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 Can’t Sleep? Top 3 strategies for better sleep for truck driver health 

 Are you getting enough sleep at night? Do you have trouble staying focused during the day? Not having quality sleep can result in worsened health, and it’s as simple as it sounds. Your cognitive functions, ability to stay alert, assess situations, and handle stress are health qualities that are important in many professions, especially truck driver health and those who have long stressful work shifts. So if you’re suffering through bad nights of sleep, we’ve got you covered with our three strategies for better sleep for truck driver health.

Top 3 strategies for better sleep for truck driver health 

  1. Enforce a sleep schedule.

Your brain requires 7-8 hours of sleep to perform its duties efficiently. Usually, you wouldn’t need more than 8 hours in bed to be fully recharged and ready to go. So how do I enforce a sleep schedule on myself for truck driver health

Now for a person with a typical job, I recommend that they go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. However, if you are a truck driver working long late-night hours, these naps are necessary to cover your sleep debt. Try to minimize the time difference on weekends so your body can get used to a consistent and healthy sleep-wake cycle. Eliminate daytime naps as they interfere with your sleep cycles and impact overall agility. 

I understand the above might not work for most drivers. So you have to get creative and try to find some consistency. If your driver time is all over the place, what about your sleep schedule can you be consistent with. Not having screen time 15 – 30 minutes before bed, exercising and getting movement in, not eating a heavy meal before bed, and listening to a relaxing meditation help you relax before bed. Aromatherapy to relax, all of these things can help you get the sleep you need despite your erratic schedule.

sleep schedule mother trucker yoga blog

Pay attention to what you eat and drink.

Here’s the thing: your body has an intimate relationship with everything you eat and drink, so no wonder these habits may leave you restless throughout the night. It would help if you didn’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. 

Avoid having heavy meals right before bedtime as the discomfort may keep you up. Having a snack before rest is wonderful, so long as you are away from highly energizing meals or meals with foods that require a lot of digestion power.

Here are eight foods and drinks to consider before bed if you need that quick snack:

  1. Almonds.
  2. Turkey. Turkey is delicious and nutritious.
  3. Chamomile tea.
  4. Kiwi.
  5. Tart cherry juice.
  6. Fatty fish.
  7. Walnuts.
  8. Passionflower tea.

As for drinks: alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are not your friends. Stay away from beverages that include any of these if you want to have a good night of sleep. Alcohol may leave you feeling drowsy but will disturb you later in the night. Alcohol can also lead to weight gain, other health issues, and other truck driver health issues. Consider drinking in moderation and never when it would cause problems while out on the road. 

 Nicotine is a stimulant, much like caffeine, and will keep you awake when your body heavily needs sleep. You may want to remember that cigarettes introduce nicotine to your system and keep you awake. If you can’t fall asleep, look at your smoking habits. 

Create a calming environment

Here’s the strategy that will certainly help you wind down before bed. Turn off light-emitting devices like phones and TVs at least an hour before the time you intend to sleep. Create an ideal space for sleeping soundly. 

Pick up reading, writing in journals, taking a bath, or listening to calm music with earbuds to relieve stress. The blue light emitted from these disrupts the sleep-wake cycle of the brain. This is important to note as a truck driver’s health is tied to stressful environments.

Every driver needs to find time to take a break, even if it’s a mini-break, to refuel and recharge your body and mind.

Light some scented candles for relaxing effects or leave the room pitch black, whatever fits you best. Make sure your room is the right temperature and comfortable. Don’t lie in bed awake if you can’t sleep within the next twenty minutes. Read or listen to slow sleep-inducing music until you’re fast asleep.

Conclusion:

We have crafted this blog just for you, and if you follow the strategies we’ve mentioned above, you will achieve an A1 truck driver’s health, especially in terms of sleep. With these three strategies for better sleep, you will experience a change; you’ll find yourself at peace and better equipped to do your truck driving duties.

 

Better sleep for truck driver health is essential and within reach for any driver with just one of the strategies above. But if you are looking for more sleep strategies, support, and driver wellness help, check out our NEW Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Membership Platform & APP. 

