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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

Truck Driver challenge with RoadPro and Mother Trucker Yoga

Going the Distance Challenge for Truck Drivers

Going the Distance Truck Driver Challenge starts July 27th! 

Truck drivers are one of the largest underserved communities. And with truck drivers’ health continually at risk, something needs to change. Other challenges have been displayed to drivers before and mostly they focus on weight loss. And although many drivers could serve to lose weight, that doesn’t mean they are healthier. It’s about the small building block changes that build the biggest results.

For truckers, that number is 14%. Why do truckers suffer from diabetes at a rate of ost 50% higher than the rest of the American population? They have more risk factors, according to physicians. Drivers smoke more; about half of truck drivers smoke compared to 19% of other adults.

The CDC stated that:

By law, drivers of commercial vehicles and trucks are permitted 14 hours of duty per day worked. They are required to take a mandatory 10-hour break before they can drive again for work. As a result, long freight delivery routes often require them to sleep away from home. Life on the road makes it more difficult to live healthy because of:

  • irregular schedules
  • long hours
  • little physical activity
  • limited access to healthy foods on the interstates
  • stress

And that has left our drivers with issues like heart disease, obesity, hypertension, nd diabetes. HOWEVER, most drivers hearing this is nothing new. And it is my belief that we must FIRST address the underlying causes of these issues which are: Air, Food, Water, Sleep, and Movement all in small bite-size practices.

Going the distance truckers health challenge 5 elements mother trucker yoga blog

Interested in learning some tips to feel better while on the road or at home? If so, join us for Going the Distance Health Challenge. This is a 1-month completion challenge for professional drivers. The St. Christopher Truckers Fund has teamed up with Mother Trucker Yoga to show you how making small, simple changes in your daily routine can result in big health benefits. The challenge is based on five elements needed for survival: water, food, sleep, air, and movement.

How is this health challenge different than those you may be familiar with?

First, it is a completion challenge. Each person who stays engaged in the challenge for the full month is a winner and will receive prizes from various sponsors. Second, it is a two-part challenge. The first part consists of a short 5-day challenge. Everyone who completes the 5-day challenge is eligible to move on to the 2nd challenge. This challenge lasts four weeks and each week will have a specific health focus.

What are the benefits of joining this challenge?

We will explain why each task (drinking more water, eating healthy foods, incorporating daily movement, breathing with intention, and getting adequate sleep) is beneficial instead of just telling you to do something. We will offer real support and accountability. We will provide a place where you can ask health questions and get answers. We will cover the five key elements of survival and how to utilize them successfully. We want you to not only survive but thrive!

Who is running this challenge? 

Hope Zvara of Mother Trucker Yoga who has worked with thousands of people just like you over the last 20 years reclaim their physical, mental, and emotional health through yoga and other mindful practices and now primarily focuses on the trucking community. With her expertise in functional movement (everyday movement and lifestyle) and pain, he is a powerhouse of knowledge and inspiration.

“I believe anyone can show you exercise in front of a truck. That anyone can tell you to do this or that, but changing your health has to be more than that. It must take you back to the beginning and show you how to make real change. Help you understand why behind what you are doing and are asked to do and then show you the way.”

And Julie Dillon of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. Julie is a TNC (Total Nutritional Counselor), her knowledge on food, nutrition and lifestyle will aid this challenge to inspire and help drivers build a knowledge base as to why we need certain foods and what happens when we eat or don’t eat them. Julie’s ability to break this process down into bite-size pieces will help every driver participating make great strides at the end.

Trucker Challenge with Mother Trucker Yoga

What is the investment for joining this truck driver challenge? 

This health and wellness challenge is absolutely free! Joining our challenge, our accountability group, and learn alongside experts in the natural health, fitness, and wellness arena cost you nothing. Other challenges require you to buy their product or join their subscription. Not here. We are 100% here for you and all you need to do is say YES!

How can someone register for Going the Distance, and when does it start?

Registration will start on July 6th. Phase 1 of the challenge is July 27-31. Phase 2 is August 3rd-28. Participants can register below. You must be a truck driver to win any prizes during the challenge.

What’s Next?

After registering, please join our Facebook Group, for daily/weekly engagement. This is where most, if not all, the information will be shared. If you do not currently use Facebook, create a “mock” profile for yourself and delete it after the challenge is over. While not mandatory, it is crucial for your success in this challenge to have a Facebook account.

We are encouraging everyone to have a buddy to sign up along with him/her to offer support and accountability.

