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banish stress instantly for truckers mother trucker yoga blog

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and irritability. Obviously, we all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. So, how do we banish stress in our every day lives?

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. Yoga has helped me a great deal with handling stress and the side effects of stress. It helps to relieve tension by keeping me focused on my breath rather than all the thoughts racing through my heads.

Whether you are at home, work, or somewhere in between, yoga is a great way to find stress relief. So, to help you on your journey of finding ways to banish stress, here are three of my favorite yoga poses.

4 Poses to Banish Stress Instantly While Traveling

Heart Opening Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Heart Opening Yoga Pose – Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

This pose not only relieves pain in my upper back and shoulders; I can feel my mind and emotions melt when I do this. This heart-opening pose is one of my go-to poses after a stressful day when I can’t sleep or help relieve the tension of carrying life on my shoulders. As I work to widen my knees slowly, I feel relief to feel such space (even if it doesn’t look like it). The freedom of my body letting go into the safety of the floor for a few minutes is all I need to feel more like myself.

Constructive Rest Pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Constructive Rest Yoga Pose- Reduce Back Pain

Constructive Rest pose is a simple pose to relax and separate from the day. It diminishes back pain and can ease the immediate discomfort mentally, emotionally, and physically life can bring about. Lying on your bed, widen your feet slightly wider than your hips and let your knees fall together and completely support each other. If your knees do not touch naturally, then place a pillow or rolled towel between them so your legs can completely relax. Do this pose on your bed or the floor and focus on your breathing or listen to some relaxing music or guided meditation.

Seated Forward Bend Traveling Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Seated Forward Bend – Complete Stretch from Foot to Forehead

 

Stress - Version 2 Seated Forward Bend Yoga pose Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

This pose is often used in yoga therapy to help manage depression. It is also known to soothe headache and anxiety and reduce fatigue. The feeling of bending forward eases the mind. Try to deepen your breathing during this pose and hold for one to five minutes. This pose brings me full circle to the simplicity that I am okay the way I am something we all can benefit from when stress steps in.

Be gentle to yourself so that life can be gentle back to you. Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso slightly, with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. If you are new to this pose, it helps to hold a strap around the feel. If you are incredibly tight, place a rolled-up blanket under your knees for added support. The more you relax in this pose, the more naturally your body will open up.

You Are Worth It

Don’t overthink it. Sometimes you don’t have the time or the mental discipline to jump up and get a workout in, or strike a yoga pose. I get it. However, what I have discovered is that if you do make the time for yourself, you will see how yoga can help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are worth it and you owe it to yourself to make time for you. It can feel that if we work ourselves into the ground that we will somehow win an award. But the only award you will be winning is one of disability and mental uneasiness. I am telling you that it is OK and vital that you take care of you, and you can do that starting with just a few minutes a day right in the cab of your truck. 

If you want to get professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes all in the comfort and privacy of your own rig. I invite you to check out Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio Platform. No stress, no hassle, no sitters, and no fuss. This is not just another fitness program showing you moves from their gym where you try to figure out how to make this work in your truck.–it’s a fresh approach all done in and around the cab of the truck! I know that I know you will enjoy it. 

If you are experiencing stress right now, here are some other helpful resources:

10 Steps to Setting Goals as a Truck Driver

Benefits of Meditation- Simple Ways to Start Meditating

The 13th Step of Addiction Recovery 

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.

 

StayFit Days with Hope Zvara and TA Petro

StayFit Days with TA Petro and Mother Trucker Yoga

StayFit this year! 2020 is here and we are sure goals for this year are rolling alongside the new decade! Mother Trucker Yoga together with TA Petro want to help you reach them by coming to you.

We at Mother Trucker Yoga would like to invite you to join our CEO Hope Zvara as she joins TA Petro as their 2020 StayFit Ambassador for the new year!

What does this mean?

It means Hope is coming to you at various TA Petro tuck stop locations throughout 2020 offering one-to-one coaching and various trucker fitness centered workshops. And these offerings are 100% free.

“At Mother Trucker Yoga we believe that this is a step in the right direction. These truck stops have fitness amenities and they are under utilized. I believe you don’t get to complain about not having options if you aren’t using the options in front of you. But at the same time recognize the frustration when you don’t know where to start, and feel overwhelmed or even embarrassed (as many usually won’t admit) when it comes to taking advantage of these offerings.” – Hope Zvara, CEO of Mother Trucker Yoga

Join Hope for an hour workshop or hang out with her all day! You decide!

  • Wondering about the best food choices?
  • What exercises in the fitness center to start with?
  • What you can do to get rid of that pain in your butt, back or neck?
  • How to stretch?
  • Stress Relief?
  • What exercises you can do in your truck? She’s got you covered!
  • TA Petro and there StayFit programming offers you- the driver opportunities to improve your health. TA Petro has more than 20 locations with fitness centers and 120 sites with mapped walking trails.

StayFit Fitness Rooms are free to use for any driver. The following equipment is available for drivers any time of day:

  • Elliptical cross-trainer;
  • Recumbent bike;
  • Dual adjustable pulley resistance equipment or an adjustable sit-up board;
  • Weight scale;
  • Folding gym mat;
  • Shelving unit for storage of gym bags while working out; and
  • Wall-mount TVs and fans.