You can join for 30 days FREE using the code: MTY30

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What Truck Drivers Need to Know About CBD

Emerging studies on the long-term effects of common prescription drugs (e.g. painkillers, corticosteroids) have raised significant public interest in natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Everything from turmeric capsules to essential oil-infused topical balms are now commonplace in American homes, and understandably so. However, it’s safe to say no natural compound has skyrocketed in popularity quite like cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD.

edited_What Truck Drivers Need to Know About CBD plant mother trucker yoga blog

What is CBD?

CBD is one of several chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD is the primary cannabinoid in non-psychoactive varieties of cannabis, such as hemp. It is distinguishable from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in that it does not impair judgment or motor function as a side effect, which is commonly known as a “high.” CBD is currently being studied for a range of potential health benefits, which will be discussed in the next section.

 

There are plenty of different CBD products available today, including oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles. You can also buy CBD concentrates — which are made from pure CBD extract — or isolates, which are CBD extracts with all other cannabis compounds removed entirely. Isolates come in both oil and powder forms; uses of CBD isolate powder include infusion into everything from smoothies to DIY soap bars.

 

So what can CBD do for you? In this post, we go over how CBD can benefit a large number of prospective users, as well as whether or not it’s right for truck driver health in particular.

 

A Look at The Scientific Literature

CBD has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms of disorders characterized by chronic anxiety, mood disorders and seizures. It is also being studied for its role in relieving associated conditions of common diseases such as persistent nausea or dizziness from cancer treatment, mood swings from Alzheimer’s disease, muscle spasticity from multiple sclerosis or tremors from Parkinson’s disease.

 

Perhaps the most notable and well-documented aspect of CBD’s therapeutic potential is its natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It can be used as an add-on or supplementarily with conventional therapies and medications for a variety of chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia, back pain and migraines. Users also report significant relief from chronic inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and gout. Truck driver health issues like these are very common.

 

How exactly does it work?

CBD is one of several cannabinoids whose effects are derived from their interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors categorized into groups; the cannabinoid-type 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid-type 2 (CB2) receptor groups are the most relevant. These receptor groups are primarily located in the nervous system, peripheral organs, and immune system.

 

The observable therapeutic effects are rooted in its modulatory influence on CB1 and CB2 receptors, which can positively affect the body’s sensitivity, uptake, and response to hormones (e.g. serotonin, dopamine) and neurotransmitters (e.g. cytokines, prostaglandins) which have beneficial implications on everything from pain or anxiety disorders to recurring sleep dysfunction.

 

Given its significant number of health-positive properties, lack of psychoactivity, and legal status across the United States, CBD has become incredibly popular among consumers from a variety of walks of life. However, it isn’t entirely without risks or downsides for truckers, which we’ll briefly go over below.

 

Should You Take CBD?

There’s a risk that these products could raise a red flag on an employer’s drug test for controlled substances. This is due to THC’s schedule I drug classification under the DEA’s drug scheduling system. Although CBD enjoys legal status across all 50 states at present, it still is a component of the cannabis plant, so less sophisticated test kits could detect it or other secondary cannabinoids as a false positive.

 

As of this writing, it’s not recommended to supplement with CBD without consulting your employer about it directly. After doing so, be sure to use only the isolates form. With all other cannabis cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids removed, isolates significantly reduce the chances of a problematic drug test.

 

When Would CBD Be Right for You?

To completely avoid the risk of drug test issues, it might be best to avoid supplementation altogether until after retirement. Our Stiff Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream or Mini Acupressure Ball are examples of safe, risk-free options for managing pain. For inflammation, sleep dysfunction or tremors, there are also market alternatives to CBD. When it comes to truck driver health issues it’s important to play on the side of safety and never put your career on the line. 

edited_What Truck Drivers Need to Know About CBD STIFF Mother Trucker Marc Springer CBD

CBD is increasingly well established as a natural compound with impressive therapeutic potential. However, it isn’t without its risks in terms of workplace drug tests. Be sure to do your due diligence to find out if CBD supplementation is right for you.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Take A Breath Driver

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

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

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

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

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

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

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

How do we breathe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the vagus nerve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where does your breathing fall?

