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5 Strategies | How To Be Fit Where You Sit?

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How to be fit where you sit?

What if I tell you that I am bringing you some health as a token of respect for your hardships? 

We always hear,

Health is wealth!

But in our busy lives, we rarely make time for ourselves. It’s not that we don’t want to, but in the race of survival of the fittest, we fail to manage our lives in a healthy.

Here I am going to give you some tips to stay fit where you sit.

5 Strategies How To Be Fit Where You Sit

1. Hydration

Hydration is vital in physical jobs, but office jobs also hold a hydration standard. No matter what, your body requires 3-4 liter water consumption daily to regulate its physiological functions.

It keeps your mind and body active and makes you more productive. It does detoxification for you while you are doing your work.

 

2. Ambiance 

Keep your surroundings clean and fresh. A pleasant ambiance works as an anti-depressant. The positive vibrations from your space will keep you mentally healthy, and mental health is equally important to physical health, if not more. When is the last time you cleaned your truck or vehicle? Consider using essential oils like lavender, peppermint, or citrus oils to help keep your space smelling great. And watch your stress levels drop too.

 

3. Lumbar Support

Long sitting hours generally reward you with annoying back pain and muscle cramps. The reason for this unwanted gift is our slouching sitting posture. Using lumbar support can solve this problem efficiently. BackShield is an excellent ergonomic lumbar support that helps you straighten your back, correct your position, and relieve you from bothering pain. It is a portable device you can practically carry anywhere with great ease. Keeping yourself fit isn’t just about exercising. It’s also about how you support your body while you aren’t. 

Backshield - seat for truck drivers

 

4. Intermittent Breaks

Our bodies tend to get tired and stiff after a certain length of time while sitting. Sensing the tension, our body releases stress hormones called cortisol, which causes mental stress and hampers the body’s biochemical reactions.

Taking intermittent breaks keeps you fresh and energetic, saving a lot of trouble both physically and mentally. It can be tough to be stopping knowing your destination is on the horizon continually. But if you take a few minutes each morning to plan out where you will stop and when this will not only lighten the stress load mentally but help you plan your time accordingly. Worried about traffic and delays? What is your backup plan? Check out TruckerPath App to know where to stop and when!

 

5. Exercise

It’s so easy for your body to become tense, especially when you spend the majority of your time sitting as a truck driver. Most truck drivers’ fitness is focused on an exercise routine, and I’m here to tell you that it’s much simpler than that. It’s about small micro moves you can add to your day throughout your day, every day. 

You can do the following exercises to release any tension or stress in your body:

 

Neck 

Gently flex your neck in all directions (forward, backward, to the left, and the right side) whenever in half an hour.

Shoulders

Bend your arms to place your hands on each shoulder to look like wings. Simultaneously move one arm in a clockwise fashion and the other in a counter-clockwise manner. Make sure your elbows touch when they come forward to face each other. It will release the tension from your shoulders.

Another exercise you can do is shrugging your shoulders. Raise your shoulders towards your ears, then slowly roll them down.

Wrists

If you have a computer job or you clench a steering wheel all day as a trucker, your wrists tend to get stiff and painful. To avoid such circumstances, keep your arms steady and move your wrist ten times in both clockwise and anti-clockwise fashion. Truck driver fitness is about the little things, open one hand pull back each finger one at a time to stretch your joints, and open your hand from a closed-off fist.

Finger Stretches Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 

Eyes 

Working non-stop can easily affect your vision as the muscles of your eyes get tired doing the job their ass off. 

Make sure you blink your eyes more frequently.

Gently massage your eyes and do some vision exercises.

Abdominal Exercises

Long-term sitting leaves your core and back muscles underactive and out of order. This means when you go to use your body your core and back are vulnerable to injury. Do some abdominal and core muscle exercises like chair rollback (sit tall in the chair and gently lean your body back like you are in the reclining dentist chair and then come back up).

Legs 

Our legs tend to get numb with prolonged sitting and we can struggle with issues like sciatica and clutch leg when driving manual. To keep the circulation under regulation, do some light walking or stretching of legs. When you are in the driver’s seat regularly roll your ankles and think about marching in the driver’s seat by lifting and lowering your knees without leaning your body back to keep blood flow and circulation up to par.

Want the details on how to do these movements and exercises safely and effectively?

Check out our Mother Trucker Yoga Membership Site.

Easy 3-5 minute videos to get you the relief you need fast! Even while driving!

Mother Trucker yoga membership site

Mother Trucker Driver Spotlight – VW Lady Trucker

Today in the Mother Trucker Driver Spotlight, we highlight VW Lady Trucker, who drives for Cetarus USA!

National truck driver appreciation week mother trucker yoga blog

It’s Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and we want to celebrate! And what better way than to highlight some of our road heroes. We interviewed drivers and asked them questions about their lives to help others see how amazing and hard trucking is.

It’s our truck drivers who keep our great country running strong. Many of these men and women go unnoticed, not because they aren’t important, but because what they do doesn’t live in a fancy building or doesn’t require a cap and gown.

These men and women are out on our roads, carrying all our essential and non-essential products we want and love day in and day out. And here at Mother Trucker Yoga, it’s not just trucking fitness that is important to us. It’s the men and women whom we serve.

Truck Driver Spotlight VW Lady Trucker Trucker Appreciation Week Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Meet VW Lady Trucker!

 

QUESTION 1: How long have you been driving?

Answer: 17 years.

 

QUESTION 2: What do you love most about being a truck driver?

Answer: The freedom!