Prizes will be provided by Road Pro Family of BrandsTA Petro, and Mother Trucker Yoga. STIFF Mother Trucker, Bill Weaver Music, Chrome & Steel Radio, Jacks Chrome Shop 

If you have any questions about the truck driver challenge?

Please contact Julie Dillon at:

Julie @ truckersfund.org or Hope Zvara at hope @ mothertruckeryoga.com

Constipation Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

Constipation: 3 Ways to get Relief on the Go

Constipation. Not exactly a conversation ANY of us want to have. But yesterday I spent the day with drivers at the Petro in Wilmington, IL and the topic of fiber, digestion, and constipation just kept coming up.

It struggles for anyone who travels to try to stay regular. There are so many factors that play into your body not playing along. But for a truck driver, the challenges can be even steeper than that of the average person.

With little access to “just run into the store” and limited to prepurchases before you (yes, you the truck driver) leave for a run and what is available at the truck stop, you better leave stocked up or you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

I just want to first start out by saying it is not under any circumstances normal to not be emptying your bowels every single day. If food is going in, then food better is coming out. If your body is currently not operating in this manner than I urge you to imagine where that eaten food is then going? Fermenting, decaying, not leaving your body.

Gross right? Exactly.

The average truck driver’s diet is often less than what someone would consider healthy, but with a little preparation and thoughtfulness, you (yes, I’m talking to you again) can get things running more smoothly (see what I did there).

3 Ways to Help Fight Constipation:

First things first. Water. We all absolutely, positively, without a doubt need to be drinking water. Your body is made up of more than 60% water and it is your job to keep the river flowing. As a driver, you are constantly racing against the clock and each stop you take works against you. So my suggestion is always to drink smart.

1-hour before you wake up, drink AT LEAST 8 ounces of water, I have some drivers now downing 10-20 ounces before their feet leave their truck. That hour will give your body time to make a way through you. Plus, by drinking water in the morning you cleanse your body from yesterday’s leftovers. Add lemon and you can also help boost and balance your pH (more on that later). So drink up my friend, your body depends on it.

Get your greens in. For anyone who travels it can be difficult to get a balanced diet each and every day. And for some drivers, cooking on the truck every day is just not a reality for them. So to help boost your body’s bottom line and get in what you just can seem to consume through food each day consider grabbing a greens powder to take every day.

Dark greens are essential to our daily diet. They help keep the bloat away, act as a means to detox the body, improve digestion, and elimination. Plus, provide you with essential nutrients that you just aren’t getting from that chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato or that iceberg salad. Couple that with daily movement with Mother Trucker Yoga and you have yourself some healthy bowels!

Do the best you can with what you have. But sometimes, you have need more. Greens travel and store well, and all you need to do is mix them with water (I take them at night and in the morning) and drink up.

Here are a few of my favorite brands.

Finally, finding fiber, or better yet, finding foods with fiber is another challenge some drivers may not even fully be aware of. Fiber is essential for your body. Its role is to help your body eliminate what is no longer necessary in the body and get it out. If you are lacking fiber in your diet, then you are more than likely lacking bathroom visits as well.

Add fiber too much too soon and you have a constipation problem all over again. So start small and start with real foods when it comes to adding more fiber to your diet. Consider beans, avocados, blackberries, chia seeds, bran and getting in your veggies. Good news, things like bran, chia seeds, and beans all travel well. That means you can take them with on long-hauls without the worry about spoiling.

If you have never used chia seeds before, they are amazing! Put them in yogurt, add them to your drink, smoothie, you can even put them into your baked goods. My favorite is to soak them in warm water for 10 minutes then add them to coconut yogurt- YUM!

Even then, traveling and living on the road can make even accessing the food suggested above challenges. Consider traveling with fiber you can easily add to a drink or mix with water and take daily. If you find yourself in need of adding supplemental fiber into your diet try some of my favorites:

Don’t let the challenges of being a truck driver keep you backed up (hehe- constipation). Instead, pack the essentials. Not just want you truck would need if you broke down, but what you need so you don’t get backed up! Without a healthy you- there is no truck driving.

Want more? Check out our blog post on Healthy Foods on the Road

Are you following us on Facebook? Hop over and check us out!

Egg in a basket Mother Trucker Yoga

Egg in a Basket (Egg in an Avocado)

Egg in a hole, egg in a basket, toad in a hole, hen in a nest, one-eyed Jack. Until recently I had never even heard of some of these crazy names for food. But no matter what, it doesn’t change the deliciousness of our dish we are sharing with you all today. 