Clavicle Breathers: 

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

Chest Breathers: 

Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

Abdominal Breathers: 

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

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

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

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

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

How to do deep abdominal breathing

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

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

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

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

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

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

Try This:

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

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

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

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

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

Travel Life: 6 Ways Improve Your Fast Food Menu

 

It’s hard to avoid all fast food when every truck stop has a fast food restaurant attached to it. But as your trucking fitness company, I believe that you don’t have to avoid every fast food restaurant, but you do need to be smart when at them or making your own meals. Living a travel life doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and be healthy. Food is fuel, but the food is also meant to be enjoyed, and when you have a better baseline of knowledge as to what to eat and how to eat, it can take the stress off of the actual eating experience. 

 

There is no question, we all need to eat, but for truck drivers, and those living a travel life, convenience often plays a role in what food choices to grab when the dinner bell rings. I’ve been in the health and fitness arena for nearly 20 years, and when it comes to fast food, other people are telling you not to eat the stuff, but I’m telling you to be smart about it. 

 

Not all fast food is terrible, and with a bit more understanding of what you are looking at and looking for, you can turn a pounds-packing meal into a healthier one. Truck driver health is essential, without your health, you can’t drive. But it might be time to tune in and pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth on a daily basis. As a trucking fitness company, I believe that it’s about the small simple changes that you make on a daily basis that will lead you to the results you are looking for for a lifetime. 

 

5 Ways to Improve Truck Driver Health And Eat Better living a travel life.

 Google it.

Yes, Google the fast-food joint you are going to eat at BEFORE you go to eat. Fast food chains with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name that sells restaurant-style food are required to provide customers with calorie and nutrition information. By before? Well, when you walk into a restaurant, you will more than likely be hungry, and that means you will be picking and choosing your menu options based on hunger, not on health, which means what you leave with might be more than a burger and fries, but the pounds to go with it.

 

A study posted in Science Daily shared that Dr. Benjamin Vincent from the University’s Psychology department found that: “hunger significantly altered people’s decision-making, making them impatient and more likely to settle for a small reward that arrives sooner a larger one promised at a later date.” The study above means that out the window, go your intentions to eat healthier, and stay on track. Once you walk in the door and smell the food and see the food photos shot in perfection, your brain goes nuts. 

 

Eat smart, and that means doing a little prep work beforehand. With COVID, you can now order your food for curbside pick up, which means you don’t even have to walk in and smell those smells. And with apps now making it easier to have food brought to you (even as a truck driver), you can order before you get hungry and make those good choices. My suggestion, make a list; if you know that there are certain fast-food chains at your regular stops, make a list of the menu options you feel are better options and write them down. That way, when it’s time to stop, you don’t make a decision you will later regret. 

Aim for 500 calories.

It’s easy to grab that brown paper bag and jumbo size drink and in just 10 minutes have ingested upwards of 800 calories per meal. A published in MBJ noted that the average adult consumes 847 calories every time they eat fast food, but what I found was interesting is that those adults all thought they were eating less-175 calories less. What if you are someone who eats fast food three times a day> Well, that’s oversight of 525 calories, an entire meal! 

 

What does a 500 calorie meal look like?

At a burger joint, that could be a small burger and fries. Hungry for chicken? How about a four-piece chicken nugget and a side salad or grilled chicken sandwich and side salad. Are you feeling Mexican? Ditch the tortilla and go for a chicken burrito bowl with black beans instead. Or how about a single chicken and beef taco to go?

You can find all of these options at various fast-food chains, and when in a pinch, they can do the trick and are a better option than the Double Big Mac with XL fries.

Be mindful of unhealthy possibilities in disguise, salads loaded with cheese, croutons, and other toppings can tip the calorie meter well past 500, as well as the new rage on veggie burgers. Not only can these options account for way more calories, but they can also take your sodium through the roof. Truck driver health is not just eating a burger without a bun, although that’s a good start, it means you start to pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth first and what that looks like in reference to what maybe you should be eating. 

Mix n’ Match- Bring your items.

Some drivers do not have space or the ability to travel with a fridge in their truck, but the good news is there are many food items and condiments that you can travel with that do not need refrigeration. If you like the convenience of fast food but know it’s not the healthiest choice, why not mix and match some of their food with some of yours. Items like nuts, seeds, seasonings, and dried fruits and veggies not only travel well are super yummy when added to a salad or as a replacement for your fries. 

Swap it out.

