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A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

Truck drivers are gripping and clenching all day long. This can cause many issues that drivers may not realize come from doing what seems to be nothing… Gripping the steering wheel.
Hours a day, your hands are left in a clenching (flexion) position, day after day. This causes the fascia to create pathways, making it hard to do other things with your hands when you need them most!
“Having a weak grip can be an indication of many things, including arthritis, a pinched nerve, or a nerve injury, among other conditions,” says DeLuca. “Assessing grip strength, along with the patient’s medical history and other presenting symptoms, can tell us a great deal about the person’s overall health.”
There are many reasons one’s handgrip strength could be declining aside from the long hours gripping the steering wheel day after day, year after year as a truck driver.

Possible Causes for Grip Strength Issues:

  • Weakness in the hands and forearms
  • A pinched nerve (in the upper back, shoulder, or arm)
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Heart Problems
  • Fascial restriction/scar tissue
Self.com published an article that noted a study commenting on the following:
“Grip strength—or lack thereof—can actually have long-term health implications, too.

Research shows that grip strength is a good predictor of overall strength, which serves as a good predictor for overall health, including cardiovascular disease risk. In a large-scale study published in the journal The Lancet, researchers measured the handgrip strength of nearly 140,000 people across 17 countries and then followed subjects for approximately four years. The study findings revealed that lack of grip strength is a stronger predictor for death from any cause, including cardiovascular disease, than systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts).”

For drivers, this can be a great way to gauge one’s health and, more importantly, decide to do something about it sooner than later.

 

The good news there are many things you can do to improve your grip strength and many things a driver, even living over the road, can do to improve your overall health, wellness, and fitness.

Exercises Truck Drivers Can Do To Improve Grip Strength:

  1. Steering Wheel Hand Stretch

Pro Tip: Double down. While you are driving, use the wheel to stretch your hands REGULARLY! This is a great exercise to do (safely) while driving to help break up those moments of strain and boredom.
Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Hand Stretch
  • Holding the steering wheel safely, use one hand and press the thumb down again the wheel
  • Keep your wrist straight
  • Extend your fingers long
  • Place your thumb on the wheel & pull down
  • Repeat this with each finger individually and then with all four fingers together
  • Hold each one for 5 to 10 counts or unit the stretching subsides
  • You do not need to overdo this; make sure what you do is breathable
  • Repeat the opposite hand
  • Repeat 1-3 times a day
Do you love this move? There are more stretches you can do for your hands and wrists on our other blog post, 3 Stretches to Do to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving.
✋ Hands….they are quite important ❤️💥

2. Scapulae Push-Up

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga Scapulae Pushup
The shoulder girdle is often forgotten about when it comes to arm, elbow, and hand issues. But it can be a big factor when trying to rehab issues in those areas. The Scapulae Push-Up is my go-to for everyone BEFORE they want to embark on doing Push-Ups, as most people do them incorrectly and are leading themselves down a roadway of future pain, injury, and wondering where this all came from. The Scapulae Push-Up strengthens and mobilizes the muscles on the front of the shoulder blade and around the shoulder girdle to help you hold a strong Plank, help you get up from your Push-Up, and give you relief in your driving life from a thing like a shoulder and a neck pain, or arm and wrist pain. This move is great for steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Come to a Plank position on your truck step or the ground
  • Turn the folds of the elbows forward and draw your shoulders back
  • Tip your belt line up and into your abdomen for more core support
  • Without bending your elbows, pinch your shoulder blades together behind you
  • Then broaden them without hunching your back
  • Continue to do this 5-15 times in a row.
  • Do not sag the head or belly, and this moving is only 1-3 inches (not big)

3. Strength Building Pinch Grip

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Pinch Grip Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post
Building strength is crucial to help aid the decline of grip-related issues. Throughout the day, find ways to strengthen your hands by pinch grip lifting tools or heavier objects to challenge the muscles of the hands. This can be with any object or with a weight, kettlebell, or weight training specific tool. Don’t overthink this. A little goes a long way. And every bit counts. This is one move to rescue your hands and give you a great session of steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Hold a weight, kettlebell, or heavy object between your pointer finger and thumb.
  • Slowly and mindfully lift the object off the ground
  • Work to hold it for up to 30 seconds
  • Repeat this 1-3 times a day to continue to improve pinch grip strength

4. Forearm Curls

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Forearm Curls Mother Trucker Yoga blog post
When the forearm is weak, this can cause pain and grip issues in the hand and issues in the shoulder. This is as simple as using a weight or weighted object and doing wrist curls one to three times a day to build up the lost strength and tone in the forearm.
  • Hold the weight in your hand.
  • Bring your elbow to 90 degrees.
  • Drop the hand to extend the wrist as far as you can
  • Next, curl the weight up and bring your knuckles into your forearm as close as you can
  • Repeat this 10-30 times
  • Then hold the weight verticle and your hand sideways
  • Repeat the same process, but this time moving right to left like a gate closing and opening
  • Repeat this same process on the opposite side.