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Women make up 52% of management across all occupations. Within the logistics industry, women compose 31.5% of employees in the warehouse and storage sectors, and within the trucking industry, women make up a growing 6.2%. According to the American Trucking Associations, there is a need for about 60,000 OTR truck drivers.

 

Recognition Well-Deserved!

Each year Real Women in Trucking gives out an award for “Queen of the Road,” and Trucker VW Lady Trucker (pictured, right) accepting a special Queen of the Road award at GATS in 2019. She is pictured with award presenter Michelle Scolari, among award honorees in the current earlier-year round of this year’s Queen of the Road program.

Real women in trucking award 2019 mother trucker yoga blog

QUESTION 3: Trucking is hard. Why do you keep on trucking?

Answer: Long hours, but I love that paycheck.

 

QUESTION 4: What is your favorite truck stop?

Answer: I have so many. It’s hard to pick just one.

 

QUESTION 5: What do you want to say to new and upcoming drivers?

ANSWER: Never give up! Even in the tightest spots!

 

QUESTION 6: What would make trucking easier for you and other drivers?

ANSWER: Better accommodations for parking and fewer government mandates.

 

QUESTION 7: What do you do, if anything, to try to stay healthy on the road?

ANSWER: Eat healthy as possible and park far away, so I am forced to get out and walk more.

VW Lady Trucker had a final thought she wanted everyone to know. Always remember to:

Smile! Meet a new friend.

 

 

 

What do you like most about the trucking industry?

Have a comment to share with VW Lady Trucker or our readers?

Please share it in the comments below!

 

Mother Trucker Yoga® wants to help 1 million drivers change lanes in their health and fitness by 2031.

To get involved with Mother Trucker Yoga’s mission and help drivers just like you incorporate driver fitness into their lives.  Contact us!

11 Strategies for Truck Drivers To Start Following A Healthy Lifestyle

There are many benefits associated with following a healthy lifestyle. It can increase your confidence and self-worth, improve your overall health and fitness, and even positively affect your mood and happiness. However, making the switch to a healthy lifestyle can often seem like an impossible task, whether you’ve come to rely on unhealthy habits and coping mechanisms or are simply unsure of where to start.

 

Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that a healthy lifestyle is always within reach – and making a few small changes at a time can have a huge difference, helping you achieve your goals in no time at all.

 

With that in mind, here are some tips and strategies that you can use to start following a healthier lifestyle. 

11 Strategies for Truck Drivers To Start Following A Healthy Lifestyle

1.Identify unhealthy habits.

The first step towards living a healthier, happier life is acknowledging areas where you might have a problem. After all, you may have picked up on unhealthy habits without really realizing it. For example, going to bed late every night can affect your sleep schedule, meaning that you are never as rested as you need to be. Alternatively, you could rely on processed foods as they are often quicker and easier to prepare than fresh meals. Identifying these issues means that you know exactly what changes need to be made. 

 

2.Cook Yourself.

Healthy eating does not mean that you have to eat salad after salad; in fact, you can enjoy thousands of delicious recipes when focusing on healthy living. Therefore, one way to focus on transitioning into a healthy lifestyle is by spending more time in the kitchen, experimenting with new foods and ingredients instead of reaching for the takeout menu or a microwave meal. This is also a great way to develop new skills. And since cooking on the road can be challenging for some, make sure you check out Road Pro’s cookware helping you make eating healthy a little bit easier.  Our two favorites are Road Pro Portable Stove (AKA Lunchbox) and the 12 volt Saucepan. 

Roadpro sauce pan Road Pro portable stove lunchbox

 

4.3.3    3.Practice Preventative Health.

The majority of us have all grown up with the mentality of “sick care,” meaning don’t do anything about your health until you are sick. I’m telling you that mentality is wrong. Don’t wait for your body to show signs of sickness or stress before deciding to do something about your health as a truck driver. Being aware of any health issues you could face, especially as a truck driver, can equip you to find ways to prevent them or minimize their impact. Truck driver health issues like heart disease, sleep apnea, dehydration, diabetes, fatigue, and obesity can all become a concern for a truck driver’s health. We want you to know there are things you can do to help reduce the chances of impacting your health. 

 

4. Keep on walking.

There are many benefits associated with walking more often; it can improve your cardiovascular fitness, balance, dexterity, and endurance. Furthermore, walking also encourages you to spend more time outdoors, which is excellent for your health and happiness. As a general rule, you should try to take around 10,000 steps a day. And as a truck driver, that can be tricky sometimes. Consider laps around your truck, using your truck step as a mini stair stepper to start. If this is not possible for you, don’t worry – give yourself a smaller, more manageable target and work on increasing it over time. 

 

5.Discover what trucker fitness exercises work for you.

Incorporating exercise into your routine is a great way to transition into a healthier lifestyle, but you must focus on activities that work for you and your needs.  Finding a workout routine that works for you protects you from overexertion or injury and helps you see positive results sooner rather than later. It also makes it easier to put together a killer fitness regime.  

mother trucker yoga blog movment

6.Add to your exercise routine over time.

When you haven’t participated in any exercise for a little while, reintroducing it to your routine could seem incredibly daunting, especially if you feel your fitness and endurance levels are not up to scratch.  Therefore, you must start small – focusing on small bursts of exercise instead of throwing yourself straight into a complex and lengthy routine. As your fitness levels increase, you can always build up the intensity of your workout to match. 

 

7.Reduce daily stress.

