Hope Zvara

Fit for Driving: A Truck Drivers Assessment

Have you ever been questioned if you were “fit for driving”?

Has it ever come to mind that someone, anyone, you, could be unfit to drive?

This is a reality not just for truck drivers, but America. Driving may be a sport for some, and leisure for others. But for a truck driver, it is their lifeline, their job, and for many their passion.

So what does it mean to be fit for driving?

How can someone increase their overall health to become more fit for driving?

Taking into consideration like functional mechanics- how you move or should move, quick reactivity, mobility, whole-body coordination all while driving. The question becomes: “do you know what the signs are? And are you up to speed?”

It used to be more of an aging conversation, when you get to X age then you will have to stop doing this. Or you will no longer be able to do that. But more and more research is indicating, and heck, just look around you, it is obvious that we all need to get up to speed with our health and it may serve us all to check in with our ability to drive. For not only our own safety but the safety of others.

Similar to the freedom of walking, the thought of not being able to drive is daunting. Yet I have worked with tens of thousands of individuals and many still aren’t motivated to make even the smallest changes until it is almost too late.

Why wait until you can’t walk to see it as important.

Why wait until you get your license revoked, or you get into an accident to decide it is a necessary privilege.

The AMA in 2010 stated that lack of mobility is something that doctors take into consideration with older adults when assessing whether driving privileges should be taken away.

But here is the reality check: How many of you reading this honestly feel you move like a senior (75+) but most definitely are not one?

So many of us consciously refuse to take care of our bodies like they are made of steel. That they will just keep taking the beating. That they will jump up upon request no matter what situation, what age, what variable.

Mobility Concerns to Consider While Driving:

Grip strength for simple things like opening the door and pulling it closed

Looking back while backing up (although review cameras are great, this is a basic function we must not lose sight of) requires neck and torso rotation. And good eye tracking.

Varying degrees of hand, elbow and shoulder coordination while handing the steering wheel. And good hand eye coordination.

Gas and pedal breaking which uses ankle mobility and control.

For my truck drivers multiple hand-eye-foot coordination functions combine with fine motor skills while shifting, breaking, and turning.

It is easy to say these things are not a big deal. Until we can no longer do them. And it then becomes hard to say as to when it is those fine motor skills were lost. Technology has robbed many of us of basic movement patterns. Where now we have to work twice as hard to keep to it or we will surely lose it.

But as a truck driver, driving a big rig takes a lot of handing, not to mention the loading and unloading that comes with the territory but can wear on the body over time.

Now you may be shaking your head saying this is all nuts and you move just fine. But the thing is, basic mobility patterns like the above are often what is first to go and can often go unnoticed. But it is often the overlooked issues that can cause the greatest concerns later on in life when they slowly begin to take the things we love most away from us in a blink of an eye.

Take the Fit for Driving Test:

The Ankle Mobility Test:

Get into a lunge with the front foot’s big toe roughly 4 inches (3 inches if 5’2″ or less) and without allowing the heel to pick up. Try to lunge the front knee into the wall.

Ankle Range of Motion Test Mother Trucker Yoga

Having trouble?

You may want to tune into the notion that this mobility has everything to do with you coming off the gas or break easily accident-free.

Exercise: Two-Part Calf Stretch

(LEFT) From a standing position place one foot up on a half dome (or something firm and rolled up). Anchor the heel down and do not let it lift. Align the outer edge of the foot with something parallel with it. Keeping tall, and not allowing your pelvis to tip forward. Begin to walk the free foot forward. You should begin to feel a stretch. Hold that stretch for minimum of 30 seconds.

(RIGHT) Standing tall take a casual step back with one foot. Not allowing the pelvis to tip forward, bend the front knee. Now work to bend the back knee without lifting the back heel. Hold that stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.

On both stretches notice if the inner ankle collapses or the knee bends inward. Try to keep the knee forward and his ankle in neutral.

Mother Trucker Yoga Fitness Test Calf Stretch

Hand Mobility Test: 

Hand Corrective Exercise Proper Way Mother Trucker Yoga

Correct Placement

Hand Corrective Exercise In correct

 

Get down on all fours (oh, there is more to this test than just your hands). Spread your fingers out wide with the middle finger pointing forward and the thumbs pointing at each other (feel free to help your thumbs). Is tender or difficult to flex the wrist at a 90-degree angle?