 

By taking the initiative to do something about things like this, you can lengthen your career, and more importantly find relief to do your job without nagging issues like this.

Attention Trucking Companies

Trucking companies must find this a necessity to help take care of their drivers. More than 80% of work-related injuries are repetitive injuries, which means it’s what the employee is doing day in and day out. Drivers need relief, and that relief can be something the trucking companies these men and women work for can give them.

Does your trucking company offer driver fitness and wellness programming and seminars for you and your fellow driver? If not or you would like to see them upgrade what they offer. Reach out to us here at Mother Trucker Yoga. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we leave the trucking to the trucking companies and drivers, and that way with nearly 20 years of experience working with people just like you, with real jobs, real ailments, and real pain, you can leave the health, fitness, and healing to us! CLICK HERE TO find more out about our corporate programming!

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Stay Healthy While on the Go with These 6 Top Tips for Truckers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

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.

 

Good-N-Tight 1 Minut Moves Blog Mother Trucker Yoga

4 Quick and Simple Exercises with the Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle 

4 Quick and Simple Exercises with the Good-N-Tight Ratchet Strap Tightening Handle 

When you are a truck driver, time is of the essence. And either you have a lot of time, or you have none. But there are moments throughout your day where you can sneak in a few quick moves to help you feel better, wherever you are with your Good-N-Tight Ratched Strap Tightening Handle handy. The Good-N-Tight is amazing when you don’t want to throw out your shoulder or back tieing down a load and gives you three times the leverage. And as my husband always says, “work smarter not harder”. This is one tool you definitely want to get and have handy anytime you need to use a ratchet strap.

But this blog isn’t about how to use this tool for securing your load. It’s about how to double down and use this tool to help you feel better, whenever you are with small simple moves you can do it anytime, anywhere. These four simple moves are perfect for those in-between moments when to help reduce stiffness, bring a little energy back into your body, stretch, and strengthen so you don’t throw your back out getting in and out of the truck (it happens).

Here are 4 Quick and Simple Moves You Can Do With The Good-N-Tight:

  • Good-N-Tight Oblique Side Bend 

This is a great move to help tone your waist and both stretch and strengthen your lower back, hips, and obliques. 

  • Step your feet wider than hips-width apart. 
  • Point your toes forward and square your hips.
  • With your Good-N-Tight in hand reach your arms up overhead. 
  • Relax your shoulders down and soften your front rib cage down as well. 
  • Take a deep breath in and gently slide your hips to the right as you lean your upper body and arms to the left. 
  • Press your arms straight and reach through the Good-N-Tight, like you were to stamp it on the wall next to you. 

VERSION 1:

  • Hold this for 5 breaths, and on the exhale come back to center and repeat the opposite side. 

VERSION 2:

  • Inhale press your hips to the right and tip your upper body and arms to the left. 
  • Exhale return to center, pulling your hips back first and your upper body to sit on top. 
  • Repeat the opposite side: Inhale to lean, exhale to return. 
  • 5-10 times on each side. 

Oblique Stretch Tightening Handle

  • Good-N-Tight Triceps Stretch 

This is a wonderful stretch to combat all that drive time opening your chest, toning your upper back, and releasing your shoulders. 

  • Standing tall grab the Good-N-Tight with your right hand and extend your arm up overhead. 
  • Bend your top elbow and tuck your hand behind your head, laying the Good-N-Tight down your spine. 
  • Roll the top tricep inward towards your head, turning your triceps to face forward (this may be difficult, especially if your shoulders are tight or bulky).
  • Tuck your left hand behind you to grab the bottom of the Good-N-Tight and work to roll your left shoulder open, feeling the shoulder blade press inward towards the spine. 
  • Stand even taller and breathe calmly for 5 to 10 breaths. 
  • Repeat the opposite side. 

Good-N-Tight 1 Minute Moves Tricep Stretch - Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

  • Good-N-Tight Chest Expander

Slouching, leaning, hunching, driving, and carrying often leave our body hunched forward and frozen in place. This quick move gives your body a break and counterposes all that rounding forward. Breathe easy and feel your chest, pecs, and shoulders open as your core gets a little wake-up call. 

Standing tall with your feet at a comfortable distance grab your Good-N-Tight.

Tuck your hands behind you and grab hold of either side of your new exercise equipment. 

Roll your shoulders in towards your spine as you drop them down away from your neck. 

Inhale drive your hips and pelvis forward as you pull your arms down and back. 

