Posts

5 Reasons You Should Take Regular Driving Breaks & Move More!

If you drive for a living, you’ll spend multiple hours a day behind the steering wheel. Needless to say, this isn’t great for your health and wellbeing. One of the essential things to do when it comes to truck driver fitness is to take regular driving breaks whenever you can. There are many benefits to doing this, and here are five reasons you need to avoid driving for long hours:

5 Reasons You Should Take Regular Driving Breaks & Move More! mother trucker yoga blog

Image Link (CC0 License)

You ruin your posture

It’s well documented how much damage you do to your posture by sitting down and driving for hours on end. It messes up your hips, spine, shoulders, and neck, leading to a life of chronic pain. The problem is that your body becomes fixed in the seated position, meaning lots of muscles become overly tight, shutting off the muscles that need to be active. 

 

So, taking breaks will help you unglue yourself from this poor posture. Yoga is such an effective way of preventing postural problems and avoiding chronic pain and you know at Mother Trucker Yoga we love trucking yoga. A five-minute stretching break every hour or so will work wonders for your body and stop you from ruining your posture. 

Being inactive lowers your testosterone

That’s right, sitting around every single day could actually lower your testosterone levels. This hormone is so important for men as it’s responsible for a lot of crucial processes throughout the body. If you want to have children, you need decent T levels to get someone pregnant. If you want to build muscle and be strong, you need testosterone in your body. Unfortunately, studies show that being inactive can mean you have lower T levels than active people. Truck driver fitness is not about being the biggest and baddest driver, but it is about taking care of your body and you need to move to do that.

 

For someone that spends hours a day driving around, this is bad news. Thankfully, your testosterone levels don’t stay fixed – you can control if they go up or down. If you think your levels have already decreased due to constant inactivity, visiting a TRT clinic could help you boost your T levels back up. For those of you that want to avoid treatment, preventing your T levels from dropping is the best approach. So, take as many breaks as you can throughout the day, getting up and walking around or doing some yoga to stay active. 

 

Sitting down makes you gain weight

The longer you drive, the less active you will be every day. Even the simple act of walking around a service station will contribute to your daily activity levels. A lack of activity will mean that you burn very few calories all day. Your body is basically at rest while you drive, so it requires very little energy. This means that, at the end of every day, you’ve barely burnt any calories. It doesn’t take much to consume more than you burned, meaning you gain weight. Everyday life movements get you burning more calories and yes, you can do that from the driver’s seat, it’s called truck driver fitness and you are “fitting in” movement.

 

Taking breaks prevents this by racking up your steps, burning calories, and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Even if you stop and walk around for 10-15 minutes during your breaks, you’ll rack up a few thousand steps each time!

 

Driving for long periods makes you tired

Despite the fact that you’re inactive, driving actually tires you out quite considerably. Sure, there’s no physical effort required, but it’s mentally very draining. You need to keep your eyes open and alert at all times, meaning you can quickly start yawning and feel the urge to sleep. 

 

Obviously, tiredness on the roads is a massive problem. A lot of accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. If you’re behind the wheel of a truck or van, the risks associated with auto accidents increase. Thus, stopping for regular breaks helps you give your eyes a rest and recharges your batteries. 

 

You can avoid the worst traffic

Yes, believe it or not, but you could actually reach your destination in less time by taking breaks. If you drive all day, you can easily get caught in the terrible traffic on the highway. But, by taking a well-timed break, you can be parked up while all the traffic trundles along. 

 

When your break is over, you’ll have clearer roads with less traffic, meaning you can drive to your destination with minimal disruptions. As a bonus, you use up less fuel, making your trip less expensive for both you and the environment. 

 

If possible, try to park up and have a little break every hour or so. Yes, you might be working to a schedule, but you should still meet your daily targets with these breaks. Even if you stop for five minutes, it can make a world of difference to your health. 

 

How To Stay Fit Without A Trucker Workout

Sitting is the new smoking. And for a truck driver, sitting eight to ten hours a day behind the wheel is taxing on the body. It’s mentally exhausting, and when it comes to the physical body, we feel tired and want to get out of the driver’s seat and sit some more, but we need movement. 

 

It doesn’t have to be a trucker workout when you consider adding movement into your everyday life. It doesn’t have to be a choreographed routine someone created for you to do outside your truck. It doesn’t have to be in a gym or fitness center. When adding movement to your day, the only thing that is required is you move your body, move your body in as many ways as possible. A truck driver workout is where you are working to move as much as possible. Don’t get caught up in fancy equipment or routines. It’s about using your body the way it was designed. 