Is there space under the palms or are your fingers curled up (flexion) off the floor? These are warning signs that gripping tension which is a common occurrence and needs to be counteracted. This is a road that will lead to immobility in the joints of the wrists, fingers, and thumbs.

Exercise: Flexion and Extension

Wrist Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

Forearm Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

Shoulder Mobility Test: 

Get down on all fours and plant your hands as done in the Hand Mobility Test.

Work to draw the thumbs out as close to 90 degrees from the middle finger as possible. Can you do this without the folds of the elbows turning inward? This will clue you into excessive tension between the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. As a driver, this is critical to assess, as one needs all hands on deck and this could be a shoulder issue.

Sitting Twist Test:

Sit in the driver’s seat or in a chair with both feet flat on the floor and pelvis evenly planted. Work to rotate like you are reaching for your seat belt (but keep hands-on lap) and try to first rotate with your rib cage only. No lifting your hips. Can you see behind you yet?

Next, try to rotate your neck? Can you see over your shoulder now? At what point do you need to cheat and lift your hip? Or maybe you need to use your hand to force the rotate due to tight muscles?

Exercise: Seat Belt Grab Sit and Twist

Sitting in the driver’s seat or on a chair practice rotation daily. And don’t forget to incorporate daily stretching in that release tight back muscles and neck muscles like in Mother Trucker Yoga’s online membership site. 

Seat Belt Twist Test Mother Trucker Yoga

Intrinsic Muscle and Nerve Foot Test:

Take off your shoes and socks and try to spread your toes apart.  Can you separate each toe?

Can you give yourself a “thumbs up” with your big toe?

Issues like these can be a big indicator of intrinsic foot muscle atrophy or weakness in the muscles of the foot. This is an issue because this could mean nerve issues in the lower leg (many of which come with a lack of use like from long-term sitting).

Foot Health Mother Trucker Yoga

Exercise: Toe Piano & Dancers Feet

Get your shoes off daily! Yes daily! Move your toes around, stretch your feet. Roll on an acuBall! I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but don’t listen to people who tell you to keep your shoes on when your feet hurt. That is part of the problem! Would you keep a cast on after you injure your arm, or leg, or even foot? Heck no!

acuBall mini for foot pain

Shoes are casts, and the longer you wear your casts, the bigger the issue becomes.

Taking care of your body has less to do with how many push-ups you can do and more to do with asking yourself “can I still do all the things I desire to do every single day?” If not, then something has to change.

And most people swing far left and go off the handle with implementing things that quite possibly aren’t necessary. Now that is not to say that deciding to run a marathon or exercise for 2-hours each day is a bad thing.

But if at the end of the day we all simply want to age gracefully and keep doing the things that are necessary, and love. Then I reckon we start there. But keeping the physical body healthy. Your muscles and nerves working optimally is also an internal thing. And as the saying goes “you are what you eat“. So equally ensure you are fueling your body with the same care you are your rig.

Are you fit for driving? 

If you are a truck driver or want to be one there is a list of requirements you must adhere to to be out on the road. To keep or obtain your CDL (Commerical Drivers License) there is a list of criteria that drivers must adhere to in the department of health and wellness:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Sugar
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Self- Certification

Mother Trucker Yoga believes with small simple changes a driver, just like you can meet and pass all the above requirements. You can be fit for driving. You can do this. You can improve your health. You can improve your driving experience. You can do this. We can help!

Let us know how you fared out with our test?

Need help?

Contact Hope via email and she can help you get fit for driving today!

 

Trucking Meal Planning Rice Wraps Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

Rice Wraps: Delicious Meal Option for Truckers

Rice Wraps are a delicious meal option for anyone, but for a trucker on the go it is the perfect meal option no matter where you are.

Eating healthy can feel complicated at times, but when you remember vegetables and fruits combine with lean proteins first, eating can get a lot simpler. And when looking for meal options for anyone it is vital that you also look to the ingredients list.

How may real ingredients are there listed on the package. And in the case of rice wraps, there is no wrapper except for what you are about to eat.

As someone who by choice does not eat much meat, I was on the hunt for something fun, healthy and easy to make. Plus when I travel I wanted to have something that wasn’t going to be messy or smelly or complicated to eat.