That swap can create a better balance of healthy fats, proteins, and an overall boost in nutrition, for those of you who don’t regularly travel with food and prefer to buy as you eat. I suggest you head into the truck stop first and grab a container of carrots and hummus, or a bag of nuts (lightly or unsalted), hard-boiled eggs, an apple or orange, and you have yourself a well-rounded meal once you order that single burger or DIY salad. 

Understand Portion Sizes.

Do not fall victim to the “value” menu advertising angles. Your waistline and heart health are not worth a few pennies saved. As the fast-food industry has grown over the years, so has the size of their food. Although the appeal is there, “buy more for less.” Do you need a 20 piece chicken nugget? Do you need five roast beef sandwiches? Now I know the logic would be “I’ll eat them later,” but let’s be honest, how many people save them for their next meal? It’s a vicious cycle that needs to stop, and the best way to stop it is by becoming more aware of how much you should be eating. 

Portion Sizes Guide To Better Truck Driver Health.

As your trucking fitness company, I take your health seriously and want to make it as easy as possible for you to be healthier. Check out my portion sizes guide made just for you.

  • Fist/Computer Mouse = 1 Cup (veggies, fruits, rice)
  • Cupped Hand = ½ Cup or 1 Ounce (nuts: almonds, cashews, cheese)
  • 2 Cupped Hands = 1 ounce (popcorn, pretzels, chips)
  • Palm = 3 ounces (lean meat, dairy, roughly 1 serving protein)
  • Fingertip/Thumb Tip = 1 Teaspoon (fats, butter, mayo, sugar) 
  • Thumb = 2 Tablespoons (peanut butter, hard cheese)

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Hand Portion Sizes for Truck Drivers

If I were to say you should never eat at a fast-food restaurant again, I would be a hypocrite. I do not believe in black or white, but rather many shades of gray. How can you paint your fast food pitstop more of a gray tone? How can you improve your menu choices a little bit at a time? Next time you stop for a bite, remember this: is it a good option? Is it better than what I could have chosen? Is it the best option? 

We may not always (be able to) choose the best option, but I believe there is still an opportunity to do better and find one good choice to put a checkmark in the healthy eating category. Over time, those small little changes add up, and that, my friend, is how you create a healthier, happier you. 

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Truck Driver Health: February Heart Health Awareness Month

This month is Heart Health Awareness Month, and we want every driver out there to be healthy. And to help with that, here are some strategies to consider to improve your truck driver’s health for life!

The human heart is a powerful thing. It’s a vital organ we cannot see but can feel. And unlike other organs in the body, our heart is one of our body’s most central parts. It is the mecca center for our emotional well-being and is often associated with social, mental, and emotional “heartache” or “happy heart” experiences in life. Our heart is central to all we do, feel, and experience. What you eat, how you behave, what you drink, how well you sleep, genetics (but let’s not just go and blame them), and how much you move all play into heart health. There are a wide variety of truck driver health issues and heart disease is one of them. 

Today we will discuss the signs of heart issues and preventive measures you can start taking today to take back your health.

 

But our heart is more than that; our heart is a vital organ responsible for keeping us alive. It pumps oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body to sustain life. An organ no more significant than our fist beats (expands and contracts) 100,000 times per day, pumping five or six quarts of blood each minute, or about 2,000 gallons per day. THAT’S CRAZY! 

 

Did you know about 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular diseases? That’s about one every 40 seconds. And when not taken care of properly, we are putting our bodies at risk for a slew of complications. 

 

When it comes to truck driver health issues, drivers are especially at risk for heart disease. In a study posted by the CDC, 26% of truck drivers said they had hypertension versus the 24% totaling the rest of the US working population. It is not uncommon to read about a story of a truck driver who went to bed in his truck and didn’t wake up the following day and climb out. Heart attacks are often the primary cause of this all too familiar scenario.

 

There are many reasons why being a driver is so hard on the heart, the stress of driving, the long hours, lack of (cardiovascular) activity, unhealthy diet, and a high sodium diet. But other factors may include diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, chronic dehydration, and bad cholesterol, which impact heart health. Truck driver health is not just you go going to the doctor to get your card, it’s about what you do each day you are out on the road. We need you and we need you to be a health driver.

 

Self-care on any level can often be the difference between living a healthy life and not. But even more importantly, waking up the following day or not. Do not be ignorant of this growing health concern. If you choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle, you choose health complications to be in your future you may not have truck driver health issues now, but many times, those issues are only waiting to rise to the surface.

