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Driver Fitness: Building Up Strength without Push-Ups

In our twenties, we typically feel invincible, like we can do anything and are unbreakable. Then in our thirties, we may feel minor wear and tear, but we are at the peak of our lives for the most part. But by age forty, fifty, and sixty, the ability to carry loads of life the way we used to start shows signs of weakness both mentally and physically.

Yet for many when it comes to the idea of strength and truckers, the idea of a trucker workout or driver fitness is often push-ups, cardio, and extreme fitness. Building strength woman or man does not have to be this and in my opinion, is an outdated way of taking back your health.  

Life can often get busier; we have more responsibilities and more things pulling at our focus. Being assertive is an inner game just as it is an outer game, and the two often play off each other. They sacrifice exercise, movement, and mental wellness to meet many of the additional needs’ demands. 

If you feel exhausted, mentally spent, short-tempered, distracted, lacking excitement for life, even showing signs of depression, you don’t need more rest; what you need is to feel strong again. 

Whether you are a truck driver, someone who sits at a computer all day, or on your feet doing every task known to man, when you don’t physically feel strong, it impacts how you feel mentally. Which in turn affects how you live your life.

Many think yoga is just stretching or meditating. Still, yoga is a total body experience that many do not fully understand until they participate in the first, second, and even tenth time. 

The Importance of Building Up Strength? 

Why focus on exercises and movements that build muscle? As we age, we lose three to five percent of our muscle mass each decade after age thirty. But if you aren’t doing anything to maintain what you have, that number only grows, and your body loses muscle, that is. It’s a misconception to build muscles. It would help if you lifted heavyweights. Research has proven that after age thirty, switching to lighter weights or focusing on resistance training has a more powerful impact on your physical body and decreases the chances of getting injured. And building up strength without push-ups doesn’t have to be complicated and can be easy and fun. There are more ways than heavyweights to build your strength back up. 

Don’t forget the impact of feeling physically strong has back on your mental state. Even if t weight feels heavy or the Plank feels shaky, the effect it has on your brain, thoughts, feelings, and outlook on life is nothing short of transformative. Working out regularly for just 20 minutes can boost long-term memory by 10%. It also improves cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain and slowing down dementia.

What is Strength Training/Exercise?

Strength training, typically known as weight or resistance training, is an anaerobic exercise that includes the breakdown of glucose (sugar) for energy without oxygen to consider free-loads, weight machines, or resistance training. Weight training can be utilized to reinforce and build up significant muscles, like the legs, back, glutes, chest, shoulders, arms, and midsection. These muscles are all needed in daily tasks and help reduce pain. Stretching allows our body to release tightness, pulling, and snags in our tissues that could be causing pain and discomfort. But building strength also allows us to reduce pain and discomfort by ensuring the muscles in our body supporting us are at peak performance and up for the job. 

Benefits

I believe taking care of your body is about balance. Not that fancy balance where life is a walk in the park talk. But balance where you give your body a little bit of everything. A few stretches, a dash of cardio-like walking, or even stepping up and down off your step while you are parked all count. But let’s not forget the need to build and maintain your strength. 

When we focus on building up strength and toning our muscles we:

  • Make the muscles of the whole body more substantial.
  • Stimulate bone growth.
  • Lower blood sugar level
  • Help in maintaining weight.
  • Improve posture and balance.
  • Reduce mental fatigue.
  • Improve memory.
  • Improve oxygen to the brain through more regular breathing.

 Driver Fitness: Building Up Strength without Push-Ups

There are many ways to build up strength no matter your age, and when you live over the road as a truck driver, you often have to use what you ha e. Not every driver has to time, means, or ability to pull over and park near Planet Fitness or have a total weight or gym set up in their truck. Many carrying around dumbbells or fancy equipment is not first on their necessity list when packing their vehicle for their next trip.

1.Planks on the step of your truck  

Throw on a pair of gloves and use your truck steps or your frame steps on your trailer to set your body up for these quick moves. Driver fitness doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time.