Rice wraps are delicious and anything goes when making your wrap.

Make a dozen at home and pull them out when you are looking for a quick meal option. Or make them on the truck for a no fuss meal.

Try pre-cutting your veggies, and if considering adding meat or tofu, pre-cut it into skinny strips to easily add to your rice wraps when you settle in for the night.

Delicious Rice Wraps Recipe:

  • Rice Wraps
  • 1 Handful of Spinach
  • 1 Tablespoon of hummus or mashed avocado
  • 4 slices (skinny) red bell pepper
  • 4 slices (skinny) carrots
  • 4 slices (skinny) zucchini
  • 2 slices onions
  • Optional: 1-2 slices of chicken, tofu, or pork, or crab meat
  • Try seaweed as a wrap as well
  1. Soak rice wrap in cool water for 8-10 seconds (use a plate or circle dish/pan).
  2. Remove from water and place on wet counter or plate/cutting board.
  3. Put a layer of spinach down on the rice wrap, then hummus, then veggies/protein.
  4. Roll like a burrito. Wrap will stick together as it dries.

Eat with your favorite dipping sauce: sweet and sour, bragg liquid, or balsamic vinegar, oil and honey.

And don’t forget that eating with a fellow trucker is always more fun. Offer someone else a rice wrap and dine together with these delicious rice wraps make fresh, made simple, made delicious.

For more recipes like this check out Living in Rawality Cookbook!

Worried about breakfast? No problem we have you covered with our delicious and healthy granola recipe!

Remember, don’t over-complicate healthy eating or healthy living. Just take it one day at a time and one meal at a time. And before you know it! You will be fueling yourself in the best way possible! And you will feel the difference!

Recipe for Quinoa for Trucker Drivers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

The Best Healthy Trucker Travel Lunch Recipe

Are you in need of better travel lunch ideas? Here’s our best healthy trucker travel lunch recipe.

Because I know you know you need to make healthy changes. You know you have to head out on the road. And you know you need to eat. But yet how do you make changes? Where do you start? What do you make? What do you eat?

It’s all so confusing at times I know. The moment I want to change something in my own life my old self would get instantly overwhelmed and see a mountain. All I would notice is obstacles, and talk myself out of the simple solutions right in front of me because I was programmed to only see struggle.

And when it comes to food, health, and changes I know many can relate.

I like to approach anything one step at a time. One box checked on my check list at a time. For some it works to just bulldoze down their old life, habits and choices and replace the with new ones. However, I caution you to this only because without the necessary insight as to why you ended up there in the first place you could find yourself faced with more unnecessary struggle.

O.K. now lets talk food.

As a truck driver I get it, you are on the road, limited resources, limited time, and plenty of unhealthy food options. In a recent conversation with TA-Petro they shared with me that their StayFit meals are of the lowest bought food items in their stores.

So that means one of two things: one, you aren’t buying them because you don’t like them; two, you aren’t buying them because you are cooking on your truck.

And quite possibly there is a third, fourth and tenth reason, but that is not the point. The point is. We need to change that. And since truck stops aren’t going to be changing anytime soon. That means you need to make the change. And that means you have to supply yourself with healthy, fueling, delicious food options so you don’t walk into the truck stops hungry and hangry.

Quinoa

Quinoa is one of my FAVORITE food options. It tastes good, it’s super easy to make, it’s filling, and fueling because it’s packed with nutrients.

But don’t take my word for it. The Medical News Today posted an article talking about the health benefits and nutritional components of quinoa and it is amazing!

They stated that:

“Quinoa is naturally gluten-free. One cup of cooked quinoa, weighing 185 grams (g), contains:

  • 222 calories
  • 8.14 g of protein
  • 5.2 g of fiber
  • 3.55 g of fat, of which 0.42 g is saturated
  • 39.4 g of carbohydrate
  • Magnesium – 30 percent recommended daily allowance (RDA)
  • Manganese – 30 percent RDA
  • Folate – 19 percent RDA
  • Phosphorous – 28 percent RDA
  • Copper – 18 percent RDA
  • Iron – 15 percent RDA
  • Zinc – 13 percent RDA
  • Potassium – 9 percent RDA
  • One cup also contains more than 10 percent of the RDA of the vitamins B-1, B-2, and B-6, and traces of vitamin E, B3, and calcium.
  • Additionally, quinoa contains a healthy dose of fatty acids”

And that is just it! You need fuel. REAL fuel to super charge that temple of a body of yours. And sugary snacks, energy drinks, and potato wedges just aren’t going to cut it.