Being a truck driver does not give you a free pass to extended care about your health. I have had the honor of working with thousands of truck drivers over the last four years, and most of them have come to realize that they can have both: a healthy lifestyle and trucking. It’s a choice, and you, my friend, get to choose. 

 

Know the Signs to improve truck driver health: 

When it comes to truck driver health, you are alone much of the time, which means self-responsibility is critical when you are at risk of a heart attack. You need to know the signs. Just like you need to know how to change a tire on your truck, replace a windshield wiper, or back up. You may be able to ask for help 99% of the time, and maybe you never have yet to rely on those “what if” skills. But for the time you do, why not be ready. 

5 Signs to Pay Attention to for Truck Driver Health and Heart Health Awareness

  • Dull ache chest pains are not to be confused with indigestion, which is often more abrupt and acidic.
  • Rapid heartbeat, it’s essential to know your situation, are there other reasons that could be causing this right now)
  • Pain in the arm and heart sends signals to surrounding nerves to alarm the body owner that something isn’t right. 
  • Jaw and or neck pain, which blood clots can often cause. It’s important to rule out things like clenching oral issues like cavities.
  • Others include irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, tiredness, even depression or anxiety due to the sudden hormonal changes in your body. 

 

Trucking can be a lonely profession; the next time you are at a truck stop and strike up a conversation, be kind, ask how their day is going and how they have been feeling, encourage them to take care of themselves. You never know when a kind word of encouragement from a stranger is just what the doctor ordered. By understanding the signs, you could save your life or even the life of a fellow driver. 

 

February is Heart Health Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time for you to lace up your shoes, grab hold of the steering wheel, and change lanes towards better health. It’s never too late. 

Trucking Health: February Heart Association Awareness Month mother trucker yoga blog

Tips for Preventative Heart Health Care During Heart Health Awareness Month 

 

  1. Quit smoking. Yes, easier said than done, but as a recovering addict, I suggest starting slow. How about one less cigarette per day? Or how about swapping out a cigarette for a hemp one? There are dozens of programs and nicotine replacements to try out. The most important thing is is “try,” you won’t know until you try.
  2. Exercise. Yes, get up and get moving do a little trucking yoga, or get in a truck driver workout. Simple practices like walking build up heart health and help you burn more calories, get you breathing more profound, and as a truck driver, you have the advantage of getting outside and walking. Sure it might be a parking lot, but at least you are walking! A 200-pound man can burn right around 90 calories from just 30 minutes of a moderate to brisk-paced walk.
  3. Get more sleep. Quality sleep is crucial for our entire body to function optimally. Things like a quality mattress, a sleep mask, making sure you are warm enough and have the right amount of blankets on hand, even headphones to listen to relaxing music can make a mobile environment parked in a truck idling parking lot a bit more tranquil, and your heart will say thank you.
  4. Manage your stress. What can you do starting today to de-stress your life? Now don’t say quit your job, although that might help. What else can you take care of in your life to help curb your stress level? When you stop and take a step back, you can often see the accumulation of little things that create that stress bubble lingering in your life. How about limiting social media? When you feel down, depressed, lonely, or angry, call a friend who will listen and help steer you back to a healthy mindset. Drink a glass of water, smile; it’s hard to be angry or unhappy when you smile (it’s true our brain wants to be happy when we smile). 
  5. Eat healthily. You are surrounded by fast-food restaurants and limited healthy food options. But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthily; it just means you have to put in a little extra effort. Try stocking up on nuts, seeds, fruit, and veggies like carrot sticks or celery; they travel well and give you that crunch you crave without the added calories and heart-threatening ingredients. Could you buy a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a fried one? Can you skip the fries and as for a side salad rather? Many fast-food restaurants will customize an order, but they won’t offer it; you have to ask first. No one is asking you to be perfect, and no one is requesting you never eat fast food again, but is there a healthier option available-pick that. 

Truck Driver Health: February Heart Association Awareness Month Mother Trucker Yoga Blog - signs

What you can do today to improve truck driver health issues like heart health:

Your health is in your hands—one of the most empowering things we can do as humans to take back our health. You may have been making poor heart health choices up to this point, and it’s time to make a shift. You can do this, here at Mother Trucker Yoga® we believe that it’s the small simple changes that lead to the big results so you can feel good again™. Don’t wait until it’s too late, take action, and what better time than during heart health awareness month. 