Gently look up and stretch! 

Hold this for 5 breaths, and repeat 3 to 5 times. 

Chest Expander Good-N-Tight Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

  • Good-N-Tight Calf Stretch 

Your calf is the hydraulic pump for your lower body to get blood flow back up the heart. Restricted calves inhibit the calf to do its job, making the heart have to work harder. Tight calves also cause knee and back pain. Let’s give the body some relief with a quick stretch! 

  • Place the Good-N-Tight on the ground.
  • Standing tall, place the ball of one foot up on the lip of your new exercise equipment, keeping your heel on the ground. 
  • Square your hips and slowly inch your free foot forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. 
  • Stand even taller and press down into your stretching heel as you hold the stretch for 5 to 10 breaths.
    Repeat the opposite side and do this stretch 1-3 times each day. 

Calf Stretch Good-N-Tight Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Pushing yourself in a quick workout is important, but you should never allow yourself to just sit there because you think you need fancy equipment. Make sure you’re choosing quality over quantity. And look around your truck, what do you have laying around. What could be multi-purpose? And remember instead of thinking you need all sorts of crazy fitness in your life, think movement, where can I get more movement in? Along with your new Good-N-Tight moves get out and walk for an added boost to your body, mind, and spirit. Happy moving!

This blog post is in partnership with Bud and Tony’s Truck Parts! Bud and Tony are on a mission to give back to the trucking community and by teaming up with Mother Trucker Yoga, they are doing it, one move at a time. Check out more about Bud and Tony over on their site: www.BudAndTonysTruckParts.com

bud and tony's truck parts logo

TIps to get the best results from your yoga session Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Tips to Get the Best Results From Your Yoga Session

Tips To Get The Best Results From Your Yoga Session

 

Yoga has been gaining popularity over the past decade because it provides a unique form of exercise and relaxation. Studies have also proven that it is a great workout that helps eliminate body aches and pains. The history of this workout style has also shown that yoga is more than exercise and can help you connect with your inner self. As studies have proved and practice has shown, yoga can be very beneficial; and you must gain all those benefits. On that note, here are some tips to help you get the best results from your yoga session.

Yoga Session Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Know your physical limitations and pay attention to your body

 

Yoga can get quite intense, and you need to know your physical limitations and pay attention to your body so that you do not push your body past its true limits. For those who have medical conditions, such that they may need to use a posture corrector app or other forms of assistance, you must be cautious when practicing yoga to avoid hurting yourself or aggravating an injury. You should be concerned about how your body reacts to each pose and session. Relax and allow your body to express itself and when it hurts, stop, and take a breather to change your pace.

 

Have no expectations

Yoga combines exercise with meditation; that is how it works. Having expectations before you begin will throw a spanner in the works, and you could lose your zen. So, it is better to have no expectations when you start a yoga session. Instead, look forward to spending time connecting with yourself. Have an open mind and enjoy the experience.

 

Create a relaxed atmosphere and avoid distractions

Yoga is centered on relaxation and meditation. So, create the right atmosphere where you can relax and connect with yourself. Yoga is therapeutic, and as such, where you practice must set the mood. It is advisable to dedicate a space solely to practicing yoga to evoke a sense of calm and relaxation. This area must be free of noise and other distractions so that your meditation can proceed uninterrupted. Distractions in this regard are not limited to noise alone. Uncomfortable clothes, taking a break to pee, and devices such as phones that do not contribute to the process all count as distractions. Before you begin a session, be sure you can complete it without getting distracted by anything else.

 

Breathe

Breathe - Yoga blog Mother Trucker Yoga

Image Credit

This sounds very easy, but often people forget to breathe naturally, as they get so focused on the moment. This is simple and very important. Just continue to breathe naturally, and you will remain composed and balanced. Breathing also helps you to practice within your capacity and allows you to enjoy the experience.

 

To get the best results from your yoga session, do not just “go through the motions”; relax and enjoy the exercise rather than rushing through. Focus on the experience and dedicate your all when practicing. Also, before you begin or end a session, do not just jump in or out. Take some time to gradually get in the zone and do the same when you finish a session.

 

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

Take care of your veins truck drivers

Pexels- CC0 License

The human body is supposed to move continually. Even when we sleep, we toss and turn, and fidget endlessly. 

 

The reason we do this has to do with how fluid moves around our bodies. We actually have several circulatory systems. The biggest is the blood, but there’s also one for lymph and another one for brain fluid. 

 

These systems can work while the body is sedentary. But they have movement built into their design, meaning that to function at their best, they need you to activate your muscles. 

 

Most workers have no problem doing this. Even office workers have to get up for a cup of coffee or a meeting every now and then. 