 

A sedentary lifestyle isn’t just a truck driver concern; 33.6% of American’s are obese (alongside 86% of truck drivers). Solving a sedentary lifestyle issue, exercise is not the solution. It’s filling the gap between the driver’s seat and the idea of exercise. This is why so many drivers aren’t doing a trucker workout. It’s too big of a leap from where they are to where everyone else tells them to go. 

 

So let’s refocus the idea of a truck driver workout and focus on how to “fit” more movement into your day and maximize the time you have with more movement. 

 

But to do that, we first have to know “how” to move. Technology and convenience have robbed us of basic human movement. And although we may be saving our back from lifting heavy things, we are killing our back by sitting around all day. 

 

Here are five ways you can easily add more movement into your day with your truck driver’s time. And the goal, start small, focus on adding 15 minutes of on-purpose movement into your day, and then when that becomes automatic, focus on the next step, like increasing the time or concentrating on actual exercise. 

 

  1. Squatting. Squatting is a basic human movement we have been doing since the beginning of humans. Yet few humans, few American’s, few truck drivers are doing them. Many say that their body doesn’t move that way, but I assure you that your body did move. You just trained your body this way by not doing them daily. So, where can I add more squatting into my day? 
    • While on your bed, bring your knees (one or both) in towards your chest, grab your shins or underneath your thighs and hug your leg(s) in. 
    • Come onto your hands and knees on your sleeper and lean back as far as you can towards your heels, you might not go far, but that is because you haven’t been doing this type of movement for some time. Squat down an extra five or ten times to “look under your truck and trailer” during the day. 
    • Or squat from standing and go as far as you can. Every little bit counts!

Mother Trucker Yoga Squatting

  1. Reaching. Reaching is a basic human movement few do. You can increase your heart rate by reaching overhead, taking a deeper breath, and even stretching your back. Where can you add more movement to your day? 
    • In the driver’s seat, reach your arms forward, upward, backward, sideways throughout the day. 
    • Outside your truck, place your hands on the truck, step back and then lean your hips back and drop your chest. 
    • While in bed, stretch your arms overhead and your legs out as best you can.
    • Reach sitting, standing, anywhere you can.

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Reaching

  1. Bending. Bending is a function we do daily, but few do it well. Tight legs, stiff back and shoulders, we rounding more than bending. A truck driver workout should start with you moving more throughout the day. 
    • While in bed, loop a belt around the sole(s) of your feet and bring your leg(sup to the ceiling to stretch your back body. 
    • Standing outside your truck, focus on hinging forward from your hips rather than rounding at your waist. 
    • Try bending using the side of your rig for a Half Down Dog style bend.

Mother Trucker yoga blog bending

  1. Twisting. Twisting is an essential way to nourish our spine. When we rotate, we hydrate the disc in our spine and keep our tissues limber. Much of what we do throughout the day doesn’t require us to twist anymore, and it shows. Before you think you need an intense truck driver workout, consider how well you twist in your everyday life. 
    • Twist in the driver’s seat when putting on your seat belt. 
    • Twist in bed by bringing one leg up and over your body to rotate the hips and spine. 
    • While standing, swing your arms side to side to hit your back and allow your body to rotate in the process. 

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Twisting

  1. Walking. We were designed to walk, yet you are probably not getting anywhere near the steps you need daily. After a long day, don’t sit down again. Get up and walk. In the beginning, don’t worry if it’s not far, or fancy, or fast. Just get out and walk. 
    • Walk on purpose for 15 minutes every day. 
    • Walk an extra lap around your truck and trailer every time you are out of the truck. 32 laps are one mile. 
    • Don’t forget to check out what walking paths are near or around the truck stops. Many trucks stop post the designated walking trails like TA Petro. 

Suppose you are still feeling overwhelmed with figuring out how to fit in a trucker workout. Don’t stress, first focus on everyday life movements, and when you are moving more in life, consider exercise as a great addition.

Hope Zvara Named in Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs for 2022

I’m excited to share that I was featured in Disruptors Magazine this month!

I started teaching yoga because it made a difference in my life. So I signed up for my first of many yoga teacher training. That was nearly 20 years ago.