Your body weight is an excellent way to maintain strength and it up as well  Plus moves like this require no extra equipment to travel with, but if you did have the equipment, make sure you have a secure toolbox to store it in on your truck. Try adding in a side plank, leg lifts, and arm lifts while in a plank- you’ll feel it. 

Driver Fitness: Building Up Strength without Push-Ups mother Trucker yoga blog plank

2.Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions, and Shoulder Overhead Press

You don’t need a zillion moves for a healthy dose of driver fitness, just a few good ones to keep you moving powerfully. If you are traveling and tight on space, swap out an actual hand-weight for two wrenches or something heavy inside your truck. No one said fancy is necessary and when it comes to building up strength without push-ups, don’t stress, there are more ways to skin a cat.

Try to do ten reps of each move one to three times a day. With all that sitting at the wheel, posture and upper body strength and tone can begin to fade. Ensure you have a supportive seat and your steering wheel at the proper height not to cause shoulder or neck pain, But when you aren’t driving, you snuck in a few quick strength-building moves that you can do anywhere in under five minutes. 

Driver Fitness: Building Up Strength without Push-Ups overhead extension mother trucker yoga blog

3.Resistance Band Training 

resistance band training mother trucker yoga blog hope zvara

 

There are all sorts of fancy resistance band kits available for purchase, but you don’t need them. For best success, purchase a six to eight-foot physical therapy grade resistance band, a door loop, and a loop band to get the job done. 

Try incorporating moves with a loop band for great leg toning and resistance training. The great thing about resistance training when it comes to driver fitness is that you can easily travel with this equipment and practice the driver fitness moves anywhere.

resistance bands workout mother trucker yoga blog hope zvara

PURCHASE OUR BAND TRAVEL KIT

Next time you are at the track, stop threading your resistance band through the door loop, close the door, grab each side, and pull down. Get creative, try using one arm and pull, or create a combo and as you pull on the resistance band, add a squat. You can quickly build hip and leg strength with a loop band by placing it around your ankles and walking ten paces forward and back or doing a lap around your truck.

Adding in resistance band work a few times a week, even just five minutes, you will notice a difference in posture, strength, and a reduction in joint pain. And remember it’s easy to build up strength without push-ups and resistance bands can help you with that. Now that you have a few strategies to build up strength without push-ups I can’t wait to hear how your next truck driver workout goes. 

 

No matter what type of strength training you choose to incorporate into your day as a driver, the most important thing is that you add it in. Paying attention to your physical strength and feeding your physical body what it needs will also benefit how you feel mentally. If you want to improve your mental wellness and mental strength, consider adding a few moves to build up your physical strength first. Before you know it, your mind and body will feel like they are twenty again but with the wisdom of a forty, fifty, or sixty years old. 

Happy Moving!

 

It’s time to take care of yourself. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we believe in the small simple changes that lead to the big results, so that you can feel good again. Join our family and enroll in our Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP use the code: MTY30 for a FREE 30 DAYS!

 

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Mental Health Awareness Month: Take A Breath Driver

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.”

The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

This month is Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a perfect time to tune in and tap into how powerful our breath actually is.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life.

Did you know?

We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen.

And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying.

Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe.

 

I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. With May being mental health awareness month let’s take a few minutes today to focus in on simple strategies you can add to your daily routine today that cost you nothing and take minimal time and effort. 

It’s time you learn to breathe to improve your truck driver’s health!

Breathing is a tool. Those that learn to harness the device and tap into its vast abilities to improve, help and even heal the body get to reap the benefits of increased vitality, health, and happiness. But time and time again, I have observed others choose pills, alcohol, and even violence to manage what we all call stress or our emotions rather than tap into this tool we are all born with and have access to us at any given time. 

Stress can alter just about any system in the body if we allow it to. 

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

  • Raise our blood pressure
  • Increase our heart rate
  • Increase our body temperature
  • Leave us in physical pain
  • Can decrease our immune system
  • Give us stomach discomfort
  • Make it difficult to sleep
  • Can affect your libido 
  • Tense your muscles 
  • Cause weight gain 
  • Burden your nervous system
  • Leave shallow breathing

When is the last time you felt the effects of any of the above and thought you should practice deep breathing? 