For truckers, though, it’s a different story. You often can’t stop and take a break to stretch your legs, particularly, if you’re caught in traffic. 

 

And that’s a problem because it can lead to damage to your blood vessels over time. 

 

So what can you do about it when there are thousands of loads available and you have to work your socks off? 

 

Move Your Legs Around

 

Many truckers develop problems such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. It’s not just down to “getting older.” Instead, it’s a consequence of how blood pools while you drive. Over time, it applies pressure to the inside walls of veins, causing them to lose their elasticity and balloon outwards. When this happens, it’s almost impossible to get them to return to their original shape. 


The trick here is to move your legs around often. Just moving them at the knee can be enough to get the blood moving. When you come to a traffic stop, try pushing both your toes into the floor and then releasing, repeating several times. Again, this will encourage the blood vessels in the legs to get to work and return blood to the heart. 

 

Stop Every Hour Or So

Truck Drivers taking care of their veins while driving blog post

Pexels – CC0 License

 

While stopping every hour or so isn’t always possible, you should try to do it whenever you can. Stopping and moving gives your body a chance to pump blood around your system, relieving vein problems in your legs. You’ll notice that you feel so much better after a five-minute walk and stretch than if you just carry on driving. Plus, it will help reduce the chance you’ll develop vein dysfunction in the future. 

 

Wear Compression Stockings

 

The idea of wearing compression stockings might sound a little strange. But studies seem to indicate that they work. 

 

Stockings compress muscles. This process, in turn, causes the blood vessels inside them to work harder. Evidence suggests that they can reduce blood clots by a significant amount. 

 

You can buy compression stockings in most drug stores. They’re also a great investment if you do a lot of flying. 

 

Flex Your Foot At The Ankle

Another strategy is to flex the ankle, something that medics call dorsiflexing. The action moves the foot up and down, helping to pump the muscles and improve overall blood flow. It’s also great if you drive in a cramped seating position.

Top 3 trucker injuries and how to avoid them blog post mother trucker yoga image

Top 3 Trucker Injuries: And How To Avoid Them

top 3 trucker injuries mother trucker yoga blog image

Photo by Seb Creativo on Unsplash

Top 3 Trucker Injuries: And How To Avoid Them

There are many benefits to working as a long-haul driver (or trucker). However, the nature of the work sometimes means that you are susceptible to specific injuries, which, if not treated appropriately, could mean you have to take a lot of time off work. Not only could this lose you money, it means you won’t be able to get behind the wheel and do what you love for a little while.

With that in mind, here are the most common injuries that truckers have to deal with.

1: Sprains

Whether you are regularly lifting heavy cargo or attempt to do a two-person job alone, it’s relatively easy to sprain your wrist. However, a sprain can be incredibly painful, and if left untreated, can cause severe damage to your wrist/hand.

2: Back/Neck pain

Spending lots of hours behind the wheel, combined with poor posture, can lead to many back and neck injuries, which can quickly worsen over time.

3: Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are caused when you repeat the same task over and over again. For example, you could get an RSI through how you hold the steering wheel or by sitting in the same position for too long. This can lead to painful swelling and inflammation.

However, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of injury moving forward – keeping you happy, healthy, and behind the wheel!

This includes:

Participating in Yoga. Yoga is a great way to remove any tension in your body and is also a great way to unwind after an incredibly stressful day. It can also help you recover from an injury and relieve the pain you may be holding in your neck, back, or shoulders.

Visit a chiropractor. There are numerous different ways in which you can take better care of your body – many of which can help you recover from injuries quicker or reduce the chances of getting injured in the first place. For example, you could arrange a visit with a chiropractor. When you visit a Chiropractor, you can treat injuries in your neck, back, and shoulder muscles, alongside reducing inflammation in your body. 

 

Working out. In addition to yoga, you should ensure that you include plenty of exercise into your routine. This is a great way to ensure that you spend time outdoors and positively impact your physical and mental health. Whether you work out with others or alone, you should spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising. 

 

Practice good posture. As mentioned previously, many of the above injuries are caused a result of poor posture. Therefore, you should work on improving your posture wherever possible. When sat in a truck, you should ensure that you have appropriate lumbar support and that your knees rest lower than your hips. You can find more guidance on proper driving posture here.

Taking regular breaks. Another way you can minimize the chance of getting injured when driving is by taking frequent breaks. Though the rule varies depending on the area you might be driving in, drivers are expected to have at least 11 hours rest after driving – but long journeys should include smaller breaks throughout the day.