The article is about the 30 Female Entrepreneurs to look out for in 2022.
https://www.disruptorsmagazine.com/top-30-female-entrepreneurs-to-look-out-for-in-2022/

 

“Primarily male-dominated entrepreneurial ground has seen some of the most incredible innovations when women have set their foot into the industry. Today, their entrepreneurial ideas have been evolving various business domains in no time and, their leadership has become an inspiration for many budding female entrepreneurs out there. From being founders of successful startups to being heads of global business giants, they have embraced these roles effortlessly.”

 

Disruptors Magazine has listed down their favorite female entrepreneurs today, who have made their way to success with not just hard work, but their positivity, grit, and untiring love for their businesses.”

I am honored to have been featured.

For nearly 20 years, I have been on a mission to help others purposefully excel, and for the last four years, I have been on a global mission to help truck drivers feel better wherever they are with small, simple changes. Changes that they can easily and quickly make, many from the cab of their truck so they can feel good again.

What I do is not fancy. It’s functional and practical. It’s designed for a driver who doesn’t have lots of space, time or wants to “workout” or exercise on the truck. And although everyone else is telling drivers that they need to exercise, I’m telling them there is another way.

There is a gap between a very sedentary lifestyle and exercise. Most are pushing exercise, but that won’t work. It hasn’t worked for both truck drivers and the rest of America. 86% of truck drivers are obese, and 32% of Americans are obese. I believe the thing that has to change is our approach, and I’m here to help drivers do just that. And that way is FIRST to implement more everyday life movements into their day. A trucker workout is great, but most can find ideas on Google or YouTube. I’m here to show drivers how to move more in their everyday life. What their day is missing that has nothing to do with exercise. But can lead them down that path confidently if they so choose!

Disruptors Magazine Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs for 2022

I love my drivers, and I love what I can contribute to the trucking community. Whether you are a driver, a trucking school, or a trucking company of any kind, I can help. With affordable, practical, and realistic moves and tools, I believe we can get drivers feeling better the moment they join the movement.

Top female entrepreneurs to watch for distruptors magazine 2022

For more information about joining up with Mother Trucker Yoga, reach out, and let’s move our drivers towards a healthier future together!

CONTACT US  

Catch Hope on Start Up on PBS on November 28th. Where she is sharing her journey as an entrepreneur and what she’s doing in the trucking community! START UP on PBS

MOTHER TRUCKER YOGA DRIVER SPOTLIGHT – Idella Hansen

National truck driver appreciation week mother trucker yoga blog

Truck Driver Appreciation Week may have passed, but we still 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.

idella hansen mother trucker yoga blog

Meet Idella Hansen!

People call Idella MaMA ChooChoo on the CB.

 

QUESTION 1: How long have you been driving?

Answer: 52 years

 

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

Answer: First off it’s not a job for me, it’s a way of life, and I love all of it from customer service to do the hardbacks.

Idella works for IBI Security Transport.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

IBI is a full-service armored transportation company, operating in all 48 Continental States of the USA, Canada, and Mexico. IBI is a privately held company based in Woodside New York. IBI has been in operation since 1966. IBI is a full-service security company, operating Nationwide and in Canada and Mexico.

In 2001 IBI acquired Securicor Valuables Transport, Inc., a high-value, secured, “over-the-road” transportation company. IBI operates this division as, IBI Secured Transport, Inc. This is a national and international operation, with terminals in Trenton, New Jersey, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Recognition Well-Deserved!

Back in 2017 Idella Hansen was nominated and chosen as citizen driver of the year.

Known for her signature red cowboy boots, her willingness to help her fellow drivers, her community, and her fellow women, Idella Hansen leads by example. Idella’s ability and dedication have earned her the respect of her fellow drivers, and TA-Petro is proud to honor her as a 2017 Citizen Driver.

In 2013, TA-Petro launched the Citizen Driver Program to honor exceptional drivers who exhibit strong citizenship, community involvement, leadership, health and wellness, and safety. To date, 26 Citizen Driver Honorees have been named as the best of the best. Idella is one of five members of the 2017 class.

idella hansen cowboy boots mother trucker yoga blog

“Idella is a pioneer in our industry and is a great example of what the Citizen Driver Award was created to recognize. She exemplifies the qualities of the award by her words and deeds on a daily basis, and continues to be a shining example of safety, involvement, and passion within our industry,” said Rick Ash, 2015 Citizen Driver Award Recipient, St. Christopher Fund Board Member, Former Chairman Trucking Solutions Group, Chairman Onramp to Health.

