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6 Rules for Over the Road Fitness

6 Rules for Over the Road Fitness

6 Rules for Over the Road Fitness

 

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

 

Long drives can trigger multiple health issues! Old News!

We can pull through the long-distance travels effortlessly!

Good News!

Let us take look at

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

 

There was a cat laying on a nail crying meow. 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Forestall the trigger

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

 

Adjust your seat accordingly.

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

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

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

Standard Features to this seat include:

Air Chief Seat Mother Trucker Yoga blog

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

 

 

Relax Your Body

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

 

 

Arms position and pedal distance

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

 

Lumbar Support

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

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

BackShield for RV Driving

Mirror Positioning

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

 

Other Important Points

Take small intervals

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

Hydration

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

Music Therapy

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

Fuel your body

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

Drive Safely

Last but not least,

“Drive Cautiously”

“Follow the traffic rules.”

“Don’t get a ticket for speeding.”

 

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

 

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

 

This post is sponsored by:

Bud and Tony's Truck Parts

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

Sciatica Relief Hope Zvara and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

5 Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

Several years ago I had sciatica for nearly a year straight. I was seeking sciatica pain relief in the worst way.

It hurt to bend, it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it hurt to sleep, it hurt to do just about everything. I thought to myself “is this how the rest of my life is going to be?” The worst thing was – I was a yoga teacher. Having never had any real physical injuries I began to seek relief and care. During my first visit to a chiropractor, we discovered that my pelvis was not level and probably for quite some time. Trying to put things back into place made for a very angry body.

Sciatica Relief Hope Zvara and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

As someone early into teaching yoga I vowed to help others dissolve pain because no one should have to live with pain like this on a daily basis. Through improving my posture, building stability in my frame as well as building muscle and staying mobile slowly my sciatica disappeared. But over the years it tries to rear its annoying head and with my toolbox in place, I know exactly what to do to dissolve the symptoms and find relief once again.

If you have ever had it, you know it. That pain that can knock you off your feet. That pain can derail you dead in your tracks. That nerve pain that can be so excruciating that you are flat on the floor praying it will pass.

WHAT IS SCIATICA:

I think it is important to first describe what sciatica is and what it is not. Sciatica is a pain and nerve sensation that can travel through the glute down the leg, past the knee into the calf. Sciatica has a number of causes some of them being injury (to the lower back), ruptured disk, bulging disk, spinal injury, and spinal stenosis. Sciatica is most cases originates from the lower back, and most true sciatica cases are caused by spinal injuries or issues.

WHERE IS THE SCIATIC NERVE:

The sciatic nerve is a nerve that originates in the lower back on either side of the spine. It runs through the buttocks and into the hips before branching down each leg. In some cases, the sciatic nerve runs under or through the piriformis muscle.

This nerve is the longest nerve in the body and provides sensation to the outer leg and foot. Sciatica is nerve pain that runs through the buttocks, down the back of the leg and into the ankle or foot.

WHAT IS PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME:

Piriformis syndrome although it feels similar they are not. Piriformis syndrome often originates from the glute (hip buttocks) area, where sciatica originates from the lower back.

Piriformis syndrome causes sciatica-like symptoms when piriformis muscle pinches down on the sciatic nerve and causes pain just like sciatica: burning, tingling, shooting pain especially when sitting. However piriformis pain often does not travel below the knee, whereas sciatica will.

Both sciatica and piriformis are not a condition as much as they are symptom caused by another problem: a herniated disc, lower back injury, tight piriformis/hip muscles, pelvis or hip pain/injury, or misalignment. While most try to treat the symptoms it is critical to look to the root cause and try to find relief starting there.

Dr. Mark Kovacs, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, adds that the best way to alleviate most sciatica pain is to do “any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.”

5 STRETCHES FOR SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF:

KNEES INTO THE CHEST:

Knees into chest stretch sciatica MTY Blog

FIGURE FOUR STRETCH

Figure Four Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

FIGURE FOUR STRETCH SEATED

Walking Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga

COBRA

Cobra MTY BLog Sciatica

STANDING CALF STRETCH

Calf Stretch MTY Blog Sciatica

SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF TREATMENT:

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream is an excellent means for pain relief. Applying three to four times a day over the area of pain for immediate and long-lasting relief. The ingredients in Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream specifically target the affected area and provide cooling and warming relief, increased blood flow, and decreased inflammation. (Shop Now)

Stiff Mother Trucker Chart

Chiropractic care can be extremely helpful during a sciatica flare-up. When you find a good chiropractor he or she can help you realign your bones to give space for your body to begin to find relief. However, it is my own experience over the last 20 years working with thousands of people that chiropractic care alone will do very little for most. When the body is tight, stiff, and has created its own patterns in the fascia, resetting a bone using chiropractic practices can feel like a revolving door.

Consider coupling this form of treatment with massage therapy, yoga, stretching, or physical therapy to retrain your body to move, sit, and hold in different ways.

Ice treatments can be helpful immediately after you begin to feel the pain. Icing the glute if it is piriformis syndrome or the lower back and hip area if it is due to a lower back injury causing sciatica. Try 20 minutes of ice on and off for the first three or four days.

Heat is acceptable a few days after the flare-up begins. Using heat immediately may cause more aggravation.

SCIATICA PREVENTION:

Some people are unfortunately nearly 40% of people will end up feeling the effects of sciatica than others, and many it can be reoccurring.

 “People who suffer from acute or chronic back pain tend to be more susceptible to sciatica,” says Dr. Jeffrey N. Katz, professor of medicine and orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. “Your risk also rises if you’re obese, if you smoke, or if you’re sedentary.”