Join the movement and join other drivers just like you who want to improve their health one step at a time.

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CLICK HERE TO learn more about our NEW Membership Platform and APP – Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART
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7 Ways to Supplement Your Yoga with Increased Mental Function

You may be practicing yoga solo or alongside us here on our membership platform- Mother Trucker Yoga LIFESTYLE JUMPSTART Platform and APP and you are noticing physical and mental benefits. Trucking yoga is an easy way to add a little yoga to your life, even if you don’t own a yoga mat. And for drivers, when you combine a stressful day and physical exercise, you can find yourself fatigued or mentally tired at times. But we don’t want you to ditch the yoga or movements because your brain is drained, instead, let’s boost your brain with the following strategies. 

A poor diet, not getting enough vitamins and minerals, or poor sleep are significant contributors to brain drain. Fortunately, you can supplement your yoga with increased mental function with some simple changes to your life. Supplements, physical and mental workouts, and changing your diet can significantly impact your brain health. As a result, you will have increased focus, reduced tiredness, and an ability to boost both your creative and logical sides.

Supplement Brain Boosters

While exercising, you can use a lot of supplements. Vitamins and minerals are great for your health, of course. They make your muscles stronger, your bones more robust, and give you more energy. But you can also get brain tablets. Nootropics are unique formulas like Unlocked Supplement Co. (click here for more info). Vitamins and minerals work the same way, but brain-boosting recipes work differently. They’re tablets that improve your logic and memory. Improved logic and memory help you stay alert and responsive when driving or doing your job.

7 Ways to Supplement Your Yoga with Increased Mental Function Mother Trucker Yoga blog post

Easy Brain Workouts

You probably already work out somewhat. Maybe a little, perhaps a lot. You can also keep your mind active by doing puzzles such as Sudoku and crosswords.- Who doesn’t love those? You can consider anything that requires concentration or creativity as a brain workout. Activities like the above are wonderful ways to stimulate the brain and beat brain fog and mental fatigue, two things that plague truck driver health.

Some examples of activities that require you to use both sides of your brain are exercise reps, learning an instrument, or playing games. However, logic and creativity don’t always go hand in hand, especially in today’s world. And when you make it a priority to give your brain a workout both sides of your brain benefit from better neuron health.

In trucking yoga, we focus on movements that require you to cross the midline as those are easy movements to help stimulate your brain chemistry.

Two examples are cross-crawl workouts and windmills where you take your opposite arm to the opposite leg. 

Body Movement for Brain Health

If you exercise or do yoga regularly, you already help your brain. The brain releases serotonin when you move quickly and use your muscles. So you know that you’re doing things right when you have serotonin in your brain. When you’re done with a project, for instance, serotonin helps you feel good. It also allows you to feel less stressed by reducing cortisol. So you’ll have a healthier hormonal balance. Having too much cortisol is concerning because it increases feelings of depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. So natural serotonin (not from drugs or alcohol) always helps.

Eating the Right Brain Food

For your brain to stay healthy, you need a healthy diet. Your body can benefit from a variety of foods that help it exercise. Fruits and berries are loaded with antioxidants, caffeine is motivational (in small doses and healthy sources), and protein repairs muscles.

You may already eat these foods if you eat a healthy diet and good sources are fish and seeds high in Omega-3, dark chocolate, and certain berries. These help maintain cell structure, serotonin, and age-related brain issues like memory loss and lowered concentration. Chemicals in leafy greens such as broccoli and fresh spices also help.

Today take a look at your diet and take inventory, does your fuel match up? Truck driver health is critical to the health and success of the trucking industry.

A Good Night’s Sleep

You probably know how vital sleeping well is, whether you exercise or not. A new bed or mattress can be a significant expense, though. If you want to save money on your bed and mattress, there are a few things you can do. First, try buying a memory foam mattress topper. These work exceptionally well. In addition, try not to let your bedroom get too hot, or you’ll be restless. And finally, make your sleeping area quiet and dark so your brain can function well. These will help your brain go through the sleep stages. It needs to be considered refreshing, including much-needed REM sleep.