 

idella hansen

 

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

Answer: Because it’s in my blood and it’s pays really great, I work for a super company and they keep telling me not yet don’t retire.

 

QUESTION 4: What do you want to say to new upcoming drivers in the industry?

The first year is the hardest. Be prepared to change your way of doing things.

QUESTION: What is your favorite truck stop?

Answer: Kenley95 North Carolina. I love the update and the facilities

QUESTION 7: What would make trucking easier for you and other drivers?

ANSWER: That the rules and state regulations would be more uniform

 

QUESTION 8: What do you do, if anything, to try to stay healthy on the road?

ANSWER: Mother Trucker Yoga and Rolling Strong and St Christopher’s Trucker Relief Fund.

Idella had a final thought he wanted everyone to know.

We are the lifeblood of the Country and will be for many years to come, which helps us to do a good job. I will continue to truck until I drive it off the end of the world and beyond

 

What do you like most about the trucking industry?

Have a comment to share with Idella 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!

 

Read our other Driver Spotlights:

VW Lady Trucker https://www.mothertruckeryoga.com/2021/09/14/mother-trucker-driver-spotlight-vw-lady-trucker/

Mother Trucker Yoga Driver Spotlight – Flatbed Foodie

National truck driver appreciation week mother trucker yoga blog

Driver Appreciation Week may be over, but we still 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 unique 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 necessary, 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.

We love our truck drivers and want to celebrate them in every way we can.

flatbedfoodie mother trucker yoga feature driver daniel

Meet Flatbed Foodie!

 

QUESTION 1: How long have you been driving?

Answer: 3 years

 

QUESTION 2: What do you want to say to new upcoming drivers in the industry?

Answer: Flexible minds and bodies last a lot longer in the end.

We agree with that! Your mind creates your reality, and when it comes to driving, isolation, loneliness, and depression are factors we all must keep in check as drivers and humans. Make sure you take time to stay connected, not just through social media but talk to your friends and family daily, consider meditation, and getting outside for some fresh air every day. And don’t forget to move your body. With nearly 10 hours behind the wheel and on the clock, it can be easy to lose track of time. So schedule movement into your day in five-minute bursts, and with the help of Mother Trucker Yoga’s videos, you will be on your way!

 

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

Answer: Still seeing new things, and I train others, so I get to share. Being part of starting someone on a safe and profitable journey is fun.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

According to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, state governments issue more than 450,000 new commercial driver’s licenses every year. That’s a lot of CDL’s. And good thing we have people like Flatbed Foodie on the roads training other drivers just like you!

 

QUESTION 4: What is your favorite truck stop?

Answer: Iowa-80 Truck Stop! Who doesn’t love I80? And we agree! We love it too!

IOWA 80 TRUCK STOP MOTHER TRUCKER YOGA BLOG

DID YOU KNOW?

On the eastern edge of Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River, adjacent to the small town of Walcott, you’ll find a place like no other in the world. The Iowa 80 Truckstop, now the World’s Largest Truckstop, established its home here in 1964 and is now in itself a home away from home to countless drivers and a destination for travelers as well.

Some say Iowa 80 Truckstop is like a small city. Others have likened it to a Trucker’s Disneyland. All can agree it is a place not to be missed.

 

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

ANSWER: You will never look back. You are your boss. You get to travel and serve country/towns and people. And you are valued and an essential driver. This is an excellent career.

 

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

ANSWER: Automatic logs, healthier food (make sure you read our blog on healthy snacks to pack) on the road, and more efficiency.

 

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

ANSWER: Light cardio, walking and stretching, and diet planning.

Flatbed Foodie had a final thought he wanted everyone to know.

Trucking is a challenging and rewarding way to support your goals. It can be a lifelong profession or a quick way to earn cash in some cases. The need is real and the compensation is there for those who want to work.

 

What do you like most about the trucking industry?

Have a comment to share with Flatbed Foodie 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!