An article from Bud and Tony’s Truck Parts on back pain stated that:

  • Awkward and uncomfortable sitting postures
  • Lifting
  • Repetition
  • Body vibration
  • Leaning, hunching, and rounding
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of physical fitness

Bud and Tony's Truck Parts

It is not always possible to prevent sciatica. However, some lifestyle modifications, increase in regular exercise(s), improving core strength and movements throughout the day can help. In addition, regularly walking, using supportive devices for driving and desk work like BackShield and supportive sleeping can significantly help reduce a person’s risk of experiencing sciatica again.

In general, regular exercise and building a strong core may help prevent sciatica. Additionally maintaining a good posture while sitting and standing is important, and may make people less likely to develop sciatica than people with poor posture. Consider working with Mother Trucker Yoga to learn how to improve posture, exercises you can do directly from the cab and driver’s seat of your rig to help prevent and keep sciatica symptoms at bay. And inside our platform, you’ll get detailed step by step videos of the moves above!

 

strong abs with mother trucker yoga blog post

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers

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

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

What is traditional core work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Not Sit-Ups?

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

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

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

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

  1. Focus on form and function.

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

  2. Focus on movements that extend more than flex.

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

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

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

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

4 Exercises for Truckers to Strengthen Their Core:

Exercise #1 – Weighted Extension:

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

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

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

Exercise #2 – Oblique Weighted Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

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

Oblique Weighted Twist Core Exercise Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post

Exercise #3 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

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

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

Exercise #4 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

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

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

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

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

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

Got Pain?

Check out our signature pain relief cream made just for truck drivers.. AND… It works!

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Truck Drivers

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 

10 Tips for a Functional Body

10 Tips for a Functional Body

Did you know that there are over 7 million truck drivers on our roads? Sadly, truckers are one of the unhealthiest populations in our country. The long work hours, little to no time to rest or stretch throughout the day, and the obvious requirement of sitting for long hours on end do not help matters much. These forces work against drivers maintaining a functional body, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yoga has been around for nearly 5,000 years. Yoga is comprised of different poses that help different parts of the body. Most people start to incorporate yoga, or other mindful movements, into their daily routine in order to benefit themselves both mentally and physically. 

It isn’t a secret that life on the road as a trucker isn’t easy. Deadlines quickly become the priority and your health and overall well-being takes a backseat. BUT you don’t need a gym or a yoga studio to stay healthy. There are many things that you can do to help keep your body functional and healthy while on the road. 

Here are 4 changes you can start to make today to start living life on the healthier side of the highway. Get a functional body in no time!

 

  1. Do Something While You Are Driving!

    Now please don’t take this the wrong way. Safety should ALWAYS be your #1 priority. However, if you can multitask while driving I encourage you to do it. Get the most out of the time you have by utilizing hand weights, resistance bands or mindful breathing exercises while driving. Better yet, tune into Mother Trucker Yoga’s Yoga in Seat Guided Audio that guides you through simple exercises to help keep your body and mind limber, happy and healthy while on the road.
  2. Move

    How many trucks have ever considered yoga? Probably not many. It’s ok–believe it or not, I’m not shocked. However, yoga is for everyone–truckers included. Truck drivers sit all day, have limited movement opportunities, incur broken sleep patterns, and have added stressors that continually take a toll on their bodies. There are also limited resources available to them to make the changes they know they need to make. Incorporating yoga movements will help you to increase wholeness and wellness. If you are looking for a starting point, the Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio only costs $7.99/month and you will receive professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes accessible wherever you go. 
  3. Shed Your Shoes

    After a long day on the road, take off your shoes! Our bodies are like rubber bands; the tighter a rubber band gets on one end, the more it will pull on the other end. If our fascia becomes stiff, the more we feel that sticky stiffness in our bodies. So what I’m saying is: if your hips are tight, your feet will react, and if your feet are tight, your hips will react. Get the point? So in the end, shed those shoes! And if you suffer from foot pain, know that pain relief is not far.
  4. Strengthen Your Core

    Your core muscles to help support you in everything that you do. Strengthening your core helps to improve your posture, decreases lower back pain, and improves your overall stability and posture. As the creator of the Core Functional Fitness Program, I have over a decade of experience teaching and practicing functionally fit exercise. 

 

Making these small changes today will lead to a lifetime of benefits, both physically and mentally. Don’t waste any more time–start today and work on your functional body!

 

Here are some other great resources to help you get started:

Smart Ass Core 20 Minute Workout Video

Attention Truckers: Step It Up with Interval Walking

Pelvic Tilts: Best Move for Truckers with Back Pain

7 Little Changes Drivers Can Make To Improve Their Health

10 Steps to Goal Setting for Truck Drivers

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

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

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

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

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

10 Steps to Setting Your Goals and Reaching Them:

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

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

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

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

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

You got this!

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!

BreakTime Health and Wellness Discussion with Mother Trucker Yoga

BreakTime: Fitness Time with Hope Zvara

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

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

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

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

On Tuesday, January 14th 2020 at 7pm EST

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

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

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

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

See you there!

BreakTime Chat with Mother Trucker Yoga

Meditation for Truckers

Benefits of Meditation — And Simple Ways To Start Meditating

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

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

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

The Benefits of Meditation

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

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

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

Different Forms of Meditation

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

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

Tips for Beginners

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

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

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

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

2. Start with just two minutes every morning

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

3. Stay connected with a meditation journal

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

 

4. Benefits of Meditation

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

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

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!