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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!

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

4 Tips To Start Eating Healthy Today

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

The people over here say this.

The people over there say that.

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

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

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

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

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

Here are my 4 Tips to Start Eating Healthy Today:

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

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

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

 

StayFit Days with Hope Zvara and TA Petro

StayFit Days with TA Petro and Mother Trucker Yoga

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

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

What does this mean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—–SayFit 1-Hour Workshops: 12pm & 5pm

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

—–StayFit 1-Hour Workshops: 9am & 5pm

Share this Flyer HERE

These workshops and offerings are 100% FREE to drivers!

We hope to see you there!

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

Giving Tuesday 5 Trucking Organizations to Donate to on December 3, 2019

Giving Tuesday: 5 Trucking Organizations to Donate to on December 3, 2019

Beyond just generally being a good thing to do, giving can also be good for you. There are many studies that suggest that giving back could positively impact an individual’s health both mentally and physically. Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to help others and help yourself.

#GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

The trucking community has long been known for its generosity to those in need. Truckers have difficult, demanding jobs. Many live paycheck-to-paycheck and can’t afford to miss a delivery–even at the expense of their own health. Sadly, in the first half of 2019 alone, more than 640 trucking companies went bankrupt in the first half of 2019 alone, leaving more than 3,000 drivers without jobs. So, what does a trucker do if they’re broke and hungry, over a thousand miles from home? How do these trucker families make ends meet and pay for medical expenses when their company permanently closes its doors? 

The Good News

Thankfully, there are organizations like The Truckers Christmas Group (TGCO) out there that exist to help truckers and their families in times of need. 

The Truckers Christmas Group (TGCO) is an organization that was created in 2008 to raise funds to support CDL drivers and their families during the holiday season by raising funds requested through aid applications and nominations. 

In 2018, TGCO saw record numbers of applications. The organization delivered $8,000 to 16 families during the Christmas season. Unfortunately, for 2019, TCGO is anticipating an even more increased need based on the number of trucking companies that are going out of business. This is in addition to the number of applications for drivers or their immediate family members’ medical conditions that are traditionally received.

TGCO started accepting nominations for trucking families on November 21st, 2019 and will continue accepting nominations until December 11, 2019. To nominate a driver and his/her family, visit https://truckerschristmasgroup.org/. All nominations are anonymous and open to professional CDL drivers living in the United States and Canada.

On December 3, 2019, Mother Trucker Yoga encourages you to join the #GivingTuesday movement–whether you are able to give your time, a donation, or the power of your voice in your community–do something to make the trucking world a better place. 

Here are 5 GREAT organizations to consider donating to this Giving Tuesday:

1 – St. Christopher’s Truck Relief Fund (SCF)

SCF exists to help truckers suffering hardship because of a current medical issue. For over ten years, they have been helping drivers get access to health resources, and to pay critical household expenses.

2 – Truckers Christmas Group (TCGO)

The Truckers Christmas group began in 2008 by Truckers who wanted to help Truckers and their families that have fallen on bad times, have a better Christmas. Since its inception, TCGO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season. 

Look for Mother Trucker Yoga’s donated items to purchase this holiday season inside their store!

3 – Trucker Charity

Trucker Charity offers a variety of services to those in the trucking industry, including life coaches and mentoring with one-on-one assistance. The organization also provides assistance with food and emergency housing for truckers that become stranded due to disaster or inclement weather and operates a food pantry for truckers at exit 68 along I-70 in Brownstown, IL.

4 – TruckersFinalMile.org

TruckersFinalMile.org helps truckers reunite with their families during crisis. The group can help provide transportation and lodging during critical times and has a hotline staffed 24/7/365.

5 – Meals for 18 Wheels

This group helps professional drivers across the country get connected with a hot meal. Through a network of volunteers, they will put hungry drivers in touch with locals who can deliver a hot, home-cooked meal to them in their trucks. They will also help drivers and their families who are struggling financially to put food in their cupboards.

 

Don’t forget to listen in Every Thursday at 9am CST (7am PST) to A Daily Dose of Hope on Chrome and Steel Radio.

PLUS You can listen to all the episodes on their website!

Mother Trucker Yoga A Daily Dose of Hope Chrome and Steel Radio

 

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

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!

Trucking Food and Fitness Tracker

5 Reason Truckers Need A Food & Fitness Journal

When is the last time you saw someone advertising to a truck driver to keep a food journal?

Have you ever kept a food journal?

Have you ever tracked what you eat, when, and in what quantities?

 

You might be surprised to find that most Americans eat more than what their brain cares to remember.

Some of you may or may not know, but I found yoga as a means to step into recovery from a long battle with an eating disorder. One that I was told, best case scenario is I would “learn to function in the world on medication.”  But something in me said that would not be my future.

Having a food and fitness journal helped me establish a healthier relationship with food, fitness and myself. I used food to not have to deal or feel with anything in life. Maybe you can relate better to the word numb. I wanted to be numb.

But if you want to change anything, and I mean ANYTHING, you must first be aware of it. Aware of what it is you desire to change. And then be willing to step back from your excuses and loaded reasons as to why you are the way you are (be them true or not) and see things as they actually are.

I have worked with thousands of people over the last nearly 20 years and trucker or not, most of us have a skewed perception of what and how much we really eat and do over the course of a day.