While stress can be unavoidable, you mustn’t put yourself under stress unnecessarily, as this can have an incredibly negative effect on your overall health and happiness. For example, prolonged stress can lead to a lack of sleep and poor motivation. Therefore, one way you can begin to live a healthier lifestyle is by being honest about what stresses you and then noticing the conversation and action steps you take after you become aware. Much just default to complaining and actually attach to the stress as an identity. Ask yourself, what can I do that I enjoy? What makes me happy? What helps me reduce stress? This could include asking for additional support at work or letting go of friends who drag you down instead of lifting you. 

Life Is About Choices

The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter, who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

 

8.Schedule in some self-care.

While it may not essentially seem that way, self-care should be considered an essential part of your routine and help you live a healthier, happier life. Therefore, you must add self-care to your schedule in as many different forms as possible. Remember, self-care could include curating a skincare routine or something simpler like giving yourself a break when you need one. 

 

9.Put together a sleep schedule.

Your sleep affects your health in more ways than you may initially realize, meaning that it’s vital you work on improving your sleep schedule. Thankfully, there are various steps you can take to achieve this goal. For example, you can avoid using your phone or staring at a screen before bed, which often makes it harder for your brain to shut off. Furthermore, you could start to go to bed at the same time each evening, as a routine can help you drift off to sleep much easier as your brain and body will begin to feel tired around this time. And when you can’t fall asleep because your back or hips hurt, it might be time for a quick stretch or a readjustment of how you sleep. 

10.Set yourself manageable goals.

Setting yourself new goals is an important part of following a healthy routine, whether they pertain to healthy weight loss or increased ability to do specific tasks. However, the goals you set for yourself must be realistic and attainable – as this is the easiest way to remain on track and avoid feeling disheartened. For example, instead of setting yourself to lose X amount of weight or fat, focus on the health benefits you can aspire towards instead. This could include goals such as feeling more energized, sleeping better, or increasing the amount of distance you can walk/run. (Check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s blog on how to set GOALS)

 

11.Remain positive.

This is perhaps the most important step on the list, as to revamp your lifestyle, you need to be able to maintain a positive outlook. While your friends and family will likely support your journey, you also have to provide yourself with the motivation needed to make fundamental changes. Otherwise, you may find that you give up at the smallest of hurdles. 

 

 

 

It’s important to remember that healthy living is a change of lifestyle, not something you do for a few weeks and then abandon. However, this shift will not feel as dramatic or hard to conquer by incorporating change gradually over time. Therefore, it’s equally important that you do not rush the process and try to change everything about your habits and lifestyle overnight. Instead, try to introduce a few minor changes a month – knowing that big results will follow. You’ve got this!

 

   STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream

 

World Suicide Prevention Day: 6 Strategies to Improve Driver Mental Wellness

Everyone talks about mental health, and unfortunately, the term “mental health” has a more negative connotation than positive. After talking with dozens of people from various backgrounds, most felt the time “mental health” felt there was something wrong with you, and therefore, you need to take care of your mental health. 

How did we get to this place? This place where we are looking for solutions, answers, and strategies for aspects of our health only when we are in a state of turmoil, anguish, or pain? 

I used to feel embarrassed to tell others that I had “mental health” like a disease. And if I dare mention I need mental health help, I would be mortified of the other person’s response. 

A few years back, I began to change my conversation around mental health. And since the term “mental health” has the stigma of being broken and therefore needing help. I decided to change the term of mental care to mental wellness. 

Mental Wellness is the state in which one makes the state of the mind, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors a priority. Whereas the actions were taken are both proactive and reactive, but really, as a means of a simple lifestyle integration. 

Today is Suicide Prevention Day. It’s kind of a bit strange to have a day focused on this when right next to it is National Hot Dog Day, Love Your Dog Day, and Grandparents Day. But I suppose a day is better than nothing. 

As someone who has stood face to face with suicide more than once, to me, suicide is a feeling of last resort, that all hope is lost, and any other actions taken will not be successful. I believe people are driven to suicide by many factors, and the why is not for argument’s sake, but from my own experience, I reflect on the what and the how. How did I get to that place, and what could have helped or been different? 

To anyone out there that is struggling with their mental wellness, I want you to know that you are not alone. 

I also want you to know that I see you and hear you. The words you don’t speak. The side of yourself you do not show. I see you. 

And instead of posting a suicide prevention hotline number on our blog, I thought it would be more helpful to share some of the mental wellness strategies I have used over the years. And when it comes to truck driver health issues, mental wellness should be a priority. 

6 Things To Improve Mental Wellness and Aid In Suicide Prevention

#1. Believe you are worth it. 

Or at least say it to yourself until you do. For years I didn’t, and I recognize that this was a learned behavior, a lie I was telling myself based on what I saw someone in my own life do over and over again. If you have breath in your body, then there is still a purpose for you. 

This tiny spark inside me kept telling me don’t lose hope. It was quiet and almost impossible to hear or see among the thoughts of self-destruction, self-hate, and sadness. But it was there. Today look in the mirror and tell yourself you are worth it. Despite what the mind says back, fight that other self (I called it my addictive mind) and say it anyway. When it comes to truck driver health, as a driver, you may already feel isolated and alone and that makes it even easier to allow your mind to spiral. Speak positively about yourself every day. 

light - suicide prevention day blog mother trucker yoga

#2. Healthy Expression. 

It is easy for an outsider to tell someone depressed, suicidal, or lost hope to seek help. But the paralyzing effects of negative, depressive, self-destructive thoughts are paralyzing. It can take all you have to get up out of bed and get a drink of water, let alone get dressed and go to work. So rather than suggesting you journal, practice yoga, deep breathe (check out our deep breathing meditation for drivers), meditate, or call a safe friend when you are in that moment. Do it when you are feeling good. You need to cultivate habits in those impossible moments and practice them in the more accessible ones by doing the actions. 