 

Read our other Driver Spotlights:

VW Lady Trucker https://www.mothertruckeryoga.com/2021/09/14/mother-trucker-driver-spotlight-vw-lady-trucker/

Mark Iverson https://www.mothertruckeryoga.com/2021/10/06/mother-trucker-yoga-driver-spotlight-mark-iverson/

7 Reasons to Ditch the Soda and Switch to Kombucha

Most people think I am speaking another language when I tell them to drink kombucha. But I am totally serious when I ask them to ditch the soda and consider a healthier alternative. And when it comes to truck driver health it’s about the small simple changes that add up and lead to the big results you are looking for.

But what am I really asking you to drink when I suggest such a thing?

The kombucha you find at a local grocer and now even truck stops is usually a sweetened tea (usually black) fermented with kombucha.

But what exactly is kombucha?

Kombucha Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Well, it’s a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY for short), which is made by steeping the kombucha culture in tea and allowing it to ferment.

After it ferments, usually 7 to 30 days, the soda alternative is ready to be served.

But why drink kombucha instead of soda? And do they even taste the same?

Yes and no.

Yes, because they are both carbonated. Yes, because they both have fruity flavors. And yes, because they both come in all different sizes and shaped bottles.

No, because, well, kombucha is much healthier than soda.

Soda at truck stop mother trucker yoga blog

7 Benefits of Kombucha for Truck Driver Health

  1. It’s loaded with (B vitamins and folic acid) vitamins and chemicals compounds, and vinegar. This combination makes it a bit tart. But compared to the artificially loaded soda, it’s a good alternative. 7 Reasons to Ditch Soda and Switches to its New Neighbor: plus those B vitamins will boost your body’s ability to make new cells. A win for your future’s health.
  2. Fermented foods and beverages can aid in intestinal health. It works because it is a probiotic. And don’t worry, by the time the fermentation is ready, the good bacteria have already consumed the sugars and yeast, and it is ready for your gut to take in.
  3.  It contains powerful antioxidants which can help fight disease, oxidative stress, and inflammation. And as a driver over the road, any help to the body, the better.
  4. Can help fight candida. Candida is an overgrowth of yeast in the body. And soda is not helping that cause. Drinking kombucha made from green or black teas can help specific antibacterial properties that help fight infection-causing bacteria like candida. “Kombucha is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts.” (Healthline
  5. It doesn’t have harmful chemicals that disintegrate your teeth. One of my deepest darkest secrets is I am a fanatic about my teeth. I don’t want anything to happen to them. And if I can prevent my pearly whites from rotting out of my mouth, I’m on it. Is it really worth the soda? And if Coke and take rust off your kid’s old bike. Imagine what it is doing to your teeth?
  6. It won’t dehydrate you. That’s right. Soda has sodium, and although it seems to quench your thirst, it’s far from hydration. Kombucha is a win in this category as it does not dehydrate you as soda does.
  7. It can help relieve arthritis pain. The glucosamine present stimulates the production of hyaluronic acid, which helps with the maintenance of cartilage and can offer some pain relief. Can your soda do that?

Trucking Convention Road Pro and Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Still not convinced that your soda is worth giving up for some weird fermented beverage that you have never heard of? Well, you might have to try it out yourself.

Our favorites are:

  • Lavender and Melon
  • Mojito Flavor
  • Raspberry
  • Root Beer

And I am so excited to have just been turned onto by a driver just like you and one of my past trucking clients Laurie. You can now get kombucha on a tablet!


 

References:

https://www.health.com/nutrition/info-about-kombucha

https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/kombucha-tea-frequently-asked-questions-faq/

https://genomind.com/6-health-benefits-of-drinking-kombucha/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea#section4

https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/10-ways-kombucha-is-better-for-you-than-soda

How You Can Take Care Of Your Back As You Age

Back pain is reportedly one of the most common types of pain experienced by adults in the US, with one-half of all working Americans saying they experience back pain symptoms annually. As a middle-aged man, it is easy to assume that back pain is a common side effect of aging. Although this is true to some degree, excess pain and reduced flexibility needn’t be part of the aging experience. Consider these points if you want to learn more about taking care of your back as you grow older. As a driver, your back takes a lot of twists and turns, from the driver’s seat to loading and unloading at the drop of a hat. It’s easy to put off back care when you feel you don’t have time. But now is the time to pay attention to your back before it’s too late. 