So to help make your life a little bit easier here is a SUPER EASY and QUICK recipe you can make at home and travel with while out on the road!

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas

Pair the quinoa with grilled chicken breast, or lean turkey, or even salmon and you are on your way to a delicious meal.

Trucking Lunch Quinoa Recipe Mother Trucker Yoga

Cool Quinoa Salad Recipe for a Great Travel Lunch:

  • 1-2 cups left over or cooked quinoa
  • corn
  • peas
  • chopped broccoli (steamed lightly if desired)
  • tea seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh, diced garlic
  • salt (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • non-fortified nutritional yeast (if desired, I love this it’s like a cheese topping)
  • optional: shredded carrots, chopped peppers, greens, or fresh fruit or onions, cumin, turmeric

Mix all ingredients together and pre-pack serving size containers for travel lunch success.

 

That’s it!

Super easy and super simple healthy truckers lunch for on the go healthy eating!

And remember, anything new can be scary, hard and confusing. But Mother Trucker Yoga has your back (literally). Take it one day, one meal at a time and before you know it you will be read to go with the right fuel and right focus because you are what you eat. Or better yet, you are what you digest.

For more recipes like this check out Karen Urbanek’s Rawality Recipe Book

Trucker Walk Tips Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Walk

Do you need to improve your walk?

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they walk. If you ask anyone that knows me the will tell you I love to watch how people move.

Not to poke fun of them. But it’s like a puzzle to me. Why does this not move?

Or why does that go that way when this goes this way?

See how they swing their leg when they walk, but only on the left side?

All these little things started from something.

An injury. A pattern. A pair of shoes. A particular lifestyle choice that has now rearranged muscles and tissues all around their bodies and as a result. Things just don’t move quite right when they walk.

Most people are unconscious of these issues when they first start. And many go unnoticed until an injury or pain occurs. And when this then happens, the moment it occurred is usually blamed for the reason of the issue or injury. When more than likely what caused it has been an accumulation over time, you adapting to your environment.

Walking Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

What is the environment your feet are kept in on a daily basis? How long do you keep those casts on your feet also known as shoes? Have you ever flipped over those casts of yours and looked at the worn down tread underneath? Check out VeryWellFit.com  article on reading the tread on the bottom of your shoe.

A fair amount of people unfortunately wear ill fitting shoes and shoes that do not communicate well with the rest of the body. And it is only a matter of time before your body tells you it does not like it’s current situation.

Wondering how you can improve your walk today?

Here are 10 quick ways to improve your walk today!

1. Check the current state of your shoes. Flip those babies over and check the tread. And take note. Is the tread worn off on the edges? Heel? Only one side? Do your feet spill out the sides of your shoes? This will give you insight as to how your foot strikes the ground. But more importantly how your hip and foot communicate.

 

2. While walking feel and tune into how and when your foot actually meets the ground. Do you feel a slight skid or drag on one or both feet? Do you constantly stub your toe on only one side? Do one or both of your feet point any other direction than forward? The moment you become more conscious of something is the moment you can begin to create a pathway to change.

 

3. Try to walk with your feet forward. I know it may sound basic. But it can often be easier said than done. Focus on rolling through the middle of your foot for a complete take off. Not only will this improve the function of your feet, but it can ease pain on your knees and hips brought on by how you walk. As I tell all my students: “If you are going forward, your feet should be pointing forward”.

 

4. Have someone watch you walk. Sounds silly I know, but they can offer you feedback in real time as to what you are doing and you may not even know it. And have them assess your entire body. Do you swing only one arm? Lean forward. Limp? Swing your left leg? Drag your right foot? Are you a speedy walker? Do your feet cross the mid-line? Feedback is key to assessing for a change.

 

5. Can you extend your hip? What is your hip range of motion? Do you only walk with your legs in front of you? Do you walk from your knees down? Practice hip extension by practicing lunging, or practice walking and make sure your leg actually extends behind you when you walk. This doubles as a stretch after all that sitting. (Those that sit often struggle with this) Check out this video to find out more about how to improve your walk.