 

Check out more great articles from Mother Trucker Yoga: 

How Chiropractic Can Help Truck Drivers https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2020/10/09/how-chiropractic-can-help-truck-drivers/

Benefits of a Chiropractor for Travel https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2020/10/13/benefits-of-a-chiropractor-for-travel/

Hot to Have Perfect Posture: VIDEO: https://youtu.be/kI0bTvP0KOg

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream Wake Up Feeling Great

Zinc Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

The Power of Zinc: The Trace Mineral You Might Be Missing

Zinc

Zinc is a trace element and micronutrient essential for our overall health. Without zinc in our body, we would not be experiencing optional health, and this temple we call a body will begin to show it. Zinc is a mineral we all need for our body to function optimally. Second, to Iron, Zinc is the most abundant trace element, involved in various catalytic activities in the body.

Zinc is found in some foods naturally and is used in the form of dietary supplements. If are eating a poor diet lacking real foods like fruits and veggies and some lean meats, your diet is most likely lacking zinc.

Zinc deficiency in humans includes manifestations like diarrhea, alopecia, weight loss, intercurrent infections, neuro-sensory disorders, emotional disorders, and problems with wound healing. As someone who is in recovery from a wide variety of eating disorders, I know first hand the toll your body takes when you are lacking proper nutrition. Minerals like zinc are the foundation for our body to build on. We cannot absorb vitamins without minerals and zinc is on that list. If you are feeling stress make sure you read Mother Trucker Yoga’s 10 Quick Ways to Reduce Stress Blog to help.

It can be confusing when you start to pay better attention to your health, how much of what do you need and where to get it all. So in the charts below, you can easily see how much zinc you need depending on your age and what some sources of zinc could be in your diet today.

Required Daily Amount

Age Men Women
0-6 months 2 mg 2 mg
7-12 months 3 mg 3 mg
1-3 years 3 mg 3 mg
4-8  years 5 mg 5 mg
9-13 years 8 mg 8 mg
14< years 11 mg 8 mg
Pregnancy 11 mg
Lactation 12 mg

Zinc Nutrition Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Sources of Zinc

Vegetarian

Food Items Milligrams per serving Percent DV
Peas (cooked ½ cup) 0.5 5
Yogurt (8 ounces) 1.7 15
Oatmeal (1 packet) 1.1 10
Almonds (1 ounce) 0.9 8
Cashews (1 ounce) 1.6 15
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce) 2.2 20
Baked beans (1/2 cup) 2.9 26
Chickpeas (1/2 cup) 1.3 12
Cheese (1 ounce) 1.2 11
Kidney beans (cooked ½ cup) 0.9 8

 

Non – vegetarian

Food Items

 

Milligrams Per serving Percent DV
Pork (3 ounces) 2.9 26
Chicken breast (1/2 breast)

 

o.9 8
Oysters (3 ounces)

 

74.0 673
Beef chuck (3 ounces)

 

7.0 64
Crab (3 ounces)

 

6.5 59
Lobster (3 ounces)

 

3.4 31
Chicken (dark meat) (3 ounces) 2.4 22

 

Trying to get your daily dose of zinc from natural food sources as much as possible is essential in building up a foundation of health within you. However, if you are severely deficient you may want to consider supplementing with zinc as you build up your reserves. As a recovering addict, one that struggled with a wide range of eating disorders my zinc levels were non-existent, and for several years I had to take zinc. Happily now in my thirties, I no longer have some of the lingering issues I once had.

Always seek further medical consultation to rule out other issues, but the good news is zinc is readily available in many foods.

Role of zinc in immunity

Many studies have proven the role of zinc effects of adequate zinc consumption on the immunity of our body. It boosts the cell-mediated immunity and balances the functions of humoral immunity.

Zinc is a crucial element for the development and function of neutrophils, natural killer cells, and innate immunity.

A study shows that macrophages (perform the function of killing the pathogen by phagocytosis), cytokine production, and intracellular killing are also affected by the deficiency of zinc in the body along with showing adverse effects in the growth and function of T and B cells.

Solomons NW. Mild human zinc deficiency produces an imbalance between cell-mediated and humoral immunity. Nutr Rev 1998;56:27-8

Benefits of Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that packs a powerful punch and one we often take for granted. When you are getting your daily dose of zinc your body gets to reap the benefits of several health perks!

Anti-Inflammatory

Its functions as an anti-oxidant and stabilization of membranes, strongly suggest that it has a hand in preventing the damage caused by the free radicals during the inflammatory process. What are free radicals, those are the guys who seal electrons from your body and start to sabotage your health one electron at a time. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help you combat free radicals and also boost zinc levels your body needs to remain healthy and inflammatory-free.

Heart-healthy

Studies have found that zinc supplements help in decreasing the levels of LDL (Bad Cholesterol) and triglycerides in the blood, preventing heart diseases at a major level.

