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

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

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

 

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

Stay Healthy While on the go - mother trucker yoga blog

Photo Credit -Photo by Lê Minh from Pexels

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

Eat Healthily

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

 

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

 

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

Exercise

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sleep

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

 

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

 

Engage Your Mind

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Go Nuts! Blog Mother Trucker Yoga

Go Nuts – A Great Snack for Truckers

Go Nuts – A Great Snack for Truckers

When it comes to food, many have an all-or-nothing switch. You can’t just eat one piece of cake as a sweet treat, but even when things are labeled healthy, you find yourself thinking more is better. 

 

Nuts are incredibly healthy, where these nutrient-packed morsels are one of the best foods you can eat, but no one said anything about a handful’s a day, every day. Go nuts! Yes, go nuts; they are a great treat and portion-perfect travel food for your next trip, or for that truck driver who is trying to avoid the unhealthy options in truck stops and doesn’t want to entire the front doors on an empty stomach. 

 

Many think that nuts are a fattening food. But the truth is nuts, and seeds are some of the best foods you can eat for optimum health, metabolic syndrome, and weight-loss. 

 

The Research Is In!

 

In 2017 a research study was done through the Global Burden of Disease Study. The most comprehensive analysis of the causes of death ever undertaken involved nearly 500 researchers and examined 100,000 data sources. And this study calculated that not eating enough nuts was a leading dietary risk factor for death and disability worldwide. They found that lack of nutrition taken in through nuts kills more people than processed meat consumption and more than a low intake of fiber and vegetables. The Global Burden of Disease Study estimates that eating more vegetables could save 1.8 million lives, but eating more nuts and seeds could save 2.5 million lives. Just let that sink in for a second. WOW! Right? I had to read that twice myself. 

 

But it doesn’t stop there; their research also noted that the healthy foods missing from most diets worldwide actually are nuts and seeds! 

 

Why Are Nuts Healthy? 

 

Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that eating nuts may:

  • Lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which play a significant role in the buildup of deposits called plaques in your arteries
  • Improve the health of the lining of your arteries
  • Lower levels of inflammation linked to heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack and death

Nuts are packed with loads of nutrition. They are suitable for your overall health as they contain protein, fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, and many other minerals like magnesium, zinc (check out our article on MTY blog about Zinc), copper, potassium, and antioxidants. And when it comes to heart health, they contain the nonessential amino acid arginine, which helps protect the artery walls’ inner lining.

Nuts also contain a high amount of monounsaturated fats, the same fats found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy and not the kind of fat you want to be afraid of. Some nuts are also excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that our body wants to make sure we get enough. Many truck drivers get an overabundance of Omega-6 and Omega-9’s in their diets due to the plethora of fast foods and processed foods. So nuts are a great go-to in an attempt to turn the tables in the Omega category.

 

Eating nuts and seeds regularly play a crucial role in managing health concerns like:

  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Heart Disease
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia

But How Much is Too Many Nuts? 

Well, all nuts and seeds have a slightly different nutrition punch to bring to the handful. The key is to take nuts in at ½ ounce to 1-ounce servings daily up to five days a week. 

Check out our Nuts Realistic Serving Size Chart to see just how much you should be grabbing of nuts a day. 

Go Nuts Mother Trucker Yoga Blog How much nuts to eat

Nuts are Heart Healthy

Nuts help reduce coronary heart disease (after adjusting for other coronary heart disease factors) by eating five or more servings (5 ounces) of nuts per week by 35-50%. But I find it is important to note that, like anything, moderation is key. When you read this, you might begin to think, “well, I’ll just eat a ton of nuts then”. Well, that is not what this is suggesting; instead, let this be an excellent push for you to consider swapping out unhealthy heart compromising foods for a handful of nuts a few times a week. Remember, moderation is the key to improving our health, especially with nuts. 

Nuts can help with weight-loss

Nuts are the unsung hero when it comes to managing our weight. Because many still look at the fat content in nuts and think that will make them fat. They choose to stay away. But that isn’t true. Just a ½ an ounce per day of nutrition packed nuts is associated with less long-term weight gain. When you replace unhealthy foods like processed meats, fast food, and things like chips and cakes, nuts become a simple weight management strategy. 

Many researchers believe nuts aid in weight control for the following reasons: 

  • Chewing nuts takes effort.
  • High fiber delays stomach emptying.
  • The body absorbs not all the fat from nuts during the digestion process. 
  • Nuts have prebiotic properties.
  • Nuts help improve gut microbiome and intestinal health.