Mark your calendars for the next upcoming StayFit Days TA Petro locations Hope will be at during the first quarter of 2020.

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 – Petro Wilmington #402

—–StayFit 1-Hour Workshops: 10am & 4:30pm

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 – TA Las Vegas #108

—–SayFit 1-Hour Workshops: 12pm & 5pm

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 – Petro Ontario #026

—–StayFit 1-Hour Workshops: 9am & 5pm

Share this Flyer HERE

These workshops and offerings are 100% FREE to drivers!

We hope to see you there!

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!

 

 

Benefits of walking mother trucker yoga blog post

Attention Truckers: Step It Up with Interval Walking

Attention truckers let’s stet it up with interval walking.

This is a perfect way to increase your efforts to add more movement into your day?

Maybe you are getting the toning or even stretching you need, but the cardio just isn’t there.

And it can be challenging. As someone who travels on and off quite a bit. The neighborhood can look a bit sketchy when it comes to getting out for a walk.

I have no trouble hoofing it in the airport with a roller bag in tow. But I know what you are thinking. Hope I’m usually pulled over in a truck stop parking lot, where do I go now?

And that’s a great point. Good news! Truck stops like TA Petro have roughly had 211 truckstops and of them have 171 have walking trails!

So depending on where you are located and where you drive regularly. At least you know there are some options made available!

But no matter what:

  1. You’ve got feet.
  2. You’ve got asphalt/parking lot
  3. A few minutes to burn on a break or parked for the night.

On an average day, you want to walk close to 10,000 steps. However, the average American barely walks 3,000-4,000 steps per day. Which is roughly 1.5 to 2 miles. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends you walk an average of 150 minutes a week!

Let’s do the math. That’s roughly 21.7 minutes PER DAY! That’s it!

So between you and me. We got this! And let us turn up the heat a bit so you can get the most bang out of your stride every single time!

Interval Walking Check List:

Protocol: Start small and simple. Try 5 minutes of easy walking. Next, you want to increase intensity only about 15% for 4 minutes. And continue to do so every 4 minutes. Keep going until you reach your maximum amount of available walk time. And don’t forget to include a 2-5 minute cool down walk as well.

Example: 5 minutes of easy walking -> 15% increase for 4 minutes (total time 9 minutes) -> 15% increase for 4 minutes (total time 13 minutes) -> 15% increase for 4 minutes (total time 17 minutes) -> 15% increase for 2 minutes -> decrease to original pace for 2-5 minutes (total time 21-24 minutes)

Walking is a simple yet often overlooked form of exercise. If you don’t want to end up in a wheelchair when you are older. Then get out of the chair now! This doesn’t mean you have to go out and get a gym membership, become a yogi, or join Cross Fit.

NBC News.com posted an article discussing how walking is the MOST underrated form of exercise. And I couldn’t agree more. “Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better than running,” says Dr. Matt Tanneberg, CSCS, a sports Chiropractor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in Phoenix, Arizona who works with elite athletes. “You hear of people ‘plateauing’ when they continue to do the same workout routine and stop seeing results. I see patients all the time that plateau from running, they will run the same distance, speed and time, day in and day out. You need to constantly be switching up your exercise routine in order to get the maximum benefit for your health.”

What should the level of intensity be?

1 being no exertion at all

15 being maximal exertion

Start at about a 5 – “Light”. Much like a warm-up in an exercise class.

And each increase, bump yourself up one exertion level.

Think of the goal to get to 10- “Hard”. Where the workout feels difficult, but you can keep going.

Every little bit counts.

Can’t do 20 minutes straight? Consider five minutes and increase rate each minute after minute for 3 minutes, with a cool down minute at minute five.

Interval walking is great for weight-loss. And if increasing your interval like above seems a bit much. Reduce the time and consider adding in 30 second rest periods.

In that same article NBC News posted John Ford, certified exercise physiologist, who runs JKF Fitness & Health in New York City. commented that: “In fact, walking is the suggested workout over running for many people. For example, those with knee, ankle and back problems and also for people who are overweight to obese. Walking is a lower impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.”

The only excuses are the ones you make up in your head. It doesn’t matter if all you can do is one minute of walking and then you have to take a break. Because it all adds up. And the biggest critic is the one inside that head. And I want to tell you it’s all lies. You can do this! Walking can be fun. And it’s free!

When we tell ourselves we need to exercise or workout, what we are doing is putting that into a box. And in that box are stipulations around how that box should or should not be used. I want to encourage you to take exercise out of that box and see it has movement. Challenge yourself every day to move more. And do not mistake walking as just something you do. Because without walking the world is no longer accessible to you in the way you want. Walking is your independence, your freedom, your gateway into the world on many levels. So get out and walk today. The more you do it, the more you will want to do it!

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/10000-steps/art-20317391

https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-use-interval-walking-to-lose-weight-3495456

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/why-walking-most-underrated-form-exercise-ncna797271