When my oldest son was small, and he’d get stressed out, the first thing I would have him do is deep breathing. Three deep breaths, I’d say, and we’d do them together. He’s now nearly a teenager, and I have observed him repeatedly defaulting to deep breathing when he is stressed, angry, frustrated, or can’t sleep. He automatically uses this incredible tool we all walk around with every day but rarely tap use voluntarily. 

The average American breathes with less than 18% of their lung capacity. That’s what I like to call clavicle breathing. It’s no wonder we are a stressed-out, upset, unhealthy out touch society. I say these are the very things I have felt before yoga and learning how to tap into my breathing. And the same things I think when I’m not in my body, using my breathing, and feeling grounded in my skin. 

How do we breathe?

The average person takes about ten breaths per minute; that’s an average of 22,000-24,000 breaths per day. That’s a lot of breathing. And when we breathe, we inhale necessary oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and toxins that our body wants to remove. When we breathe, our lungs expand and take in air, and our diaphragm lowers and expands as well, taking in oxygen to then be distributed out to the millions of cells throughout our body that need that fresh oxygen to live. 

Dr. James Hoyt, a pulmonologist, says, “Our respiratory muscles don’t have the luxury of being out of shape.” Yet how many people can say with certainty that they use them, work them, build them like their bicep regularly? There is a saying, “use it or lose it,” and it fits here with our breathing. 

 A recent study in the Journal of Neurophysiology may support this, revealing that several brain regions linked to emotion, attention, and body awareness are activated when we pay attention to our breath.

And, also nearly every system in the body is connected to our respiratory system or breathing. 

  • Our metabolism increases when we practice deep breathing.
  • Our autonomic nervous system regulates when we deep breathe.
  • Our digestion can settle and improve when deep breathing.
  • Our muscles relax and get total oxygen, helping them not to cramp.
  • Our lymphatic systems become stimulated, hand and hand, with our immune system, both stimulated when we breathe.
  • Our body is fully oxygenated when we deep breathe.

And one of our deep breathing’s most impressive features is that it stimulates our vegas nerve. 

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs.

It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve.

We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders.

The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

WAKE UP, PEOPLE! BREATHING IS FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: 

Those that breathe only into the upper chest, throat, and shoulders. These breathers often have lifted shoulders and a tense neck. 

Chest Breathers: 

Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: 

Those that breathe deep into the belly and feel their lungs and abdomen expand freely. 

We have forgotten our unique ability to help and heal ourselves. When you were a baby, no one had to tell you how to breathe, yet there you were, breathing so deeply that your entire torso was expanding and contracting every breath you took. I have listened and watched my children as infants, and now adolescents get upset and even cry only to default to their breathing to calm them down. It’s in you; you have done it; you have just forgotten how to do it. 

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

This is the perfect technique to try for Mental Health Awareness Month.

  1. Sitting tall or lying down comfortably, place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart/chest. 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth and hear your breath move out of your body. 
  3. Inhale through your nose move your breath deeply into your lower hand (belly) and feel it expand. Continue to move your breath up to notice your upper hand (chest) rise. 
  4. Exhale slowly move the air out, feeling your belly collapse and your chest lower (in any order). 
  5. Soften your jaw and relax your body, focus on fully emptying your belly when you exhale, and fully expand when you inhale. 
  6. Work yourself up towards a count of four counts on the inhale and eight on the exhale. 
  7. Repeat this for two to five minutes. 
  8. Anytime your mind wanders, bring it back to your breathing. 
  9. Allow yourself to hear your breath each time you inhale and exhale. 

How to do deep abdominal breathing

To improve your truck driver health, continue this practice daily in the morning to wake up, when you are feeling stressed, waiting in traffic (minus the hands-on your body), or before you go to sleep to help you relax. 

You have tools to help you breathe, relax, fall asleep. The real question is, are you using them? 

Take inventory since it’s mental health awareness month, how is your breathing?