Egg in a hole Mother Trucker Yoga

Call it what you want. Egg in a hole is about to go to a hole new level. Skip the bread slices today because we are changing up the recipe today and giving your taste buds a makeover. 

 

No need to bake this dish in the oven, you can throw it together and use RoadPro Family of Brands frying pan. And let it cook while you get your coffee and get ready for the road. This dish may just stop traffic!

 

It can be tough while living over the road to eat healthy. But most certainly not impossible! First things first, stop telling yourself you can’t eat healthy over the road. Second, stop telling yourself you can’t cook healthy over the road. 

 

This dish was featured at GATS 2019 in my presentation Fueling Your Rig, Fueling You- Eating Healthy Over The Road. And my new trucker friend Travis whipped (literally) this dish up in eight minutes. 

 

Why eight minutes? Because, that is the amount of time on stage I gave him. And heck, if he could really make a dish in 8 minutes. I want to share about it!

 

And alongside our other featured dishes: Mongolian Beef, Asian Salad, and Spring Rolls this was a huge hit!

 

Egg in a Basket (Egg in an Avocado Basket)

 

I didn’t know what that was (full disclosure). But I did know what Egg in a Hole was. And the parameters I gave Travis was no bread and must be healthy. 

 

Wow! His tweaks were out of this world HOME RUN! And I want to share that with you today!

 

This isn’t just a simple breakfast, this could be lunch or dinner. Anytime, anywhere, and yes, over the road, made in your truck! 

 

EGGS IN A BASKET

Like this recipe?

Please share this recipe out with all your over the road friends! 

 

For many breakfast is their favorite meal. But one reason I love this dish is because it could be lunch or dinner. And if you are intermittent fasting, or focusing on getting healthy fats and protein, this dish is for you!

 

Busy? At home? Or on the road, you can make this dish.

This is a really healthy and filling breakfast, and take it from Travis, it only takes 8 minutes, and less than that to eat!

 

Ingredients for Eggs in a Basket 

3 🥑 Avocados 

3 crushed tomatoes or 1 jar of chunky marinara sauce 

1 bag of spinach 

1 onion chopped (don’t have onion tried dried onion flakes)

1 green pepper chopped 

1 tbsp minced garlic (no garlic, try dehydrated garlic)

1/2 cup of Parmesan 

1/2 cup of feta cheese 

Basil to taste/ garnish with diced tomatoes

1 carton of eggs 

Mother Trucker Yoga Egg in a Hole Blog

HOW TO MAKE EGGS IN A BASKET AVOCADO

 

  1. Make sure the griddle is hot in order to get the bread nice and crispy.
  2. Start with a ripe avocado, you can check how ripe it is by noticing if it is firm yet you can squeeze it a bit. And also notice if the belly button (where the stem used to be) is poking out. If it is, the avocado is ripe. 
  3. Slice lengthwise and pull the pit out. 
  4. Scoop out the fruit. And then cut the avocado into slices so there is a hole to put the egg into once in the pan. 
  5. You can choose your thickness depending on how many you want to make. 
  6. Pour the marinara in frying pan and add spices.
  7. Place avocado slices in the marinara.
  8. Crack eggs carefully and place eggs into the holes of the avocados.
  9. Use fresh eggs, preferably Organic eggs. Kwik Trip and Kwik Star Stores sell fresh eggs which is fantastic for this recipe. 
  10. Salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

HOW TO SERVE EGGS IN A BASKET?

Freshly cracked black pepper is enough, but you can also drizzle some sriracha on top while serving.

 

YUM! I prefer crispy bacon to go along with my meal. You can also serve it with our delicious Asian Salad

 

Tools used to make Eggs in a Basket

 

Griddle: We recommend Road Pro Family of brands frying pan.

You can often find them at participating TA-Petro Truck Stops. 

 

Now this portioning will easily feed you and your trucker friends. 

So feel free to reduce the quantity in half to meet your needs. 

 

This is a delicious way to still enjoy Eggs in a Basket without all the bread and empty calories. 

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!

 

 

7 Yoga Poses for Bedtime Bliss for Truckers

Sleep Over the Road: 7 Yoga Poses for Bedtime Bliss

Have you ever tried to get sleep while traveling over the road? If so then typically bedtime is not something you would describe as bliss by any means.

But what if there was something you could to to help even just a little bit, take the edge off falling asleep?

