Posts

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!

Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART App and platform image

 

 

 

Stay Healthy While on the Go with These 6 Top Tips for Truckers

,

Working as a long-haul truck driver is indeed a challenging and demanding job. Not many people can travel long distances and stay for long periods without seeing their family. With the sedentary and autonomous nature of the job, working as a trucker can lead to you adopting an unhealthy lifestyle.

 

 Most truckers rely on fast food and caffeine to keep them on the go. Staying healthy is not only vital for your wellbeing, but it essentially plays a part in your career.

Stay Healthy While on the go - mother trucker yoga blog

Photo Credit -Photo by Lê Minh from Pexels

 Below are a few tips to consider to improve your health as a trucker;

Eat Healthily

Avoid feasting on junks and grab a couple of fresh produce from a grocery store. You might notice that stores are increasingly creating more space to accommodate vehicles of all nature. Gas stations are also equipping their shelves with nutritious meals.

 

Try your best to consume more vegetables and fruits every day. Fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals that will improve your health and keep you in tip-top shape while on the road.

 

An easier way to gain all your nutrients at once is to blend your fruits into a smoothie. Introducing a vegetable such as kale or spinach will give it that healthy knack. Be sure to include some nuts for you to snack on while on the go.

Exercise

A sedentary position for an extended period of hours is detrimental to your health. Engage yourself in light exercises during pit stops to stretch out your legs and allow blood to circulate freely through your system.

 

A folding bicycle or a pair of running shoes is an excellent way of kick-starting your exercise routine.

 

One of the dangers posed by long-haul driving is pressure build-up in the back. Exercise can help relieve stress and relax your muscles. An advanced form of physical relief would be to seek a chiropractor, whose services will help you keep your back and neck in shape.

 

Sleep

An essential yet most commonly overlooked item when it comes to health is sleep. Good night’s sleep is crucial in allowing your body to adequately rest so that bodily functions can take place with ease.

 

Invest in proper and good quality berth mattresses with the right firmness for a good restful sleep. Make your cabin comfortable enough for you to have at least eight hours of sleep. Ensure you have a portable heater or a fan for when conditions become too extreme in other areas.

 

Engage Your Mind

 

Driving on the road for hours can be tedious and tiring. Engaging your mind can help keep you focused and avoid distractions that might end up causing emotional reactions.

 

Listen to audiotapes of your favorite books and get to learn a few things while on the go. Audiotapes of language lessons can help you learn a new language and have you speaking a foreign language before your destination. Continuously engaging your mind tends to improve your mental health.

 

Long-distance work can heavily impact your family due to the distance but do not let it negatively affect your health. Drive home safely to your family and assure them of wellbeing by practicing the top tips shared.

 

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers

,

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. 

Got Pain?

Check out our signature pain relief cream made just for truck drivers… AND… It works! Truck driver health and truck driver fitness should be your priority.

Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream for Truck Driver Fitness Mother Trucker yoga Blog

Fit for Driving: A Truck Drivers Assessment

,

Have you ever been questioned if you were “fit for driving”?

Has it ever come to mind that someone, anyone, you, could be unfit to drive?

This is a reality not just for truck drivers, but America. Driving may be a sport for some, and leisure for others. But for a truck driver, it is their lifeline, their job, and for many their passion.

So what does it mean to be fit for driving?

How can someone increase their overall health to become more fit for driving?

Taking into consideration like functional mechanics- how you move or should move, quick reactivity, mobility, whole-body coordination all while driving. The question becomes: “do you know what the signs are? And are you up to speed?”

It used to be more of an aging conversation, when you get to X age then you will have to stop doing this. Or you will no longer be able to do that. But more and more research is indicating, and heck, just look around you, it is obvious that we all need to get up to speed with our health and it may serve us all to check in with our ability to drive. For not only our own safety but the safety of others.

Similar to the freedom of walking, the thought of not being able to drive is daunting. Yet I have worked with tens of thousands of individuals and many still aren’t motivated to make even the smallest changes until it is almost too late.

Why wait until you can’t walk to see it as important.

Why wait until you get your license revoked, or you get into an accident to decide it is a necessary privilege.

The AMA in 2010 stated that lack of mobility is something that doctors take into consideration with older adults when assessing whether driving privileges should be taken away.

But here is the reality check: How many of you reading this honestly feel you move like a senior (75+) but most definitely are not one?

So many of us consciously refuse to take care of our bodies like they are made of steel. That they will just keep taking the beating. That they will jump up upon request no matter what situation, what age, what variable.

Mobility Concerns to Consider While Driving:

Grip strength for simple things like opening the door and pulling it closed

Looking back while backing up (although review cameras are great, this is a basic function we must not lose sight of) requires neck and torso rotation. And good eye tracking.

Varying degrees of hand, elbow and shoulder coordination while handing the steering wheel. And good hand eye coordination.

Gas and pedal breaking which uses ankle mobility and control.

For my truck drivers multiple hand-eye-foot coordination functions combine with fine motor skills while shifting, breaking, and turning.

It is easy to say these things are not a big deal. Until we can no longer do them. And it then becomes hard to say as to when it is those fine motor skills were lost. Technology has robbed many of us of basic movement patterns. Where now we have to work twice as hard to keep to it or we will surely lose it.

But as a truck driver, driving a big rig takes a lot of handing, not to mention the loading and unloading that comes with the territory but can wear on the body over time.