 

How To Shop for Nuts

Raw or sprouted and dehydrated nuts are best. Most nuts in the grocery store or truck stop are salted and contain high sodium content. The next time-nuts travel well, you are home or can stop at a grocery store to look for raw or unsalted nuts. And at a minimum, eating raw, unsalted nuts will move you light years ahead in a nut-healthy direction. For more information about soaking and sprouting your nuts, check out this great article on Vegetarian Times breaking down the soaking times and sprouting times by nut type. But don’t be overwhelmed; just switching to raw nuts will make a massive difference in your nut health benefits. 

I like to follow the health approach of Good, Better, Best. What is a good option, what is the better option, and what is the best option? I might not be able to do the best right now, and the better might be out of reach, but is there a good option to choose today? And then go from there. Health is not black or white and not all an all or nothing lifestyle. The same goes for nuts. 

Word of Caution

We are all unique, and our bodies all react differently to foods and environments due to our history or current health. If you are allergic, don’t eat them. If you are a compulsive eater or binge-eater, consider prepackaging your nuts into small bags to avoid overeating. Even healthy things can be overconsumed. When in doubt, ask your doctor or consider an allergy test to get to the bottom of a nut concern. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we want to empower drivers to build a toolbox of healthy options, but we also encourage drivers to use common sense and, when in doubt, seek medical advice. 

 

Lady Trucking Stiff Mother Trucker

 

 

 

Zinc Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

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

Zinc

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

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

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

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

Required Daily Amount

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

Zinc Nutrition Mother Trucker Yoga BLog

Sources of Zinc

Vegetarian

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

 

Non – vegetarian

Food Items

 

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

 

o.9 8
Oysters (3 ounces)

 

74.0 673
Beef chuck (3 ounces)

 

7.0 64
Crab (3 ounces)

 

6.5 59
Lobster (3 ounces)

 

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

 

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

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

Role of zinc in immunity

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Zinc

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

Anti-Inflammatory

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

Heart-healthy

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

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

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

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

Enhances memory and learning

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

Wound Healing

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

Other Possible zinc Benefits

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

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

 

Other readings you might enjoy:

 

Tackle The Common Health Issues Truckers Experience Head-On

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

 

Obesity 

 

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

Lung Cancer 

 

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

Lung Cancer - Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

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Sleep Apnea

 

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

 

Problems With Sleep Routines 

 

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

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Depression And Isolation 

 

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

 

Issues With Nutrition 

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

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

 

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream Wake Up Feeling Great

 

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

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

Looking After Your Eyes As A Long Distance Driver

Looking After Your Eyes As A Long Distance Driver

Long Distance Driver Post Mother Trucker Yoga Eyes

Image credit.

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

 

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

 

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

Regular Eye Tests

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

 

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

Appropriate Breaks

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

 

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

The Right Diet

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

 

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

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

 

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

Take care of your eyes, long-distance driver!

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

Truck Driver Health: Vitamin C What You Need to Know

Attention Drivers… Get your Vitamin C!

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

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

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

Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Vitamin C

Why do we need Vitamin C?

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

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

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

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

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

Types of Vitamin C

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

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

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

 

Required Daily Amount of Vitamin C

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

 

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

Health Benefits

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

Boosts Immune System

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

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

Heart Sweetheart

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

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

Boosts Energy Levels

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

Vision Patron

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

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

Radiant Skin

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream Wake Up Feeling Great

Mother Trucker Yoga blog The Benefits of Working Out with Others

The Benefits of Working Out with Others

The Benefits of Working Out with Others

When you work out, you have the choice to do it alone or with others. Some people are lone wolves who would much rather do it alone, but working out with other people has some excellent benefits too. You can choose to work out with a friend or exercise in a group when you join a class or even a club or group that’s been set up for the activity that you enjoy. When you choose to work out with others, it makes it a more social experience, which can deliver a few different benefits and could even help you to be healthier.

 

Better Accountability

 

Getting fit with other people can be a great idea if you struggle to hold yourself accountable. It’s often far too easy to just decide not to go to the gym or do that workout when there are other things you could be doing instead. If this sounds like you, you could benefit from exercising with other people. When you have others who are counting on you to turn up, it makes it more difficult to decide not to go. You don’t want to disappoint anyone, especially if they’re your friend and they’ve made the effort to show up for you.

 

More Fun

 

For a lot of people, working out with others is just more fun. When you exercise alone, it can be peaceful, but you also might just find it kind of boring. If you prefer someone to talk to while you work out or even just someone whose company you can enjoy while you both get on with your workout, it can make your workouts more interesting. Attending a class like those offered by Fitness 19 can be a lot of fun too. When you’re surrounded by other people, it raises the energy in the room. Plus, it can help you to feel less self-conscious if everyone else is doing the same thing as you.