Would you try it?

What about for one week, seven nights, to see if it would help you fall asleep?

It can be difficult to sleep anywhere, but when your sleeping quarters consist of a small cubicle on wheels parked next to an idling truck or busy highway. It can be even more difficult.

I have been working with individuals for nearly 20 years with all sorts of ailments, issues and concerns and sleep is one of the top complaints. Yoga or yoga like practices can help dramatically help those choosing to practice fall asleep faster and sleep more restful.

We all need a few minutes each day to decompress, clear our mind, but even more so, stretch and relieve tension from our physical body.

When we choose to not do those things it can be difficult to turn our mind off, relieve that nagging back pain that will keep you up all night. And most importantly we all need some sort of practice to help our central nervous system relax and reset as well.

Or we may end up reliving today, tomorrow all over again.

Here are Mother Trucker Yoga’s Top 7 Moves For a Better Sleep Over the Road:

Bedtime Yoga Pose #1: Standing Stress Relief Forward Bend

Trucking Standing Forward Bend Bedtime

Standing Stress Relief Forward Bend

With soft knees, exhale roll your body forward clasping opposite elbows, allowing your head to hand heavy.
Remain here with your eyes soft (or closed) for five to ten breaths. Inhale, gently roll up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #2: Daily Devotional

Trucking Back Stretch Bedtime

Daily Devotional

Feeling gratitude for the day exhale, sit back towards the heels, knees as wide as comfortable, outstretch the arms and relax the head, feel your breath and you continually soften your entire body from the day. Remain here up to one minute. (Feel free to place a rolled blanket or block between the heels to sit on)

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #3: Bound Angle Bedtime Back Stretch

Trucking Bound Angle Back Stretch Bedtime

Bound Angle Bedtime Back Stretch

Place the bottoms of the feet together.

Exhale roll your body forward allowing your arms to reach outward feeling length and release through your hips and entire spine.

Don’t worry about how far you can fold or reach.

Remain here breathing calmly for up to one minute.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #4: Driver Hip Flexor Release

Trucking Hip Stretch Bedtime

Drivers Hip Flexor Release

Place block or stack of hand towels or even a pillow placed under your sacrum.

Gently draw your right knee in to your chest as you reach out through the opposite heel.

Working to keep your hips stable. Feel length and release in the hip flexor (front of the hip), remain in the stretch breathing calmly for up to one minute.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #5: Bound Angle Bedtime Bliss

Reclined Bound Angle Trucking Bedtime Pose

Bound Angle Bedtime Bliss

Place a block or stack of hand towels or a pillow under the sacrum.

Let the knees fall open and the bottoms of the feet come together. Adjust the feet from the pelvis to accommodate the knees.

Breathe deeply and your body falls away from the stress of the day. Remain here for one to two minutes.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #6: Taming Tension Release Breath

Trucking Bedtime Tension Release

Taming Tension Release Breath

Seated, draw the arms outward from your body.

Inhale through the nose and mindfully drop your breath into your heart.

Retain the breath and silently repeat “I willingly and consciously release all harmful tension”.

Now exhale visualize the tension rolling down the arms and out the palms like toxic waste.

Repeat this for three to six times and then take three to six natural breaths. Repeat as necessary.

 

Bedtime Yoga Pose #7: Full Body Bedtime Breath

Relaxation Pose Trucking Bedtime

Full Body Bedtime Breath

Lying on the floor or in your bed, separate your legs and turn your palms to face up; inhale and imagine drawing the breath up through your feet, legs, pelvis, abdomen, throat and to the crown of the head.

Exhale and draw the breath back down the entire body being mindful of each body part the breath travels through all the way out the bottoms of the feet. Repeat this three to ten times feeling more and more deeply relaxed.

And make sure you are doing this on a quality mattress. Because every driver deserves a better bed. Good night!

You may have read this and are thinking “I can’t do yoga”. Then I want to encourage you to not look at it as yoga. But look at it just like brushing your teeth. The long term effects of not brushing your teeth are, you will lose your teeth.

The long term effects of not giving yourself even just five minutes of stress relieving, sleep educing activities will leave you sleepless, agitated, and at risk of getting into an accident because you are not fully able to drive that eighteen wheeler down the road safely.

To help you even further check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s audio made just for relaxation of body and mind.

And for reading and sharing this blog post you can grab it:

>>>HERE<<<for FREE by using the code: MTYSLEEP

Count Breath Meditation

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

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

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!