 

6. Take your shoes off. Yes. your shoes, your casts need to be removed! And even if that just means relaxing or hanging out in your rig barefoot. Do it! Or better yet, log into Mother Trucker Yoga’s online studio and do some yoga!

 

7. Roll out your feet. Your body is held together by a sea of tone. Also known as fascia! And that fascia is either like a piece of plastic or elastic. Wearing shoes all day do not help turn that plastic back into elastic. Try a acuBall to help break all that plastic up. Have plantar fasciitis (check out this article I wrote on MindBodyGreen on the subject)? Then you don’t want to skip this step. Check out this video for how to roll out your feet. And grab your acuBall in our MTY store.

acuBall mini for foot pain

8. Stretch your hip. A pain in your hip can mess with your gait (fancy word for walk/stride). Every morning when you wake up take 30 seconds on each side and stretch your hip out. Be ready to feel some tightness, but what you will feel afterward is relief! Mother Trucker Yoga suggests trying the seated Figure 4 stretch!

Trucker Walk hip stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

9. Stretch your calves. Your calf is not only the hydraulic pump to pump blood flow back up to your heart. But they also serve as a springboard in your walk and and releasing them will give your knees, arches and ankles relief. Try hanging your heels of the step of your rig for a quick once over!

 

10. Challenge yourself and walk on different surfaces. We live in a concrete jungle so whenever you get the opportunity, change it up. Grass, gravel, dirt, rocks. And ask you walk tune into how your body responds to the ground beneath you. Not only will your feet enjoy the change of pace. But so will the rest of the muscles in your body.

Improve Your Walk Surface Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

It is vital to not over-complicate the changes you want to make in your life. But also don’t just think about the changes you hope to make. Don’t say you are going to make the tomorrow. Start today! Start today, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to take up all your free time. It just needs to happen. Let your allies at Mother Trucker Yoga support and help you along the way.

 

Health Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

7 Little Changes Drivers Can Make To Improve Their Health

There are changes every driver can make when it comes to improving their health.

Taking charge of your health no matter how you are and what you do can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. I have been helping individuals and companies make healthy changes for almost 20 years and just because your job take you over the road is no reason to feel that your health has to be left at home.

Most of the time we over think the changes we can start making today. And as a trucker, over the road or not, I can imagine that your health can easily take a back seat to what is on the road in front of you.

7 Little Changes for Drivers Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

Here are 7 little changes you can start to make today to start living life a bit on the healthier side of the road.

  1. Park further away. I am certain someone has told you this before. But I am going to tell you this again. Park further away! When you pull in for the night, if it’s available, find the furtherest parking spot available that will make you have to walk a few extra steps into the truck stop. Those extra steps add up.
  2. Drink up. Time is of the essence. But so is your health. And considering our bodies are primarily made up of water, it is best you start get to drinking. Water that is. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. And to help avoiding extra bathroom breaks, try getting up an hour earlier and start guzzling 10 ounces of water. Then an hour before you stop for break another 10 – 20 ounces. And then an hour before you unload and stop for the night…well you get the picture.
  3. Do something while you are driving. Now please don’t take this the wrong way. Be safe! But what about a hand weight, or resistance band, or shoulder rolls, or something! Better yet, tune into Mother Trucker Yoga’s 42 minute audio track that guides you though simple movements you can do while driving!
  4. Take a deep breath. Before you roll out of bed, take two minutes and breathe deeply. Your breath is the engine for your metabolism. Yet few look to this when it comes to getting healthy. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest and just breathe as deeply and calmly as you can. Stress wrecks havoc on your body. Here’s one way to curb that. And try Mother Trucker Yoga’s audio track for better stress free breathing.
  5. Container eating. Sounds silly I know. But portion control can be one way to help control what you put in your mouth. It’s easy to all of a sudden have eaten that entire bag of chips. Or even though it’s healthy, an entire plate of rice, veggies and chicken. Most people eat when they are not even truly hungry. Here is what I ask myself daily: “Hope, are you head hungry or really hungry?” Most people are head hungry and not truly looking for nutrition. Make sure you know the difference.
  6. Add more movement in. I’m not saying you need to try to park your rig at a gym or yoga studio. But start to notice the moments in the day you have down time. The moments you are doing something, but nothing all at the same time. The moments you could be moving! Somehow moving. A stretch here, a squat there, it all adds up. And don’t forget to log into Mother Trucker Yoga’s online studio to get fit anytime, anywhere!
  7. Finally, start to believe you can live healthier. Visualize yourself a healthier, happier you. I use to think that was silly. Visualizing myself that way, and writing it down. Now that was ridiculous. But when asking people who have made big changes in their lives what they all did. The one thing they all have in common is they visualized themselves already there and they wrote it down. So, if anything, today, start here.