Because our thoughts become our emotions, and our actions become our outcomes, and the cycle continues. And before you know it, every day is the same.

Dr. Joe Dispenza says “that if you keep thinking in the past, you will keep creating the same life”. If you continue to allow your brain to only think about what has happened to you in your life up to this point, you will only get a repeat of what you have had in your life up to this point. That means the same thoughts, emotions, and actions on autopilot. Disrupt that cycle when you are having a good day so that you can do it on those not-so-good days too.

#3. Change the cycle of your day. 

Routine is good when it is good. But routine can also be a toxic habit that leads us down the same pathway we have been down repeatedly. By changing the cycle of your behaviors and routines, you can increase the chances of changing your thoughts, emotions, and now outcomes. 

Start small. Start with something small and easy like drinking a glass of water in the morning, and as you drink it, tell yourself this is healthy for me. Do that every day, and after 90 days, you will have completed 90 new behaviors and told yourself 90 times you are healthy. Do that for a year, and that’s 365 times you have engaged in healthy behaviors and 365 times you have told yourself you are healthy. It all adds up. 

#4. Surround Yourself With Wellness. 

I don’t mean to sit in the middle of a health food store and never leave. I mean, on those good days, make a list of people, places, and things you can do, go to see, listen to, watch, and have that make you feel good. At one point in my life, I found myself consumed with Joyce Meyer’s books. I read them all. I particularly loved the Battle Field of the Mind. I read them over and over. They gave me hope, strength and shifted my thoughts away from the unhealthy cycle and, even if just for a brief moment, into a more healthy one. 

What are you currently doing on social media? If you find yourself consumed with groups and pages where people complain, are angry, and breed negativity. It might be best you delete them immediately. The same goes for people in your life. Find groups, connections, and affiliations where you feel safe and breed a positive vibe, where if needed, you can express yourself and even ask for help. And if you ever find yourself reading a post like that, reach out. Don’t just comment with praying hands emoji or saying I’m here for you. Sometimes the action of half help can make it worse. Instead, reach out directly to them. Private message them and start a conversation, or even call them. You might just save someone’s life.  

What music boosts your mood? I know how tempting listening to the downward spiral number one hit songs where singers share about their pain, hurt, and destruction. But don’t go there. You are only reconfirming how you feel and not allowing yourself to get out of it. What makes you feel good? Surround yourself with it. 

#5 Do It Anyways.

Some things make us feel good AFTER we do them. But getting ourselves to do them is often the problem. The key is not to think and do it. I love how I feel when I do my hair. I also love how I feel when I exercise and go for a walk every day. But the moment I give myself time to think about it, the weight of the world has now seeped in and taken over. So don’t think. And the momentum you feel and receive from the boost in endorphins afterward is the moment that will keep you coming back for more. 

#6 Know when it’s time for more.

I got to the point where I felt there was no hope for me. And although I was not in a place where suicide was on the docket anymore, I felt hopeless, empty, and lost. Physically I felt like I was going to vomit thinking about what I was about to do, but the alternative of living this way any longer outweighed what I was about to do. The day I spoke these three words to someone I trusted, I felt a relief I had never felt before. “I need help.” I had no idea what that helped looked like at that moment, but my ego had finally broken its last piece, and I no longer cared about anything other than not feeling this way. 

Who can you reach out to today? Who is safe? That person didn’t have all the answers that day and what came next was scary too (lots of new things), but nothing is as frightening as where I had already been. I had already experienced hell, so what could be worse? 

I want you to know that there is hope, help, and your mental wellness is a priority. And suicide does not have to be your only solution. Taking care of your mind, thoughts, and emotions is essential and trumps any other tasks you have in your life. Every effort you make is worthy, impactful, and shows you still see that spark at the end of the tunnel. You are worth it. Your mental wellness matters!

Suicide Prevention day mother trucker yoga blog

Easy to Pack Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers

Healthy snacks for truck drivers that are easy to pack!

Packing your own travel snacks as a driver can be a challenge when it comes to things like storage space, food spoilage, and not to mention where to replace the yummy delicious snacks you have eaten and now need more.

But the good news is, as a truck driver, healthy trucker food doesn’t have to be complicated to find, pack and eat. Everyone else may be telling you you have to cook elaborate meals on the truck to “eat healthy over the road,” but I’m telling you that you can eat healthy in small bites, and even those small snacks count!

Why pack healthy snacks?

Packing healthy snacks can and will help you resist the temptation to buy those unhealthy, greasy, sugary foods at the truck stop that are starting back at you when you walk in. And truth be told, those foods are not going away anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy them every time you walk in.

Part of the challenge is many drivers and travelers walk into the truckstop hungry, better yet, hangry, and then make decisions they would otherwise have more self-control from.

You can do this. And the key to avoiding the junk food trap is to have healthy snacks on your truck ready when you need them. Healthy snacks for truck drivers to pack won’t take a lot of time or even prep when you know what you are looking for.

Easy to pack snacks for truck drivers Mother Trucker Yoga blog post 2

Ideas for Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers and Travelers

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts, unsalted, or low salted nuts. Look for almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, or mixed nuts. Oh, and I love an occasional bag of edamame, crunchy and so good. Yes, there are a few extra packages to throw away, but if you struggle with portion control, consider buying the snack size or travel size bags of nuts or pre-bag your nuts at home before heading out on the road. Rule of thumb an ounce or 28 grams of nuts per day. That’s about as much as what fits in the palm of your hand. And they can be a mixture of nuts or a handful of one kind, like almonds. Add a small dose of dried fruit (small because dried fruit is high in sugar) for a sweet, nutty mixture.