  1. Get a back massage regularly.

How You Can Take Care Of Your Back As You Age

Image Credit

 

A study published in Pain Medicine revealed that massages could assist individuals with lower back pain. The study found that over 50% of individuals referred to a professional massage therapist for ten massage sessions over 12 weeks reported improvement. Consequently, consider seeing a massage therapist occasionally to manage your back pain and relieve other musculoskeletal problems that worsen your body pain. Alternatively, investing in a great massage chair for your home may be a more straightforward and practical way to enjoy the benefits of a good massage, so keep this in mind. However, remember that more intense chiropractic care may be necessary if you experience back pain due to spine alignment issues.

2. Make changes at work

 

Truck driver health and truck driver fitness also means the health of your back. Many people spend most of their work lives seated, and sedentary working positions have been shown to wreak havoc on your discs and bones. And a passive work environment doesn’t just apply to someone in front of the computer. Professional drivers also face back issues due to the extended lengths of time behind the wheel. The full effects of your sitting habits and posture might be more manageable as you are younger, but you cannot get away with many health concerns in middle age. Therefore, be more mindful of your posture by sitting upright in your chair with your shoulders back. Also, try to move around often if your job involves sitting for very long hours, like truck driving.

3. Watch your body weight

 

Extra weight implies additional stress on your spine and joints, and excess belly fat can cause your lower back and pelvis to slant forward eventually. Therefore, maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to ensure that your back isn’t burdened by more stress as you age. Thankfully, you can exercise regularly to stay in shape and prevent any additional body weight. In addition, watch your diet to guarantee a strong core that can protect your back as you grow older. And if you think you don’t have time for exercise, don’t stress. Before you even consider adding exercise to your daily regimen, consider looking at how much you move throughout your day, and use those downtime windows to move and groove. Movements like reaching, squatting, bending, twisting, and turning all add up and add to your truck driver fitness. 

4. Let your spine rest while asleep

How You Can Take Care Of Your Back As You Age sleeper mother trucker yoga blog

Your spine structures finally get a chance to rest and rejuvenate when you lie down to sleep after a long day. Consequently, it is best to maximize this opportunity to ensure that your spine rests in a supported and comfortable manner. The key here is to keep your spine naturally aligned, so placing a pillow under your knees to minimize stress on your lower back is crucial if you are a back sleeper. If you are a side sleeper, sleep with a pillow between your knees to balance your hips. You can also experiment with a neck pillow to support your cervical spine. However, proper spine rejuvenation can only occur on a firm mattress, so ensure that the bed you choose is hard enough to disallow any spinal sagging.

And when you are in pain and you need relief fast. Don’t forget your tube of STIFF Mother Trucker pain relief cream.

Stiff mother trucker pain relief cream

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!

 

 

 

The Missing Link In A Safety Check

,

More trucking companies are tuning in to incorporate a driver wellness program for their truck drivers and other employees as a means to improving their bottom line and attracting and keeping hold of drivers for the long haul. But what to do and how to implement this for all drivers has yet to be successfully implemented for all drivers to benefit.

Most driver wellness programs currently out there focus heavily on exercise. Traditional methods and fitness models take the driver out of their workflow and ask them to “workout.” And although that approach is helpful and will work for some. The likelihood of the drivers who need it most to implement it themselves and stick with it is lower than anyone wants to admit.

The New Stretch With Safety Checks

It is nothing new for a company to have a list of required safety checks each driver must do every day before heading out on the road. But with the current state of our trucking industry, our driver’s health, the stats don’t lie. These stats lead us to see that 86% of drivers are obese and  54 percent of commercial drivers smoke cigarettes, and only 8 percent exercise. So is it that we need more safety checks for drivers to remain safe on the road, is it that we need another exercise program telling drivers how to do push-ups or pull on a resistance band, or is it about time we require something a bit different?

The missing link in a driver’s safety check is not another walk around on their truck, another electronic device regulating something or another, nor is it another cargo inspection. It’s an inventory of the driver themselves. That inventory is in the name of safety, except it has everything to do with simple ergonomics drivers can implement every day. If you care about the driver being safe on the road, isn’t it time to consider the one behind the wheel?

 

What We Can Learn From the Construction Crews

Those who work in the construction world have had similar fallouts with quality workers and those who stay in the game long term. Many feel it is hard on the body, and those that suffer injury often begin to look for other means for work. Recruiting quality talent and keeping the existing healthy enough to keep pounding nails are becoming increasingly difficult.

However, companies that chose to implement properly designed stretching or ergonomic (driver wellness) programs for their workers found success in reducing work-related injuries. However, for these programs to work, the exercises and stretches must be taught by a well-trained individual and done repeatedly at least two to three days per week with a time commitment of five to ten minutes. What if every driver on the road took 5 minutes every day to do a few stretches designed specifically for driver success?