Don’t over complicate health. And believe that you can feel better than what you do now. But you, yes you have to make the first step.

The first step is usually the hardest, and after that, well that is why Mother Trucker Yoga is here. We got your back!

Trucker Fitness Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

Trucker Fitness: Expectations vs. Reality

Trucker Fitness: Expectations vs. Reality IS something that needs to be discussed because it IS tricky to stay fit and healthy while on the road. But with a little planning ANYONE, can improve their over the road lifestyle.

Now lets be clear: I am not a trucker. But I have had the privilege of working with drivers over the last fifteen plus years locally in my Wisconsin yoga studio. And now hundreds of drivers through Mother Trucker Yoga.

And as someone who does travel quite a bit, fitness on the go has to be a priority or, it can fall to the bottom of the list quickly.

Fitness first.

Let me say that again: fitness first.

I don’t care how old you are, how stiff, overweight, arthritic , what your gender, skin color or what brand of truck you drive. Fitness first.

And to be even more clear: Fitness does not mean you have to be the most fit. And it surely does not mean you have to chisel out 60 consecutive minutes each day to qualify for such a badge.

When many hear “fitness” they instantly think long workouts, classes, and getting to the gym. But for most drivers that is not reality.

Reality is, you if you are a driver, then… wait for it… you are driving for most, if not all of the day or all night.

But wedged in between tough traffic and arranging your load are small bouts of time where you CAN insert fitness.

Yes! You, the one who rolled your eyes at the sight of my website titled: Mother Trucker Yoga, but were intrigued enough to read on CAN be fit while being a truck driver.

I’ve done a lot of research, I mean a LOT of research when it comes to fitness, and what I call everyday functional fitness. Meaning: movements that make sense for your life and lifestyle and enhance your abilities to keep doing what you love and assist in you living life.

So that means for you- AKA the truck driver, that trucker fitness IS a reality and can be achieved. If you are open minded enough to start to make some small yet powerful changes to your every day life.

Exercises for Truck Drivers (small changes you can make to improve your health):

  • Stretching your fingers and wrists against the steering wheel to help combat tightness and arthritis in those very necessary joints.
  • Twisting your entire spine on purpose when reaching for your seat belt and buckling up- because it’s the law.
  • Stepping up into your rig, and instead of doing those two steps just once and in. Creating your own stair climber and for a minute straight stepping up and down as quick and safely as you can.
  • Filling up with fuel and down dogging it like no one is watching (like the Half Dog pictured below). And if they are… Asking them to join. Trucker Fitness - Downward Dog Blog

These are just a few ways you can create a reality around fitness for YOUR lifestyle.

When I dove deep into research on yoga and fitness for truckers I found a few videos with someone standing next to a truck doing push ups or jumping rope. And for the one app I downloaded, it was again someone doing jumping jacks next to a big rig, toe touches and then a few demonstrations of sit ups. That with all my research on core health, I wanted to come through the phone and offer some tips on how to safely and more effectively work your core.

Today, I want you to not over think fitness. Consider what you can insert into your already busy day. What moments (and that is all it takes) do you have that you can make a conscious effort to insert a quick move here or there.

Mother Trucker Yoga’s whole premise is 3 – 5 minute EASY moves explained for the drivers body for a move that make sense and you can feel the difference with. Why? So you can keep doing what you love with less pain.

So don’t be distracted by someone telling you you NEED 60 minutes of exercise daily. And what they mean is hitting the gym for 60 straight minutes.

What I’m telling you today is if you add a move here, and a move there and a few moves at the end of the day right inside your rig. You WILL feel the difference! And as a result start to make more positive changes to your life.

Because every little movement adds up! And we are meant to move. Not just once a day for 60 minutes. But all day long. And Mother Trucker Yoga is here to show you that it CAN be done! And currently truckers all over the US are incorporating this very idea into their day with BIG results.