And if you haven’t yet ventured into the wonderful world of seeds I want to encourage you to do so. Seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and even apricot are packed with minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, plant iron, and zinc),
vitamins B1, B2, B3, and vitamin E, and protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Trail Mix

Now mix your seeds, nuts, and a small handful of dried fruit along with some yummy dark chocolate chips and you have yourself a yummy heart-healthy snack! Don’t forget to bag your mix-up into individual baggies before you get hungry because too much of anything is too much.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh fruit is a great travel snack idea for any driver. Although it doesn’t keep for very long, your body will thank you for the delicious fuel in the time you have. Consider fruits like oranges (large oranges, cuties, or tangerines), grapefruits, apples, plums, bananas, but eat them before they go brown because, in brown bananas, the resistant starch has almost completely transformed into simple sugars. When you eat a brown banana, your blood sugar spikes more quickly than a green one, which means it has a higher glycemic index. Have a designated basket or container to store this fruit in so it doesn’t get bruised. Consider 2-3 servings of fruit per day, and fruit is best eaten on an empty stomach.

Chips Popcorn or Pretzels?

If you require a crunchy snack and are thinking pretzels are better, you might want to think again. Potato chips have a nutritional advantage over pretzels when it comes to sodium content. And potato chips and popcorn are not only lower in salt than pretzels, but they also contain more potassium than pretzels. These snacks are a perfect example of never judge a book by its cover. Studies have shown that eating salt triggers the release of dopamine, a chemical messenger that controls your brain’s pleasure center. Once your brain gets that first reward hit, it starts craving more. This is why you can’t stop when the big back is open for business.

Consider the following:

Look for pretzels that are sprouted or made from ancient grains. There are even pretzels made out of sweet potatoes and cauliflower and taste pretty dang good.

Look for popcorn that is low salt (sea salt) and does not have extra flavoring put onto it, those are often loaded with additives and excitotoxins, which keep your body wanting more, and you can’t figure out why. I love Skinny Pop when I’m on the go, and best of all, most truck stops carry this brand. Just remember not to eat the entire bag in one sitting.

Look for chips that are low sodium, and there are even some amazing brands that now make grain-free chips that, in my opinion, are better than grain-based chips like Siete tortilla chips, or bare sea salt carrot chips, chips made from cauliflower, and of course sweet potatoes and root vegetable chips.

Rice Cakes

I have been eating rice cakes since I was a little kid. My parents were tight on cash most of my growing up years, and my mom made rice cakes so much fun to eat. Rice cakes are low fat, low sodium, and the crunch you have been looking for. Try a rice cake, peanut butter (or almond butter), and homemade jam for a sweet treat. Add a slice of banana on top for a full-on crunchy dessert. Put a thin layer of mustard and then sliced avocado on top, and you have a simple lunch. Dunk them in your soup for an alternative to saltines.

Kale Chips

Still need that salty crunch, consider kale chips. You can make them at home with a dehydrator or in your oven or you can buy them for a quick salty delicious snack packed with kale is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A and calcium, as well as B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. Kale chips keep well when kept in a sealed container so crunch away. Plus you can crumble them on top of a salad for extra added flavor and nutrition.

Jerky

Jerky is rich in protein and a great travel snack, even a quick on-the-go meal when you don’t need to bulk up on calories. But beware most jerky brands are loaded with sugar and sodium. And you can get jerky of all kinds: beef, bison, venison (in Wisconsin we love making our own), chicken, turkey, and my personal favorite salmon! The best part is jerky is an easy to pack healthy trucker snack that you can get just about anywhere. Just remember to read the label and added ingredients that might be snuck in.

Granola or Oatmeal

Making your own granola is super simple, but if you don’t have time and want a crunch of a bit of sweet, granola is a great grab for a snack on the go. But when buying granola consider the following: look for NON-GMO verified brands and if possible organic. Because remember you are eating whatever has been sprayed on those oats, and more brands are going NON-GMO. And when you flip the bag over check the added sugar content, look at the amount of fat per serving. And most importantly, look at the ingredients being used. Many have hidden colors or flavor additives, as well as unhealthy oils.

And when it comes to oatmeal, consider overnight oats or steel-cut oats versus instant oats. You can easily use your RoadPro crockpot to cook them while you drive. Oatmeal is heart-healthy and if I had to choose sugary cereal or a greasy fast food breakfast sandwich I’d choose oatmeal.

 

Protein Balls VS Protein Bars

Often times truckers and travelers talk to me about protein bars as their go-to while traveling and I do eat them, but they should be eaten sparingly and not used to regularly replace real food. When choosing a protein bar read the ingredients, many are made with soy, laced with excitotoxins (additives, artificial colors, and flavors), and can be loaded with sugar. And remember protein bulks, and when you fill up on protein yes it will help keep you full longer, but a high intake of protein does require you to be active because protein builds muscle. And you are oftentimes better off with a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts. But here are a few of my favorite brands.

These are all easy to pack snacks for truck drivers and don’t be overwhelmed, the first step is to just choose one to buy and incorporate into your next trip. And don’t forget to make sure you get in your water each day and get enough sleep and movement, and of course, don’t forget to eat REAL FOOD. If you aren’t sure where to start join our Mother Trucker Yoga Family.

The next time you are wondering what to pack, remember Mother Trucker Yoga’s favorite snacks!

Are you a part of the Mother Trucker Yoga Family yet?