Increase Calcium Intake

Calcium maintains the proper communication between your brain and the body, which controls muscle contractions. Plus, it’s good for your brain too. Your brain and body are always talking to each other with neuron activity. Axons need it to transmit electrical impulses so synapses can work. As a result, the brain forms neuronal synaptic pathways. Calcium deficiency causes extreme tiredness, insomnia, confusion, and memory loss. But you can quickly get more calcium from milk and cheese, dark greens, and fish with bones you can eat, such as sardines.

Cut Out Alcohol

Alcohol is a socially accepted drug consumed by millions of people each day. However, it is a known contributor to increasing brain fog. Brain fog is a tiredness-related issue that reduces concentration and neuron activity. Quitting alcohol altogether helps minimize brain fog. But doing so can be challenging. Many people across the globe use alcohol to manage their feelings, but what ends up happening is they simply mask or numb them. Trucking yoga can help any person create space, breathe and improve mental function. Regardless of how much you drink, alcohol often leaves the user drained, in a mental fog, physically drained, and emotionally low. When it comes to truck driver health, alcohol also dehydrates your body, which results in headaches, lethargy, and trouble concentrating, something truck drivers should pay attention to. In addition, alcohol even reacts with many medications, making the symptoms worse or even dangerous in some cases.

No matter where you are in life or in your yoga journey, any one of the above seven could help you improve your mental health and truck driver health. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we believe it’s about the small simple changes that lead to the big results so you can feel good again™.

 

 

6 Health Problems You Might Encounter As a Truck Driver

The world needs truck drivers. People want goods shipped from one side of the country to another, and they want it done quickly. However, as much as society recognizes how important the profession is, they often don’t consider how much health can be impacted by navigating long-haul journeys. 

6 Health Problems You Might Encounter As a Truck Driver mother trucker yoga blog health

You never know how much different truck driving is to other jobs until you experience it. Rather than have the freedom of an office, you are often confined to the small cab. Depending on the destination, you could be away for weeks on end before making it home again. This environment can lead to significant health issues, and here are some of the most common.

 

Mobility Problems 

 

It should be no surprise that sitting in your truck cab for eight hours on end every day can cause issues. The lack of movement will stiffen joints and put pressure on your lower back and neck. Similarly, constant focus could even cause headaches, which will affect performance. 

 

This issue is a lot like sitting at a desk all day. You can’t be rigid in a single place for the entire journey, so take every opportunity possible to stretch your legs and get some much-needed fresh air. As long as you stay on schedule, you can eliminate the risk of severe mobility problems. With Mother Trucker Yoga’s everyday movements you can keep your mobility and your body strong. 

 

Obesity 

 

A lack of mobility could also lead to obesity problems. You won’t get the chance to exercise, and you also can’t rely on a proper meal every day. Instead, you rely on ready meals and processed foods from truck stops and fast food places. 

 

Already, you’re at a disadvantage, especially when you’re on a time limit to complete a shipment. You can’t take a personal day and hit the gym, but you also can’t allow your body to deal with bad food. Instead, consider healthy snacks for truck drivers that will reduce weight gain and provide all the essential nutrients and minerals you need to stay engaged on the road. Read the food label not just for the nutrition but for the ingredients. Make sure you are actually eating real food.

 

Lung Cancer

 

Research from the Center for Disease Control discovered that around 70% of truck drivers smoke, and with little else to do on the road, this can quickly become a way to pass the time. You don’t need anyone to tell you how bad smoking is for your health, but you also might know how difficult it can be to break out of this habit. 

 

Excessive smoking will lead to lung cancer, so as much as it can pass the time and even reduce stress, it won’t do your health any favors. When you compound this with the carbon emissions from the diesel exhaust, you drastically increase your chances of significant health problems, so do what you can to reduce exposure and cut out any bad habits. Our friends over at St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fun has an amazing Rigs without Cigs program to help aid drivers in the process of quitting smoking. 

 

Irregular Sleep 

 

You would think that driving all day will make it easy to get to sleep when your shift finishes, but this isn’t the case. Truck drivers do not have the luxury of their beds, which for some can make it difficult to sleep, and this causes a range of issues that will affect health and performance. 

 

You should never drive while tired, but when you’re on a time limit and it’s dollars for miles you often feel the need to keep on trucking. Focus on a sleep routine and stick with it to help reduce the time spend trying to fall asleep. 