So what is one move, one thing you can add to your day today?

What one move?

For just a few minutes?

Master that move.

And before you know it, fitness will become a reality.

 

Truckers Best Breakfast Blog Post

Meals on Wheels: Truckers Best Breakfast

I think you and I both know that stopping at a truck stop on any given day, you won’t always find the best breakfast. You might not ever find the best breakfast.

This is a struggle many truckers feel on a daily basis. Yet most are almost forced to choose what their overnight accommodations have to offer. And we aren’t talking the Super 8.

High sugar, high fat, high carb options fill the aisles and hot cases, alongside the attached quick grab-and-go restaurant. Although these options are a quick grab, the quick surprise is the pounds, blood sugar levels and crashes that go with these unhealthy food options.

Now don’t get me wrong, a sweet treat once in a while won’t kill anyone. But when this is your wake-up-and-go breakfast every single morning, you may find yourself in a situation that far surpasses an I-80 traffic jam.

So what’s a mother truckin’ roadmaster to do for breakfast?

Well on my latest show: A Daily Dose of Hope on Chrome and Steel Radio, I had Naturopathic Doctor Jeff Essen of Whole Life Clinic on. We discussed diabetes, the struggle of eating healthy while on the road, and what drivers could do to make a shift in the right direction. It all starts with breakfast.

His suggestion was simple, yet powerful – change what you eat for breakfast.

And what should you, the driver eat for breakfast?

The Italian Flag

I had never heard this methodology in all my years learning about the body, wellness, and my own food journey. Eating the Italian Flag for breakfast was a new approach to breakfast on the go.

He laid it out simply: Breakfast can be simple and easy, and yes, even done up while on the road in an eighteen-wheeler.

Italian Flag Truckers’ Breakfast Shake:

  1.  WHITE – Pea Protein (1 scoop)
  2.  GREEN – Powdered Greens (1 scoop)
  3.  RED – Powdered Reds (1 scoop)
  4.  Mix with Water
  5.  Optional – Ice

Truckers Breakfast: Italian Flag Smoothie

 

The key is to not overthink what you should eat. And if you can simplify things, what’s not to love?

But WHY eat the Italian flag?

Well, as Dr. Essen put it, giving your body a great kick start to the day is essential. Get a good source of protein (he suggests pea protein, but if you decided otherwise, know its source). Many people simply do not get enough greens in their diet, which aid in digestion and boost energy levels. The reds serve as a boost for your antioxidant levels. Unless you have superpowers to fight disease and boost your immune system, reds are essential.

I know changing your breakfast might feel overwhelming. Before you make any change it can be helpful to know where you are starting from. Keeping a food journal can be helpful to figure all of that out. Check out 5 Reasons Truckers Need to Keep a Food and Fitness Journal to help.

And when you are ready to make a change, the only thing you have to lose is the weight, stress, and disease your body is currently feeling. Plus, with a simple shaker bottle, you can travel with everything you need for a great meal on the go.

Here’s to a great breakfast on the go.

 

 

Mother Trucker Yoga Benefits of Yoga for Truckers

60 Benefits of Yoga for Truckers

Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years, but it has transformed into many things over the last decade.

So what is yoga?

To some it is exercise and stretching.

To others is quiet time, and relaxation.

And to others it looks like a contortion practice that they will never be able to achieve.  

To me, it is a lifestyle. An opportunity to get quiet, move your body, and listen to something I believe many of us are lacking and craving in this overstimulated world. Yoga is something that any truck driver, making long hauls day after day, could benefit from.

 

For the average trucker, who couldn’t use a little time to stretch, relax and decompress?

 

Yoga for Truckers - Warrior II

Here are 60 Benefits of Yoga for Truckers (Reasons to Make Mother Trucker Yoga Part of Your Daily Life):