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4 Things Your Trucking Corporate Wellness Program Needs to Have

Corporate wellness is not only essential for the trucking industry, it’s what can help change it for the better!

Without truck drivers, where would our economy be? And those drivers need well-maintained trucks to get where they need to go. But what about well-maintained drivers?

Does your company offer a quality trucking corporate wellness program that you and your fellow drivers can actually use in your everyday life?

After nearly 20 years of working with people just like you with mental health, physical health, and lifestyle improvements, I’ve learned the right strategies you need to improve your life, not just your fitness regimen. There are so many programs out there, but how do you know what your company needs? How do you know what is right for your drivers? And even more importantly, how do you know once you invest what your drivers are actually doing?

4 Things Your Trucking Corporate Wellness Program Needs to Have:

Moves that make sense.

Most fitness and wellness programs focus on strength building. But as you age, you lose 10% of your flexibility every decade, and when you aren’t moving your body, all the systems in your body aren’t flowing.

The content you are providing should be focusing on: lifestyle movements and enhancements, driver-focused movements, mini exercise sequences, and full-on workout programs. That way, everyone can get their needs met, and there is a track to continue moving forward.

You need a program that does more than strength training. You need a program that focuses on not just flexibility but mobility. Not just strength but stability. It would be best if you had them all. And that means you need more than just a resistance band or a set of hand weights. You need a program that looks at movement as an opportunity to improve your lifestyle, not just exercise more. And breaks them down into bite-size pieces that make sense for your driver for the long haul. As your trucking fitness company we strive to meet your drivers needs and yours as the owner as well.

 

Tracking & Reporting 

You can have the best driver wellness program (corporate wellness) available for your drivers, but without the proper tracking and reporting, how do you really know who is using it and if it’s working? When you have tracking that marks usage, login, and things like quizzes, checkpoints, and opportunities for drivers to show you they are applying what they are learning, you have healthier drivers and a program that works. Plus, that means you have data to provide to your insurance provider for discounts and kickbacks.

4 Things Your Trucking Corporate Wellness Program Needs to Have: Reporting Mother Trucker Yoga

Community 

How is it that the drivers communicate with other drivers? How do they get their questions answered? You want to make sure the program you implement offers a community. Corporate wellness isn’t anything new across industries, but many approaches like traditional fitness or traditional coaching. And you also need a space for the participants (drivers) to connect with their peers who want the same thing. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but it should be a place where drivers can ask questions, share their experiences and get feedback. One-on-one coaching is good for some. But when you are working with drivers by the hundreds, why not allow those drivers to learn from each other, because if they have a question, dozens of others might too.

 

Certificates of Completion

Providing drivers with a certificate of completion that has met the standard for health and safety is essential. If your driver gets into an accident, they should have the appropriate paperwork showing they are doing all they can to improve their health. I learned a lot by applying, owning, and operating a state-approved vocational school for the state of Wisconsin, teaching yoga for more than nine years. After 20 years of training, certifying, and instructing both teachers of fitness and wellness and their students, I have learned a thing or two about what should be included and what works and what doesn’t work. It’s critical to not only track what you offer your clients and drivers, but they need to be able to track and be rewarded for it too.

 

To learn more about Mother Trucker Yoga’s Driver Wellness Program and Corporate opportunities,  and how Mother Trucker Yoga can become your trucking fitness company, visit our page for details, watch a short video, and book a call!

 

 

 

8 Aspects of a Successful Driver Wellness Program

When you have a trucking company taking care of your drivers, running your company successfully is necessary. Without healthy drivers, the health of your company will suffer. As a trucking fitness company, it is critical to focus on more than just exercise when improving driver health. When you only focus on one, your health will never get to where you want it to be, which means your company’s health won’t either.

8 Aspects of a Successful Driver Wellness Program:

Emotional and Mental Wellness

Your emotional and mental wellness are the heartbeat of every other aspect of health in your life. If you have been focusing solely on nutrition or solely on fitness and haven’t gotten the results you wanted, this might be why. A successful corporate wellness program needs to address the driver’s current state of being. Discuss strategies for drivers to see life more positively and manage the stresses of the job in healthy, safe ways. With suicide a growing concern in the trucking industry, this must be addressed. Truck drivers are 5th on the list of highest risk for work-related suicide. The trucking industry has been classified as one of the highest-risk occupations in the United States. Does your program focus on this aspect of driver health?

Driver Wellness Program Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 1

Environmental Wellness

What can a driver possibly do to improve their environmental happiness and well-being? The answer, a lot. Ensuring your program teaches drivers techniques, strategies, and practical lifestyle upgrades they can do to their truck and daily routine can positively impact how they see themselves, their job, and the obstacles that come their way. And when a driver focuses some time on improving their environment when they are done driving for the day, their truck encourages them to make healthier choices. Teaching drivers the 30-second rule can help them focus on the little thing that they can do quickly that will have a lasting effect on their mental and emotional health.

The 30-Second Rule

Sarah Felton of Messies Anonymous created the 30-second rule that goes something like this—if a job takes around 30 seconds or less, do it immediately. This applies to putting away your shoes, picking up garbage off the truck floor, and putting away loose items immediately instead of rushing to do it when trying to roll out for the day. That small effort will have a large impact on your driver’s wellness.