My Husbands Story

My husband is a construction worker by trade and has done everything from operating machinery (a CDL holder) to concrete forming and pounding every type of nail you can imagine. And at one time, he worked on a crew that required an 11-minute stretching routine each morning before starting work. If you didn’t show up, you didn’t work. Although my husband laughed at it (I was telling him about these stretches for years, but hey, better late than never), after just a few days, he mentioned his hands hurt less, and there was a reduction in tension related to swinging his hammer and gripping certain various tools throughout the day. All of which points to a reduction in future work-related injuries. My husband no longer works on that crew, but he still does many of the previously required stretches he learned during his morning safety routine on the job.

If it helps, this decision is not about making your drivers healthier (although the industry points to us that we should care about this more), but rather making your drivers safer. The truck can only be so safe, and at some point, it is then in the hands of the competent, alert, physically healthy driver to execute and perform the tasks at hand.

The Outdated ROI Decision Making Strategy

Sadly far too many employers (trucking company owners) are still stuck on the old method of ROI (return on investment), where it all comes down to the dollar bills. And although you should always weigh the cost factor when considering a new company program or feature, you also have to ask yourself, what is the potential value on investment (VOI) and long-term ROI, not just the immediate cost?

When a company is considering implementing a well-designed program into their driver’s safety check routine, they are showing future drivers, lawmakers and hopefully it never comes to this, but lawyers or agents that they have done all they could to help reduce the chances of an accident, injury or hazardous outcome by implementing the missing link into a drivers safety check, with a properly designed wellness program.

It’s about demonstrating that the expenditure comes with a benefit (ie. Reducing soft tissue or musculoskeletal injuries, reducing fatigue, improving reaction and response time while behind the wheel, all for a reduction in workers’ compensation costs and improved worker productivity and wellness). And if you can do this, then the training or program will be more likely perceived as a benefit by the employer, driver, and even insurance company.

truck driver wellness program the missing link in a safety check mother trucker yoga blog

With nearly 20 years of experience designing usable fitness, wellness, and ergonomics programming for both individuals to take part in and companies, I have learned that when choosing a driver wellness program, make sure:

  1. The program is broken down in an easily digestible way, meaning drivers can utilize the content in a way that makes sense for them and their day. Have you ever seen an entire parking lot of drivers working out outside their truck? Great concept, but highly unlikely.
  2. It’s simple. When you incorporate a driver wellness program into a safety check, you are showing drivers when and where to apply these strategies, and that will ensure a greater means of measurable success. More does not always equal better, and in some cases is confusing, overwhelming, and causes wellness regression.
  3. Finally, it happens from the top down. When the owner, CEO, or the man/woman in charge is all in on their drivers, you’ll see your drivers boost your bottom line all on their own. ,.once you have a well-designed program and safety protocol when integrated properly with the right leaders in place, anything can happen! As humans want to feel cared for, a program can only do so much for the company and drivers.

The Bottom Line

If you fail to make any newly implemented program mandatory, you will struggle to see any real value or ROI on your investment. Don’t look at mandatory as a bad thing. You require your drivers to secure the load a certain way. You require them to wear a safety vest. You require them to fill out certain forms regarding the load they are carrying a certain way-right? All in the name of being able to run a successful company. A safe, reliable trucking company.

When implemented correctly, asking drivers to integrate specific stretches or ergonomics into their day as a part of their safety check will help both the driver and you as a company overall. While others in the trucking industry are focused on exercise programs for drivers, I’m telling you that it won’t do much of anything in the immediate and long-term it may end up as just a feel-good box checked.

We have to start small and start smart. If exercise were the solution, then the stats wouldn’t be reading like they are, that drivers are amongst the most unhealthy in our nation compared to any other industry. These are the men and women driving your company’s trucks, shipping your cargo, and driving your bottom line in one direction or the other. They deserve more. They want more. They are just as critical to your companies success as a well-running truck. And if you are ready to improve your company in the name of safety. And I’m here to show you how simple it can be.

If you would like to learn more about Mother Trucker Yoga’s Driver Wellness Program and Safety Check / Pre-Trip Initiatives-

Learn more about Driver Wellness Program HERE

Contact Hope HERE

 

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