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

 Various deep abdominal breathing forms have been linked to cardiovascular benefits, including increased blood flow and improved blood pressure. Deep breathing is also a helpful tool for relaxation and sleep. Taking deep breaths can also help you manage stress and improve cognitive function like brain fog and lack of focus and concentration.

If every tool you are reaching for is outside of yourself, let me ask you, have you tried the tools you were born with? The tools you were given and are the very tools that make this life possible? The tool I am talking about is your breathing. 

Try This:

For one week, practice deep abdominal breathing at least one time a day. Work to practice it at the same time each day. Set the alarm on your phone or in your calendar and make it a priority. All too often, we say something doesn’t work or help, and we have never really tried it, let alone given it the attention required to see results. 

Trucking yoga can be as simple as paying attention to your breathing. Truck driver health does not need to be complicated. And you benefit from it the most!

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. Every month can be mental health awareness month, don’t let your mental health slip away.

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

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Resources:
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain
https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/
https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n
https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.go

Truck Driver Fitness: Know the 4 Different Types of Exercise & Benefits

Different Types of Exercises and Its Benefits

Before knowing the types of exercises, the first and significant question here is “What is an Exercise?”

An exercise is the intentional, habitual, and structural movement of the body or a part of the body to maintain or restore the body’s healthy functioning.

Talking about its benefits, we cannot estimate enough of them because they are vast. On a brief note, Exercise improves one’s mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual well-being.

Whether people participate in light exercises, like taking a walk, or focused energy exercises, for instance, challenging cycling or weight lifting, customary Exercise gives a colossal scope of advantages for the body and brain. And as a truck driver, it is essential that you find time to fit in trucking fitness and get a wide variety of movement styles throughout the day and week. As a trucking fitness company, and more than 20 years of teaching fitness and wellness to people in pain, I get it, long drawn out workouts are difficult to keep up with and leave people quitting before they even begin to see results. That doesn’t have to be your story. 

Truck Driver Fitness: Know the 4 Different Types of Exercise & Benefits mother trucker yoga blog exercise image

Partaking in Exercise of any intensity each day is fundamental for forestalling many illnesses and other health problems.

Here I will explain four different & necessary exercises and their benefits for a healthy functioning body.

 

  1.   Aerobic Exercise
  2.   Strength Exercise
  3.   Stretching Exercise
  4.   Balance Exercise

 

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise speeds up your heart rate and breathing rate. These exercises help keep you fit, improve your wellness, and assist you with playing out the physical and mental tasks you need to do each day. Aerobic Exercise intends to improve how the body utilizes oxygen. Most aerobic Exercise happens at a sustainable level of power over long periods.

Aerobic Exercise is the sort that causes you to breathe more deeply or heavily and develops a healthy body. We will generally consider this sort of activity when we hear the word work-out.

It is exceptionally advantageous and will improve your well-being even at a moderate pace or intensity. You can get the advantages of high-impact Exercise from a lively walk or a consistent cycle ride.

Walking, swimming, hiking, biking, dancing, running, jogging, etc. All types of aerobic exercises will boost your heart rate and let the energy flow in your whole body.

 

Benefits

  • Aerobic exercises improve the functioning of your heart and lungs.
  • It boosts up your whole circulatory system function.
  • Stimulate erythropoiesis (red blood cell) formation.
  • Enhances oxygen transportation in tissues
  • Stimulates bone growth
  • Helps in Insomnia
  • Increases one’s stamina

 

Strength Exercise

Strength training, additionally usually alluded to as weight or resistance training, is a type of anaerobic exercise, a kind of actual work that includes the breakdown of glucose (sugar) for energy without oxygen. Strength training plans to assemble and keep up muscle tissue using bodyweight or external obstruction, for example, freeloads or weight machines. Weight training can reinforce significant muscles, like the legs, back, glutes, chest, shoulders, arms, and midsection.

Keep in mind it’s imperative to feel some muscle weariness toward the end of the training to ensure you are working or preparing the muscles viably.

It will probably incorporate bodyweight practices like squats, push-ups, jumps, and activities including resistance from the weight, a band, or a weight machine.