Financial Wellness

It seems odd to discuss when talking about health. Oftentimes we don’t realize how much we are spending on meaningless items or even food until we stop, slow down and do the math. But this can be as simple as showing drivers the cost savings of cooking on the truck or preparing even just a few travel-friendly food times for their trip. Or even showing them how easy it is to build a healthy meal at the truck stop for the same or less to what they currently spend every day. And once we show them the savings there, next is the pile of medications and higher insurance rates they are paying for out of their paychecks. And that The “ah-ha” moment can’t come until we slow down and not just tell drivers these things, but show them, guide them and support them through these changes. And when drivers see that these implementations are not difficult to do and don’t take much time, they will begin to see the cost-benefit of trying to live a healthier life over the road.

Intellectual Wellness

Providing your drivers opportunities to learn and expand their knowledge is a brilliant way to lead them down a path of self-care, setting goals, and aspiring to live the best life possible as a driver. This doesn’t mean telling them to go back to college to get a different job. This means giving them opportunities to learn and grow. There is a difference between telling someone to do something and showing and explaining how to do something and why. Ensure the program you provide gives your drivers opportunities to expand themselves beyond their current life circumstances. This can be a book club, a weekly chat, monthly health webinars, lifestyle challenges, and guest speakers that directly link to your driver’s current situation and goals.

Driver Wellness Program Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 2

Occupational Wellness

Occupational wellness means that you provide your drivers with a sense of work-life balance. Show them and give them opportunities to select strategies and apply new ways of making life easier as drivers. Whether they are a day cab driver, an over-the-road driver, or a driving truck but not a semi, this is still a necessary aspect of driver wellness. This can be as simple as providing drivers with a safety kit or simple amenities that can help improve their day-to-day life. What would make their life easier? Is that something you can play a role in providing? Oftentimes providing the right health and safety programming can be the olive branch drivers are looking for that helps give them the work-life balance they are looking for.

Physical Wellness

This is probably the most obvious of the eight, but just as important. With 86% of drivers obese and 34% of truckers have at least one sign of a severe medical condition that has been previously linked to poor driving performance, the need for a physical fitness upgrade is now more than every critical need in a corporate wellness program for drivers. When setting up a wellness program, make sure the physical fitness side provides more than just exercises. There is more to physical wellness and fitness than doing push-ups, jumping jacks, and even yoga. A well-run program will assess all aspects of physical health, not just exercise, and break it down in a way that makes sense to a driver’s lifestyle and needs. It provides a breakdown and how-to for drivers to re-learn lifestyle movements and skills to help them continue to do their job for years to come.

stiff mother trucker pain relief cream

Social Wellness

What type of community do you offer your drivers? Driving a truck is a lonely profession, and things like depression, anxiety, suicide, and addiction are common among drivers for a good reason. When your corporate wellness program for your drivers provides an aspect of community, this can make all the difference. And yes, drivers use things like social media to communicate regularly. However, when groups and sites are unmonitored, a few bad seeds can take a group in the wrong direction. When the provided social wellness is monitored, it can allow for a more positive outcome. It’s not just about offering community, and it’s about offering a safe community where drivers don’t feel intimidated or embarrassed for taking care of their health.

Spiritual Wellness

This is not about religion but more so about guiding your employees towards finding purpose in their life. Engaging in practices that promote relaxation, happiness and encourage them to be a part of something bigger than themselves. When we isolate ourselves from the world, be it by choice or not, we can feel disconnected. I like to think of it as giving drivers something to chew on. When we have something to chew on and reflect on while driving, it can create new conversations, new ideas, and new ways of thinking and living.

Final Thoughts on Your Driver Wellness Program

Whether you incorporate a few of these or all of them, remember this; there is more to driver wellness than a fitness app. Your drivers carry heavy loads, not just behind their trucks but on their shoulders every day.

If you’d like to learn more about how Mother Trucker Yoga can help support your drivers and set up a driver wellness program for your company. Learn more about our trucking fitness company and driver corporate wellness programs HERE

Drivers: 4 Strategies to Eating More Fresh Produce

Summer Time means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s everywhere. There are farmers’ markets, and food stands around here in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, I was in Georgia, and we bought the most delicious Georgia peaches from a local produce stand- delicious! But one fantastic thing about summertime is the availability of fresh produce. 

Often we allow the lack of ability to get to the grocery store to paralyze us into thinking we can’t find fresh, healthy foods. And that isn’t true. As a driver, you may have a few more bumps along the way, but there is a way!

Whether you are at home with family cooking in your kitchen or on your grill, or you are on the road in search of a bite to eat, or you have everything you need right on your truck. You can add a bit more freshness into your summertime foods!

4 Strategies to Eating More Fresh Produce During the Summertime

ADD MORE VEGGIES INTO YOUR DIET THAT ARE TRAVEL-FRIENDLY. 

I like adding avocado to my sandwiches, salads and don’t forget about eating them like a boat. Add sliced carrots, some onion flakes, garlic powder, and a scoop of hummus. YUM! Or the next time you’re cooking fish, meat, or poultry at home or over the road, don’t forget your Road Pro Lunch Box (Portable Stove). Try this: sauté some peppers, onion, garlic, even some thinly sliced potatoes and tomatoes to serve as the topping. Add a little extra virgin olive oil to your Lunch Box and throw everything inside to cook! When you bulk up a meal with veggies, you add volume without excess calories and unwanted, unhealthy fats. Plus, veggies are great for digestion and elimination, so you feel better. Want more ideas for getting all your veggies? Join our community on Facebook – Accelerate Your Health with Mother Trucker Yoga, where we have fantastic drivers sharing amazing recipes they 100% prepare on the truck! 

DRESS UP YOUR SALAD. 