(Ranasinghe, Priyanga et al. “Effects of Zinc supplementation on serum lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Nutrition & metabolism vol. 12 26. 4 Aug. 2015, doi:10.1186/s12986-015-0023-4)

Another study shows that adequate zinc consumption helps in lowering systolic blood pressure in about 40 young women.

(Kim, Jihye. “Dietary zinc intake is inversely associated with systolic blood pressure in young obese women.” Nutrition research and practice vol. 7,5 (2013): 380-4. doi:10.4162/nrp.2013.7.5.380)

Enhances memory and learning

Research conducted at The University of Toronto suggests the role of zinc in neural communication with one another which eventually affect our memory and learning ability.

Wound Healing

Zinc is often used in skin creams to treat wounds or any rashes on the skin as it is assumed to play an important role in maintaining the integrity and the structure of the skin.

Other Possible zinc Benefits

  • Fights Acne
  • Used in patients with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Prevention and treatment of pneumonia
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration
  • Osteoporosis

Your health is your responsibility and there are many things you can do to help boost your health even while living over the road as a truck driver. Focus on what you can do, what you have access to, what steps you can take to make that next right decision. What you can do to make that next healthy choice, it may not seem like it will amount to anything when you just look at that one choice, but all those little choices add up to some really great health perks! Perks you get to benefit from every single day!

 

Other readings you might enjoy:

 

Tackle The Common Health Issues Truckers Experience Head-On

If you’re a trucker and on the road a lot of your life, there are numerous health issues you might experience. Here are some of the common health problems and the best solutions. 

 

Obesity 

 

Truckers obviously spend a lot of their working life sitting in a car seat. So, it should be no surprise that obesity levels are high among these workers. 7 out of 10 truckers are obese in the USA according to some studies so this is definitely a common issue. You need to make sure that exercise is part of your regular routine. There are some easy exercise ideas to explore so you don’t need to hit the gym. About 15 minutes of exercise each day will make a massive difference here.

Lung Cancer 

 

A tremendous 60% of truckers in the USA smoke according to the latest research. It’s not clear why this is although it could be a way for individuals to cope with the stress of this job. It might also be something to do with socio-economic factors. Regardless, it might be time to start thinking seriously about quitting. These days, it’s easier to quit smoking than before. You should consider taking up vaping. It provides the same physical process as smoking without the harmful chemicals so it’s a good substitute. You can also use it to gradually reduce your nicotine intake until you hit zero rather than going cold turkey. 

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Sleep Apnea

 

You probably won’t be aware if you suffer from sleep apnea but your partner or anyone who you sleep with will have noticed it. It caused you to stop breaking temporarily and repeatedly through the night for several seconds at a time. This can be quite alarming for anyone sleeping next to you and the stress on your body will leave you exhausted the next morning. If you suffer from this condition, many countries won’t even allow you to drive. Surgery can fix this issue however you can also reduce it by changing your lifestyle. Drinking alcohol, smoking and obesity all increase the chances of experiencing this condition. 

 

Problems With Sleep Routines 

 

As you have probably learned, it’s difficult to keep a traditional sleep routine as a trucker. The hours that you work can be crazy. You might wake up at 4 in the morning to arrive home around 2 when you will be exhausted and almost immediately fall asleep, waking up at 9. It’s a weird pattern for your body to be in and you’re right in thinking this can play havoc with your health. If you’re working long hauls you need to make sure that you’re using stop-off points where you can get a proper rest with a bed. You should also speak to your employer about getting your schedule in advance. That way, you can prepare a plan and ensure that you are gaining the rest you need while fitting in personal time for you to enjoy. Remember, downtime is still going to be important when you are a trucker. 

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Depression And Isolation 

 

There are certain professions and jobs where mental health issues are more common than others. For instance, you might be aware that doctors are more likely to experience depression than virtually any other professional worker. However, truckers also face issues here and the reason for this is quite simply the level of isolation. Some truckers took the job on because they love the peace and serenity of being on the road. Many are trying to escape the challenges of life at home but others simply aren’t prepared for the sheer level of isolation that they experience. It’s important to stay in touch with people, even on long haul trips. Tech is your friend here and while you can’t keep in touch on the road, you can video call friends, families, and loved ones when you’re stopped. Or, if you’re single, you can check out some dating apps to form new connections. 

 

Issues With Nutrition 

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If you have spent a lot of years on the road, you’re probably already familiar with the issue of eating healthily. When you’re trucking, you have to grab food where you can find it and this is usually going to be a fast-food joint on the highway. The problem is that these places and meals will not provide the nutrition you need to keep your body healthy. There are of course ways to deal with this problem. For instance, you can pack lunches to take with you. Don’t forget that if you’re not getting the right level of nutrition, levels of immunity will be significantly reduced. This is going to make it far more likely that you do develop serious diseases. 