 

Benefits

  • It makes the muscles of the whole body stronger
  • Stimulates Bone Growth
  • Lowers blood sugar level
  • Helps in maintaining weight
  • Improves your posture and balance

 

Stretching Exercise

Stretching characterizes the scope of movement of your joints and the portability of your muscles. Sufficient flexibility is significant for athletic execution, day-to-day function capacity, and injury counteraction.

Stretching is genuinely significant and much neglected when individuals consider working out.

Aging prompts a deficiency of adaptability in the muscles and ligaments. Muscles abbreviate and don’t work as expected. That expands the danger for muscle spasms and torment, muscle harm, strains, joint pain, and injury, and it additionally makes it intense to traverse day-by-day exercises, like bowing down to tie your shoes.

It involves tai chi, yoga, pilates, trucking yoga, fascial training, plyometrics, etc.

 

Benefits

  •  It makes your muscles longer
  •  It makes your muscles stronger
  • Reduces pain intensity from an injury
  • Reduces risk of an injury

 

Balance Exercise

Some activities improve your balance by causing you to develop center fortitude.

To reinforce core muscles and improve strength, consistently remember your regimen’s practices that connect with various muscles. Balance and equilibrium practices frequently include moderate, controlled developments that connect with and fortify center or core muscles, which remember the muscles for your mid-region, back and pelvis. Feeble core muscles may prompt unsteadiness, helpless stance, and diminished athletic execution.

Planks, mini ball exercises, glute bridges, yoga, tai-chi, squats, leg lifts, walking, jogging, etc., are included in balance training exercises.

 

Benefits

  • It makes you feel steadier
  • It helps in preventing falls
  • Help with your visionary and auditory function
  • Good posture
  • Helps in effortlessly carrying out daily activities

 

Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we believe that it’s the small simple changes that lead to the big results in your life so that you can feel good again. And as your go-to trucking fitness company, we believe that in just minutes a day you can live a great and healthy life.

If you are looking to incorporate more driver fitness into your daily life and are not interested in gym-style workouts that just aren’t sustainable as a driver. If you have tried other programs out there and they just aren’t working for you.

Check out our NEW Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform and APP.

Use our code: MTY30 for a FREE 30 days!

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Driver Exercises: Best 3 Cardio Moves On the Go

As a yoga teacher of nearly 20 years, I understand the importance of balance, and the need for cardio is essential.

As a truck driver finding time to exercise can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. When it comes to trucking yoga stretching is essential, especially as we age, but we also need to find time to get our heart rate up. Cardio is a great way to take care of your heart health and get your driver fitness on. And with February being Heart Health Awareness Month it is a great time to tune up your driver fitness.

Cardio is a shortened word for cardiovascular (exercise), something most truck drivers don’t get enough of when it comes to truck driver health and driver fitness. There are many benefits to getting your heart rate up and a slight movement in. The below are certainly some of the concerns truck drivers have regarding truck driver health. AHA Journals shared…

Benefits of Regular Exercise on Cardiovascular Risk Factors

  • Increase in exercise tolerance.
  • Reduction in body weight.
  • Reduction in blood pressure.
  • Reduction in bad (LDL and total) cholesterol.
  • Increase in good (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Increase in insulin sensitivity.
I stress to drivers and my Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Platform members to find pockets within their day to add fitness rather than continually separating it from your day.
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Research is now showing that you don’t need 60 minutes of straight-up cardio exercise to benefit your heart. You may not even need 30 minutes at a time. But you do need something. Mother Trucker Yoga focuses on a variety of fitness and health areas: trucking yoga, driver fitness like resistance, strengthening, toning, core health, and cardio.

My three favorite cardio exercises to do at home and on the go are:

1. Chair Power Run

Place your hands on the mouth of a chair and step back into a plank. Keeping a brisk pace for one minute (or 50 strides) run in place. Work to bring your knees into your chest as best as possible for bonus core work.

Chair Running Hope Zvara Mother Trucker Yoga Easy Cardio Blog

2. Pretend Jump Rope

Stand upright and pretend to hold a jump rope. Begin to gently bounce in a place like you were briskly jumping rope at a level that works for you (your feet don’t even have to lift off the ground if you don’t want them to). Move the pretend rope as quickly as possible. Try to do this for one minute.