Drinking that Diet Coke and Monster at 10 AM every day is so automatic that you most days forget you even do it. But when you don’t have it. Watch out world, things might get ugly.

And when it comes to moving more (some call it fitness or exercise), well we all know the response. I’m to BLANK. Or I do move a lot (except it’s only in small bursts one to two times a day straight off of sitting for several hours behind the wheel.

So what is the benefit of keeping a food and fitness journal?

Well, its really quite simple.

Eating is for fueling, not feeling.

When you track what you eat. How much you eat. Alongside how you are feeling or why you are eating what you are eating. It is important to point out that food does not fix how we feel-talking from experience. And many of us are eating out of boredom, loneliness, oral fixation, sadness and so on. And when we can see on a piece of paper right in front of us what is really going into our mouths only then can we start to do something about it. And when you tie in how you are feeling, well Dr. Phil we may have just found a very important piece to the puzzle.

It is easier to create a plan when you have data.

Trucker Food Journal

Have you ever tried to plan a route to get your load from point A to point B but it’s your first time running the load? So that initial time feels like a shot in the dark.

Hoping things go smoothly.

Hoping there are no delays.

Hoping you didn’t miss or forget something.

And because you have no real data to compare to, it’s shot in the dark. It’s only after you run the load that you gather data and then for future loads you can become more and more effective. Food and fitness are no different. Journaling (logging) what you eat and how much you move daily, as much of a pain in the ass as it may seem will only help you be more effective in the changes you desire to make. Those shots in the dark can easily become frustrating. And what if some of the changes you decided to implement weren’t even necessary? And could have been avoided having first collected data. AKA what you ate, and how much you moved in real time.

Fitness really can be at your finger tips. It really can be. It’s available to you each and every day. Except you and everyone else struggling with working out. Is just that, only looking at fitness as exercise. Hitting the gym, heading to a yoga studio or dying as you try to keep up with a P90X video that seems to have skipped absolute beginner mode. And if you are still wondering what yoga can do for you here are 60 benefits for truckers to read up on.

Fitness to me should be an equation incorporating your every day life movements.

Downward Dog Stretch while filling up with fuel + Core Marching while in the drivers seat waiting to unload + wrist stretches while driving + ANYTHING else you can throw in there = WAY more than you would be doing otherwise!

The little things can easily go unnoticed.

Three little packs of ketchup (sugar) here, sugar added to your coffee over there. Sweetened Ice-Tea at 2 PM, and on it goes. All those little things DO ADD UP! And all those little things are usually packed with sugar, preservatives, and you just don’t need it. Let me say that again. You just don’t need it. You want it, it’s a habit, extra ketchup, mayo, sugar, sweetener, and now your body craves it because it’s addicted to it.

But trust me when I say the world will keep turning when you opt out. But in order to opt out, you have to have a true sense of of much you are opting in on those condiments in the first place. So say hello to your food journal. How many ketchup packets, how many sugars, how large is the sweetened ice-tea and what are you feeling when you reach for them?

You might be doing better than you think.

When I talk to people about how much they are moving and what they are eating it is not uncommon to have a slightly slanted view of how good you really are doing. It’s easy to let the few not so great choices cloud our vision of success (talking from experience). Writing down everything can help you gain a better sense of where you truly are in your journey. Trust me when I say lying to yourself will not get you anywhere. And it is vital to celebrate the little wins, and acknowledge what you are doing right.

It is easy to want everything to change tomorrow and when it doesn’t we can easily get frustrated. But let’s be real for a moment and say where you are, and how you are did not happen over night. When I was going through the early stages of recovery I would have a slip up or bad day and think I just suck, and am doing everything wrong. But I had learned how to live this way over the course of 10 + years. So it was unrealistic to allow myself to think that I would be all good in a week, a month, even a year. And to be really honest, it’s been 15 years and and I am STILL working on things. Layer by layer.

Where to start.

Where to start? Seriously, where to start? Overwhelm can easily set in and before we know it we are complaining to our friends that this and that, and the other thing just aren’t working. Maybe it’s because you never really, truly laid out a plan. You never really figured out where to start because you never really stopped and took a week to figure out where you are.

This is a big mistake I see many people make. keeping a food and fitness journal can help you create a clear focus of where you truly are. But you have to be truthful and honest with what you write down, and don’t miss a thing. The will be a part of your brain that will say “this is dumb”, “just give up”, “you don’t need this”. My advice: “throw down some cuss words and do it anyway”. (that was my humor again). You got this. You really do.

So now what?

Well, you start to write it ALL DOWN! EVERYTHING. Don’t miss a thing!

For how long?

No less than three days, but ideally an entire week! And don’t forget to write down what you are feeling as well.

Here is a quick cliff notes sheet of everything to write down in your food and fitness journal:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Feeling/Emotion Connected
  • Are you truly hungry
  • What did you eat
  • How much did you eat
  • Movement: when, how long, how you feel

And most importantly, go easy on yourself. This is day one, step one on your journey to a healthier and happier you. And if anyone gives you grief. Just have them answer to me!

Here are a few suggestions for paper and pen food and fitness journals that could help get you started.

Not a paper and pen kinda person? Try texting to yourself your data. Look for an app. Whatever method you decide, commit and be honest. Because tracking your food and fitness in a journal is step one. And if you can do this, you and I, my friend, can do anything!