Don’t let common health issues those in the trucking industry face get you down. One small change at a time is the best way to see results in your overall health and wellness.

 

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Read about some strategies to help you as a driver make fitness a reality:
https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2019/04/29/trucker-fitness-expectations-vs-reality/

Looking after your eyes as a long distance driver mother trucker yoga blog

Looking After Your Eyes As A Long Distance Driver

Looking After Your Eyes As A Long Distance Driver

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As a long-distance professional driver, your eyesight is, of course, one of the most vital parts of your job. It’s not easy to take care of your eyes and general health when you are on the road all the time and concentrating for hours on end. Plus, as you age, your eyes’ capabilities will naturally decrease with time. 

 

But of course, you are taking your own life in your hands as you get behind the wheel each day. This means it is of high importance that any eyesight issues you have are resolved to maintain your own safety and the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. 

 

Read on to find out three ways to look after your eyes as a long-distance driver!

Regular Eye Tests

As a driver, it is crucial that you have regular eye tests. Even if you have never experienced issues with your eyesight and you don’t wear glasses or contacts, regularly testing your eyes will pick up any changes in your needs. Around once a year, you should visit an optometrist who will test your eyesight and determine whether you need glasses. 

 

Eye tests are also important because they pick up any further issues with your eye. Using a machine called a phoropter is used to examine your eye closely, checking out any abnormalities that could become issues down the line. As a driver, these eye tests should be part of your routine in order to stay safe on the road. If you do need to order some prescription glasses, find deals at Eyeglasses.com

Appropriate Breaks

Just like any job that requires concentration, taking regular breaks is very important. As a long-distance driver, you likely understand the importance of taking breaks for tiredness as part of your safety procedures. 

 

Appropriate breaks are not just helpful to make sure you aren’t driving tired; they also help give your eyes the regular rest they need. Your eyes are just like any other organ in your body – they cannot function at 100% concentration for hours on end. Don’t ask your eyes to run a marathon for you every day – give them the breaks they need.

The Right Diet

Your eyes respond to a good diet just like other parts of your body. Eating well on the road can be very tricky, and it’s hard not to live up to the trucker stereotype of a junk food diet! However, eating fresh food if and when you can seriously improve your overall health, including your eye health. 

 

Here are a few foods that are proven to help eyesight.

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges. These contain Vitamin C which is a crucial vitamin for eye health.
  • Non-meat proteins, such as nuts and eggs.
  • Fish. Fish contains Omega 3 and other fatty oils that are fantastic for cognitive health in general.
  • Green vegetables like spinach and rocket salad. 

 

Long-distance driving is a crucial job that many people overlook. Your role is important, and taking care of your eyes is vital to complete this role!

Take care of your eyes, long-distance driver!

Truck Driver Health Vitamin C What You Need to Know Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Truck Driver Health: Vitamin C What You Need to Know

Attention Drivers… Get your Vitamin C!

Out on the road, healthy foods can be hard to find, and that means that you may not be getting all the vital nutrients you need to stay healthy as a truck driver. Remember that old saying, “An orange a day keeps the doctor away”? OK, maybe it was an apple, but oranges are often a fruit that is readily available at most truck stops, which means you can get your Vitamin C on anytime, anywhere. And your body will indeed thank you!

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is something our body does not store. Vitamin C is also known as Ascorbic acid and is found in fruits, vegetables, and animal products.

I can’t stress enough over how important it is for our health! It would be best if you had it daily to manage the physiological functions of your body. Yet so many people, truck drivers included just aren’t getting enough Vitamin C. Education plays a big role in making healthy choices. If you don’t know what foods contain certain vitamins, then how can you work to consume them. And furthermore, how can you prepare for your trip ahead if you don’t know what you should be buying, preparing, and packing? Don’t worry, Mother Trucker Yoga’s got your back!

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Why do we need Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and immunity booster that promotes cardiovascular health, growth of bones, wound healing, development and repair of body tissues, and skin rejuvenation. When we are stressed we lower our immune response, so make sure you are also practicing healthy stress relief habits. Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s 10 Ways to Reduce Stress. And don’t forget to breathe, your body depends on it.

But Vitamin C is also critical in the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters. It helps metabolize proteins, and its antioxidant activity may reduce the risk of some cancers. There are so many benefits to Vitamin C, and boy oh boy, does it taste good! If you are worried about the looks of fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, or losing that youthful vibe, then fear not; Vitamin C should be on your list of must have’s to keep your whole body healthy and in check. But this vital vitamin isn’t just for our youthful appearance; it also helps with muscle function, tone, and vitality. Our tissues feed on protein, water, and Vitamin C, and you need all three to keep your physical tone, strength, and elasticity healthy.