Driver Exercises: Best 3 Cardio Moves On the Go walking and jump rope mother trucker yoga blog image

3. A 5 Minute Walk and Talk

We all make and take phone calls, start walking every time you have a phone call.

Do stairs as quickly as you can, almost to the point of being out of breath. Walk outside, walk backward, lunge walk. Get creative. But get up and walk and talk.

 

Truck Driver Health: Guided Meditations for A Happy Mind

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A happy, healthy mind is critical to a driver’s well-being in truck driver health.

The high amount of stress drivers have to deal with day in and day out is often normalized by the industry and never taken seriously. Telling a driver to “exercise” is not a solution and can often lead to more stress, anxiety, and unhealthy practices out on the road.

With the amount of time a driver spends behind the wheel, it only makes sense that they use that time to their advantage.

The entire premise Mother Trucker Yoga is based on is easy three to five-minute moves you can do, strategies you can implement into your day from the cab of your truck. We are the first company to break down fitness and wellness for drivers into bite-size pieces. We have a unique approach to driver wellness because we are not just coming from a fitness, therapy, or exercise background. We are coming from a yoga and functional movement background. Where we focus on the whole person and practical application. And one of those applications is stress relief in the form of guided meditations and relaxation.

Truck Driver Health: Guided Meditations

And while everyone else is compartmentalizing your health, we are integrating it. If you truly want to get healthy, you have to look at the whole self. , Your Body, Your Breath, Your Internal Health, Your External Health, Your Mind, Your Spirit. It would be best if you recognized them all.

The reason yoga played such a big role in my health and wellness journey had nothing to do with a yoga mat and everything to do with what the mat taught me about living and life. And that is what I do with Mother Trucker Yoga.

And when it comes to truck driver health, guided meditation can play a big role in your overall health and happiness.

Because we have to address the mind, or nothing you try to do will ever stick.

We are currently running our 2nd Annual Going the Distance Health Challenge for Truck Drivers and helping support our drivers more during this challenge; I have created several guided breathing, meditation, and relaxation practices to help support the need for mental health mental wellness.

What is Mindfulness?

When you Google the word mindfulness, you get the following:

mind·ful·ness
/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/
noun
  1. 1.
    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
    “their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”
  2. 2.
    a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

 

While driving, there are dozens of distractions, and they all take you away from the present moment of driving. There is a difference between something you need to pay attention to while driving and a distraction. Do you know the difference? Can you tell when you are distracted VS paying attention to something while driving?

Distractions ask you to leave what you are doing and bring your attention elsewhere. They often lead your mind down the rabbit trail of other emotions linked to the past, future, or something outside of what you are doing currently driving.

I created a driving meditation to help support truck driver health. With the time you spend sitting in the driver’s seat, you might as well do something that builds you up, leaves you happy, and supports your health.

A Mindfulness Driving Audio For Truck Drivers

This audio is not meant to distract you or make it more difficult to focus while driving, but the opposite. Give it a try and let us know in the comments what you think.

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers

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Best Truck Driver Fitness Core Exercises When You Don’t Have a Lot of Time.

When it comes to driver exercises, and truck driver fitness, it’s time to update yourself, no more sit-ups, there is a better way. 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!

How Truck Driver Fitness Can Help.

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. And truck driver fitness is a thing and you want to be a part of it.

Why Not Sit-Ups for Truck Driver Fitness?

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 driver 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 to 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 Driver Exercises to Strengthen A Truckers Core:

Driver Exercises #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 on 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.
  10. Try this on our mini ball for 10x more core activation.

Core Exercise for Truck Driver Fitness Mother Trucker yoga Blog

Driver Exercises #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 a 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.
  11. Try this move with our mini ball behind your back for 10x the core activation.

Oblique Weighted Twist Core Driver Exercise Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post

Driver Exercises #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 Driver Exercise for the core Truckers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

Driver Exercises #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 exercises mother trucker yoga blog post

weighted core full extension Driver exercise 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. 

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