Not all salads are healthy, so just because you see a clear package of lettuce with toppings at the truck stop or an option for a salad at a restaurant, STOP and take a closer look. Look for salads with romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, or leafy greens like arugula or mixed greens instead of ice burg lettuce. Ice burg lettuce has no nutritional value and does not digest as you think a “lettuce” should. If possible, find a better bed of greens. Once you pick your leafy greens, look at what’s on top. Steer clear of salads loaded with cheese and processed ham, fried foods on top, or unhealthy dressings loaded with unnecessary fats. Try to find or make a salad with a variety of greens, which offer disease-fighting nutrients. And for your protein pick, choose lean protein like fish (not fried), beans, legumes, quinoa, grilled chicken, or a bunless burger on top when in need.

Driver 4 Strategies to eating more fresh produce mother trucker yoga blog

PREP BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT. 

There are many benefits to eating at home, but for a truck driver, that is not always an option available, sometimes for weeks, even months at a time. So, first of all, don’t step into the healthy eating arena with a mindset that “it can’t be done.” Because if you think it can’t, you won’t find a way. What can you prep before you head out? What can you pack for the trip, even if it only lasts you a few days or a few weeks? Try loading up things like dried veggies (I love dried pea pods and wasabi peas that you can often find right in the produce section. Veggies like onions travel well and are a great natural blood cleaner, keeping you healthy. 

If you have a frig or cooler, consider root vegetables as they often keep longer, like carrots, parsnips, radishes, and kohlrabi (which will be in season late summer early fall). All these veggies are crunchy and delicious. Add a little salt or eat with salsa; kohlrabi is a perfect alternative snack to a bag of chips. 

Alternative for Your Sandwich Bread

And for a great bread alternative, consider rice paper wraps. And when you are trying to make sure you are eating fresh produce more regularly I love this alternative! All you need is a little water to soften them, and you can wrap just about anything inside for a yummy healthy sandwich alternative. Please read our blog on how to make a rice paper wrap on the go.

When you mix in your ride-along foods with a bought meal, it can boost nutrition and help you feel better. They may not last for months, but even just a few good meals are better than none. 

rice wraps drivers 4 strategies to eat more fresh produce mother trucker yoga blog

DON’T FORGET THE FRUIT. 

Summer is a great time for fresh fruit. Berries are always a huge hit; they tasted good and have a high antioxidant rating, and are low in sugar if you have diabetes. But berries aren’t the only thing that you can munch on for a sweet treat. Consider melons, cherries even grilled peaches as an alternative for cookies, cakes, and even ice cream. There is so much talk floating around, leaving people feeling scared to eat fruit because they contain sugar. Now be smart, and if you have a chronic illness or disease that requires watching your sugars, yes, fruits can spike them when not combined correctly; however, if I had to choose a Snickers bar, bottled fruit juice, piece of cake, or A PIECE OF FRESH FRUIT. I’d 100% choose the fruit—Medical News Today’s list of 12 fruits and their nutritional components. 

In Conclusion

No matter what you choose to eat, if you are living a sedentary lifestyle, you aren’t moving your body throughout the day, there is going to be a stagnation in your body, and that stagnation is what leads to disease, not a piece of fruit. So enjoy summertime, enjoy fresh foods, and get out and move. 

STIFF Mother Trucker Marc Springer

 

How To Move More When You Sit All Day!

When you spend time at a desk or behind the wheel of a truck all day, it gets much harder for you to want to move and exercise. Sitting all day can be a pain in the back (literally), however, as the pressure on your backbone and bottom can cause pain in the legs and cause you to slump. Sitting for long periods of time can also lead to long-term health problems, including anxiety, depression, diabetes, and weight gain.

how to move more when you sit all day mother trucker yoga blog

When you increase your daily movement, you can reduce the risks of any of the issues that long-term sitting can cause. A sedentary lifestyle is actually pretty hard to maintain because your body wants to move. Perhaps on your down days, you can start bulking up at the gym – and you can learn all about that here. When it’s time to be at home again, you can start adding in some more movement. Increasing your daily movement may be tough at first, but with these strategies, you can start getting moving! Incorporating trucking fitness into your day isn’t difficult when you break it down.

5 Ways to Increase Daily Movement:

Go for a walk.

Whether you are at a desk or not, you can get up and move around. Walk around the office, go out for lunch and walk the block a couple of times. If you’re a trucker, you can get out at rest stops and go for a walk to stretch your legs, too. Even if you are on long drives, you can schedule a walk for 20 minutes at a time each time you stop for something.

Stretch your body.

For each time you stop on your route, stretch your arms and legs. You need to make stretching a habit so that you build it into your routine every single day. A stretch doesn’t have to be a full yoga routine, but you do have to do what you can to make your body feel supple. 

Sit up straight.

When you are sitting for long periods, you need to train your body to remain upright. Slouching your shoulders and hunching over is awful for your spinal health, so make sure that you are sitting up straight. Putting some time into learning how to sit up can make a huge difference to your ability to move well and it stops you from being so stiff!

Move while you watch TV.

When your show is on, move your body. Run-on the spot, do some jumping jacks, and even do some strengthening exercises and stretches. All of these things are so beneficial for the body and it’s a good way to relax before bed. 

Make your movement consistent.

Park your truck or car far away from your destination and walk more. Use the stairs and not an elevator. Get off public transport early and walk the rest of the way. There are so many ways that you can be consistent with your movement and add it into your day, even when you are spending most of it sitting down or still.

 

Moving more has to be a part of your day – make it so!

Are you or your trucking company looking to take their truck driver fitness and truck driver wellness up a notch? Let Mother Trucker Yoga be your trucking fitness company and show you how with small simple changes you can feel better wherever you are.