Did you know that Vitamin C helps produce collagen? That super important component to anti-aging and skin elasticity and is the main component of connective tissue and the most abundant protein in mammals. Roughly 1 to 2% of muscle tissue is collagen. And it is an important component in fibrous tissues such as:

  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • skin
  • cornea
  • cartilage
  • bones
  • the gut
  • blood vessels

Getting your daily dose of Vitamin C will leave your tissues happy and healthy but don’t forget about the importance of stretching! When your tissues get the vital nutrition they need those aches and pains will start to fade away with a few good Mother Trucker Yoga stretches.

Types of Vitamin C

Other than natural Vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables, ascorbic acid is frequently used in supplements. Other Vitamin C types include:

  • Mineral ascorbates (Calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, etc.)
  • Ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids
  • Other blended different forms (Ester-C containing ascorbate, dehydroascorbate, calcium threonate, xylonite, and lyxonate)

Don’t stress if you can’t get it fresh, as a truck driver you may need to supplement often and that is OK.

 

Required Daily Amount of Vitamin C

Age RDA
Infants (1-3 years) 15 mg
Children (4-9 years) 25 mg
Adolescents (9-13 years) 45 mg
Teens (14-18 years) 65-75 mg
Women (>19 years) 75 mg
Men (>19 years) 90 mg
Pregnant women 85 mg
Breastfeeding women 120 mg

 

“5 Vitamin C.” Institute of Medicine. 2000. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9810.

Health Benefits

If you are going to eat, you might as well eat something that packs a powerful punch with it. And foods that contain Vitamin C are nothing short of a POWERFUL PUNCH for your entire body’s health. Knowledge is power and when you know what your food can do for you, then you can make those healthier choices!

Boosts Immune System

Vitamin C is the core member of the fighting team against microbes. WBCs (Leucocytes) includes a group of cells (Neutrophils, innate lymphoid cells, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, and natural killer cells) whose function is to attack or engulf (phagocytosis) and then kill the pathogen.

But the actions of these warriors require the help of Vitamin C as its key function there is Phagocytosis (engulfment of a pathogen) and cellular mobility.

Heart Sweetheart

Vitamin C loves our heart and supports its health unconditionally. Research shows that adequate intake of Vitamin C lowers the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and its antioxidant properties fight off the free radical damage.

Research shows that it can control blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels. As it carries the enzymatic reaction that synthesizes norepinephrine (from dopamine) which controls all these functions.

Boosts Energy Levels

Vitamin C levels in the body are directly linked to that of L-carnitine (amino-acid), which plays a huge role in energy production in the body.

Vision Patron

Research shows that Vitamin C promotes the health of retinal blood vessels. Vitamin C helps in maintaining connective tissue and collagen in the cornea of the eye.

Its daily adequate consumption (300mg) prevents cataracts and shows promising results in reducing the progression of macular degeneration into later stages.

Radiant Skin

Vitamin C has a crucial role in collagen production present in our skin. It hydrates the skin, fights wrinkles and aging factors, and makes your skin healthy and blossomy.

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Sources of Vitamin C  

You can find this critical vitamin in lots of different foods and my advice, try to eat a variety of them. As a truck driver access to certain foods may be challenging at times so don’t stress if you cannot get guava or kiwi fruit into your daily diet. My approach is to reach for the lowest hanging fruit (hehehehe) so you don’t end up stressing yourself out over not getting a large enough variety. What is available to you right now? What foods can travel well? What can I bring from home? 

Fruits Serving Milligrams per serving
Lemon 1 fruit 44.5
Orange 1 large fruit 97.5
Kiwi fruit 1 fruit 64
Papaya 1 small fruit 97.6
Guava 1 cup, raw 377
Grapefruit juice 1 cup 93.9
Pineapple 1 cup chunks, raw 78.9
Mango 1 cup 60.1
Strawberries 1 cup, sliced 97.6
Tomato juice 1 cup, canned 170

 

Vegetables & spices Serving Milligrams per serving
Red Bell Pepper Per 100 gm 80mg
Kale 1 cup 180mg
Broccoli 1 cup, raw 81.2
Potato 1 large 72.7
Brussels sprouts 1 cup, raw 74.8
Cauliflower 1 cup, raw 51.6
Cabbage 1 cup, raw 44 mg
Thyme Per 100 gm 160 mg
Green chilli 1 green chilli 109 mg

 

Animal sources Amount (mg/100 gm)
Lamb liver (fried) 12
Lamb heart (roasted) 11
Lamb tongue (stewed) 6
Calf adrenals (raw) 11
Human milk 4
Cow milk 2
Goat milk 2

Your health is your responsibility and that doesn’t need to be a scary thing. That can be a sweet opportunity for you to improve your health and turn lemons into lemonade!

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