 

Hearing Loss

 

Truck drivers must be aware of everything around them, and this is not possible if they experience hearing loss. Typically, this occurs with older truck drivers who have been exposed to the noisy engine and highways their entire career.  

 

You can learn more about how moderate hearing loss feels, and consider how this could impact your truck driving. If it puts you and anyone else in danger – especially as you’re unable to differentiate sounds or hear upcoming cars – think about possible solutions. When is the last time you got your hearing checked? Some hearing loss as we age is normal, but don’t go without it unchecked if you feel you may have a larger issue going on. Truck driver health is essential and your health matters. 

 

Isolation and Loneliness 

 

There are few things lonelier than taking a journey by yourself and having to come back the way you came also along. Many truck drivers experience significant mental health problems caused by feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

 

As much as the radio or regular phone calls can help, they are no substitute for real human interaction. If you have a family or are someone who loves to spend time with others, you may struggle to cope with the loneliness that comes from driving a truck. So reach out regularly and even things like smiling at a stranger and drumming up a conversation with someone standing next to you can help you feel connected, with a purpose and happiness, and who doesn’t like feeling happy?

 

Keep On Truckin’ 

 

Truck driving can be an incredibly rewarding career, especially if you are someone who loves getting behind the wheel and seeing as much of the country – and perhaps the world – as possible. However, it does not come without its share of truck driver health issues, so consider these and how to overcome them to ensure you make the most of your truck driving career.

Here are a few other blogs you might enjoy:

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

Truck Driver Health: Guided Meditations for A Happy Mind

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

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

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

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

Truck Driver Health: Guided Meditations

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

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

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

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

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

What is Mindfulness?

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

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

 

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

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

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

A Mindfulness Driving Audio For Truck Drivers

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

Truck Driver Health: Vitamin C What You Need to Know

Truck Driver Health is an Important Aspect of Healthy Living.

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

Attention Truck Drivers to Avoid Truck Driver Health Issues… Get your Vitamin C!

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

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

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Vitamin CTruck Driver Health Issues, What You Need to Know

Why do we need Vitamin C?

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

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

Did you know that Vitamin C helps produce collagen? That super important component to anti-aging and skin elasticity and is the main component of connective tissue and the most abundant protein in mammals. And when it comes to truck driver health, collagen is great to be getting as it is wonderful for our skin. Roughly 1 to 2% of muscle tissue is collagen. And it is an important component in fibrous tissues such as:

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

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

Types of Vitamin C

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

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

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

 

Truck Driver Health: Required Daily Amount of Vitamin C

AgeRDA
Infants (1-3 years)15 mg
Children (4-9 years)25 mg
Adolescents (9-13 years)45 mg
Teens (14-18 years)65-75 mg
Women (>19 years)75 mg
Men (>19 years)90 mg
Pregnant women85 mg
Breastfeeding women120 mg

 

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

Health Benefits

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

Boosts Immune System

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

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

Heart Sweetheart

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

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

Boosts Energy Levels

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

Vision Patron

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

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

Radiant Skin

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

Truck Driver Health Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Trucker Health Vitamin C what you need

Sources of Vitamin C  

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

Fruits ServingMilligrams per serving
Lemon1 fruit44.5
Orange1 large fruit97.5
Kiwi fruit1 fruit64
Papaya1 small fruit97.6
Guava1 cup, raw377
Grapefruit juice1 cup93.9
Pineapple1 cup chunks, raw78.9
Mango1 cup60.1
Strawberries1 cup, sliced97.6
Tomato juice1 cup, canned170

 

Vegetables & spicesServingMilligrams per serving
Red Bell PepperPer 100 gm80mg
Kale1 cup180mg
Broccoli1 cup, raw81.2
Potato1 large72.7
Brussels sprouts1 cup, raw74.8
Cauliflower1 cup, raw51.6
Cabbage1 cup, raw44 mg
ThymePer 100 gm160 mg
Green chilli1 green chilli109 mg

 

Animal sourcesAmount (mg/100 gm)
Lamb liver (fried)12
Lamb heart (roasted)11
Lamb tongue (stewed)6
Calf adrenals (raw)11
Human milk4
Cow milk2
Goat milk2

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