Now you may be shaking your head saying this is all nuts and you move just fine. But the thing is, basic mobility patterns like the above are often what is first to go and can often go unnoticed. But it is often the overlooked issues that can cause the greatest concerns later on in life when they slowly begin to take the things we love most away from us in a blink of an eye.

Take the Fit for Driving Test:

The Ankle Mobility Test:

Get into a lunge with the front foot’s big toe roughly 4 inches (3 inches if 5’2″ or less) and without allowing the heel to pick up. Try to lunge the front knee into the wall.

Ankle Range of Motion Test Mother Trucker Yoga

Having trouble?

You may want to tune into the notion that this mobility has everything to do with you coming off the gas or break easily accident-free.

Exercise: Two-Part Calf Stretch

(LEFT) From a standing position place one foot up on a half dome (or something firm and rolled up). Anchor the heel down and do not let it lift. Align the outer edge of the foot with something parallel with it. Keeping tall, and not allowing your pelvis to tip forward. Begin to walk the free foot forward. You should begin to feel a stretch. Hold that stretch for minimum of 30 seconds.

(RIGHT) Standing tall take a casual step back with one foot. Not allowing the pelvis to tip forward, bend the front knee. Now work to bend the back knee without lifting the back heel. Hold that stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.

On both stretches notice if the inner ankle collapses or the knee bends inward. Try to keep the knee forward and his ankle in neutral.

Mother Trucker Yoga Fitness Test Calf Stretch

Hand Mobility Test: 

Hand Corrective Exercise Proper Way Mother Trucker Yoga

Correct Placement

Hand Corrective Exercise In correct

 

Get down on all fours (oh, there is more to this test than just your hands). Spread your fingers out wide with the middle finger pointing forward and the thumbs pointing at each other (feel free to help your thumbs). Is tender or difficult to flex the wrist at a 90-degree angle?

Is there space under the palms or are your fingers curled up (flexion) off the floor? These are warning signs that gripping tension which is a common occurrence and needs to be counteracted. This is a road that will lead to immobility in the joints of the wrists, fingers, and thumbs.

Exercise: Flexion and Extension

Wrist Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

Forearm Stretch Mother Trucker Yoga

Shoulder Mobility Test: 

Get down on all fours and plant your hands as done in the Hand Mobility Test.

Work to draw the thumbs out as close to 90 degrees from the middle finger as possible. Can you do this without the folds of the elbows turning inward? This will clue you into excessive tension between the shoulder, elbow, and wrist. As a driver, this is critical to assess, as one needs all hands on deck and this could be a shoulder issue.

Sitting Twist Test:

Sit in the driver’s seat or in a chair with both feet flat on the floor and pelvis evenly planted. Work to rotate like you are reaching for your seat belt (but keep hands-on lap) and try to first rotate with your rib cage only. No lifting your hips. Can you see behind you yet?

Next, try to rotate your neck? Can you see over your shoulder now? At what point do you need to cheat and lift your hip? Or maybe you need to use your hand to force the rotate due to tight muscles?

Exercise: Seat Belt Grab Sit and Twist

Sitting in the driver’s seat or on a chair practice rotation daily. And don’t forget to incorporate daily stretching in that release tight back muscles and neck muscles like in Mother Trucker Yoga’s online membership site. 

Seat Belt Twist Test Mother Trucker Yoga

Intrinsic Muscle and Nerve Foot Test:

Take off your shoes and socks and try to spread your toes apart.  Can you separate each toe?

Can you give yourself a “thumbs up” with your big toe?

Issues like these can be a big indicator of intrinsic foot muscle atrophy or weakness in the muscles of the foot. This is an issue because this could mean nerve issues in the lower leg (many of which come with a lack of use like from long-term sitting).

Foot Health Mother Trucker Yoga

Exercise: Toe Piano & Dancers Feet

Get your shoes off daily! Yes daily! Move your toes around, stretch your feet. Roll on an acuBall! I’m going to get a lot of flack for this, but don’t listen to people who tell you to keep your shoes on when your feet hurt. That is part of the problem! Would you keep a cast on after you injure your arm, or leg, or even foot? Heck no!

acuBall mini for foot pain

Shoes are casts, and the longer you wear your casts, the bigger the issue becomes.

Taking care of your body has less to do with how many push-ups you can do and more to do with asking yourself “can I still do all the things I desire to do every single day?” If not, then something has to change.

And most people swing far left and go off the handle with implementing things that quite possibly aren’t necessary. Now that is not to say that deciding to run a marathon or exercise for 2-hours each day is a bad thing.

But if at the end of the day we all simply want to age gracefully and keep doing the things that are necessary, and love. Then I reckon we start there. But keeping the physical body healthy. Your muscles and nerves working optimally is also an internal thing. And as the saying goes “you are what you eat“. So equally ensure you are fueling your body with the same care you are your rig.

Are you fit for driving? 

If you are a truck driver or want to be one there is a list of requirements you must adhere to to be out on the road. To keep or obtain your CDL (Commerical Drivers License) there is a list of criteria that drivers must adhere to in the department of health and wellness:

  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Sugar
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Self- Certification

Mother Trucker Yoga believes with small simple changes a driver, just like you can meet and pass all the above requirements. You can be fit for driving. You can do this. You can improve your health. You can improve your driving experience. You can do this. We can help!

Let us know how you fared out with our test?

Need help?

Contact Hope via email and she can help you get fit for driving today!