  1.   Yoga improves flexibility
  2.   Strengthens muscles, conditioning us from arthritis and back pain
  3.   Aids in realigning the spine & help to distribute weight evenly
  4.   Yoga moves all 300 joints
  5.   Helps to keep your spinal disks supple giving them the nutrients they need.
  6.   Yoga offers natural weight-bearing exercise, increasing bone density
  7.  Gets your blood flowing, getting more oxygen to your cells and helps boost hemoglobin & red blood cells.
  8.   Assist in increasing the drainage of lymph, helping to destroy & fight cancerous cells
  9.   Yoga gets your heart rate up lowering the risk of heart disease
  10.   Yoga gets you breathing
  11.   Lowers blood pressure
  12.   Yoga lowers cortisol levels, helping with long term memory, also fighting depression
  13.   Turns up the heat to help to burn calories
  14.  Gets you to become more conscious of your being: eating, social, presence
  15.   Can lower blood sugar & LDL & boosts HDL (“good” cholesterol)  
  16.   Improves coordination, reaction time, memory and even IQ
  17.   Helps you to relax, shifting from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system
  18.   The practice can aid in increasing body awareness
  19.   Yoga reduces chronic tension, muscle fatigue, soreness in the wrists, arms, shoulders, neck & face.
  20.   Becomes a way to cope with the business of life
  21.   Can improve immune function
  22.   Helps to expand lung function and breathing capacity above the normal 18%
  23.   Yoga and meditation help to build awareness
  24.   Helps to reduce anger and replaces it with compassion
  25.   Yoga helps to change self-image
  26.  Helps you stand and sit a bit taller
  27.   Can assist you in breaking free from dependencies in life and addictions
  28.   Can help release emotional tensions
  29.   Assists one break away from the ego
  30.   Can naturally lubricates joint
  31.   Yoga increases the recovery rate of the body
  32.   Reduces the effects of aging
  33.   Helps with increasing coordination
  34.   Is an effective ways to cope with stress
  35.   Improves endurance
  36.   Teaches you nothing is impossible and everything is attainable at some level
  37.   Can help to warm the extremities
  38.   Increases heat that can then kill bacteria in the body
  39.   Can normalizes and stimulates endocrine glands (thyroid) activity by compression & decompression of the neck)
  40.   Increases the serotonin to the brain lifting your mood
  41.   Teaches you how to build and attain goals
  42.  The practice invites what is unconscious to the surface so it can be integrated into conscious awareness
  43.   Helps cultivate self-love
  44.   Works on all 700 muscles: strengthening, stretching, toning
  45.   Can aid in regulating hormonal activity
  46.   Assists your meditation practice
  47.   Yoga can teach us how to act without judgment & help us to truly flourish in life
  48.   Yoga helps reduces the risks of heart disease
  49.   Can assist in stimulating the organs of elimination, promoting regular bowel movements
  50.   The nervous system is toned an the lumbar nerve plexus is stimulated, promoting overall vitality of the kidneys and reproductive organs
  51.   Can be a natural way to reduce and eliminate bloating, abdominal discomfort and fatigue
  52.   Helps release shoulder tension
  53.   Helps cultivate body awareness
  54.   Promotes self-discipline, only you know if you are challenging yourself or not
  55.   Refreshes blood flow to the brain refreshing our thinking process and mental attitudes
  56.   Helps to regulate menstruation, reducing pain, discomfort & mood fluctuation  
  57.   Can help assist women through the transition into menopause naturally and easily
  58.   The practice helps cultivate contentment
  59.   Can be practiced anywhere
  60.  Finally, yoga is about you a practice ultimately created by you, for you and to benefit you-a lifestyle approach

 

Let’s not forget the opportunity that yoga has to offer you.

While out on the road, movement can be limited and stress can be high. So it could be a natural solution to both. Time to decompress and breathe, all the while stretching and meeting some of the daily movement requirements of the body.

More than 80 percent of truckers who started on a yoga exercise plan reported reduced stress as a result of practicing yoga. Read more about the benefits of yoga and statistics related to the trucking industry here.

Mother Trucker Yoga isn’t fancy. And it’s no where near complicated. Mother Trucker Yoga is created with simple, easy moves that directly target a truckers biggest concerns while sneaking in some much needed stress relief, breathing and enhanced sleeping opportunities.

Because honestly, who out there doesn’t want to feel at least a little better than they currently do?

What if 3-5 minutes could make all the difference?

And when you do it regularly, imagine how you could feel then?

Don’t be shy about considering adding a little yoga into your life. Because Mother Trucker Yoga wants you to keep on trucking. And one of the best ways you can keep on trucking, is with a little (Mother Trucker) yoga in your life!

Yoga for Truck Drivers | Mother Trucker Yoga

 

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