 

Safer Workouts

 

Working out with someone else can make your workouts safer too. For example, if you’re lifting weights at the gym, you’ll have someone there to spot you. You will be able to do exercises that you might not have been able to do on your own, which means that you can diversify your workouts more. And if you choose to work out with a personal trainer, in a class or just with someone who’s a little more experienced than you, you can learn new things under someone else’s instruction.

The Benefits of Working Out with Others MTY Blog couples walking

Push Yourself Further

 

You might feel inspired to push yourself further if you’re working out with someone else. You can motivate each other to keep going and complete your workout so that you don’t give up before you should. Working out together can also encourage you to get a little competitive. Some healthy competition can push you to try and do better so that you beat the other people you’re working out with.

 

Start working out with other people if you want to get more from your workouts and make your exercise more of a social experience.

How Chiropractic Can Help Truck Drivers

Sitting for hours, lifting heavy objects, having to work long nights – these are important duties that truck drivers do, but they can take a toll on their health. This can lead to many serious problems, including tension and back pain. This article will explore more behind what a chiropractor can do to assist truck drivers.

Frequent Health Problems That Plague Truck Drivers

young truck driver and truck

Truck drivers can run into some serious health issues due to long days of sitting and being on the road. Some of the most common problems are:

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Back pain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Joint stiffness
  • Stress

What is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic care is a holistic form of medicine designed to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. A chiropractor will adjust your body by twisting certain parts and applying pressure to them. Some might also implement tools depending on how severe the problem is.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help Truck Drivers?

Chripractor

There are plenty of ways chiropractic care can assist truck drivers.

It Reduces Stress

Trying to meet strict deadlines can be stressful. This stress can cause hypertension which can result in symptoms like trouble breathing, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and fatigue. If not fixed, it could lead to even more severe trouble, including a heart attack or stroke.

A chiropractor can reduce signs of anxiety and stress by ensuring your spine is aligned. Many don’t realize that the spine is mainly connected to the brain. If there are blockages between them, it can heighten your stress levels. By adjusting your spine, a chiropractor opens up this pathway to help calm the signals.

In addition to this, chiropractic adjustments will release an impressive amount of endorphins. These natural painkillers treat tension and help you to feel more positive.

It Treats Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition that makes it difficult for you to breathe when sleeping. Most of the time, it’s the result of obesity. This is because the extra weight pushes against your airways making it hard for air to pass through.

A chiropractor will feel around your spine, especially around your neck, to feel where airway obstructions might be. They’ll then adjust your spine to ensure vertebrae are in place and to reduce tension. This will help you to breathe better when sleeping.

It Ensures Your Spine is Aligned

One of the best benefits of chiropractic care is that it keeps your spine aligned. You might not realize it, but many sources of bodily pain are the result of a misaligned spine.

A chiropractor will touch various portions of your spine to see if there are misalignments. They might also ask you if you’re experiencing any strange symptoms and request that you walk around so they can monitor your gait.

After observing you, the chiropractor will get to work on fixing areas of concern. To realign your spine, they will press on certain portions of it. This will help to slide any vertebrae back in place and release tension around your spine. These adjustments will also prevent tightness around your nerves which could lead to uncomfortable tingling sensations up and down your spine.

It Improves Your Flexibility

Truck drivers need to be able to move goods in and out of their truck. However, this can be difficult if you suffer from back pain or joint stiffness. Chiropractic care prevents and treats these issues with the help of various adjustments.

Some chiropractors might also incorporate massage into your treatment. Massages have been shown to improve your flexibility and range of motion because they increase fluid around your joints and muscles. This can also reduce tension which makes it easier for you to move them.

Three of the best massages for flexibility are the therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, and sports massage.

Therapeutic Massage

One massage type your chiropractor might use is the therapeutic massage. This type of massage focuses on the body’s tissues. By using gentle motions on them, it will help to loosen up tightness. To give you the ultimate relief, this massage will be used on all parts of your musculoskeletal system.

Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage applies a bit more pressure to the body compared to the therapeutic massage. This massage will untighten knots and reduce inflammation around your joints. It can also improve your blood circulation.

Sports Massage

While a sports massage is designed to help athletes, it can be beneficial for truck drivers. This is because it increases your flexibility and works to build up your body to prevent injuries. Because of this, your body will be better equipped to carry and move heavy objects.

It’s Natural

Chiropractic care is a natural way to treat many ailments. When you’re a truck driver, it can be dangerous to rely on pain-relieving drugs, especially since many make you drowsy. By using special adjustments, a chiropractor can instantly provide the same relief. Unlike drugs, chiropractic care fixes the problem rather than masking it. This way, you can be sure that your bodily ailments or pain will actually be treated.

In addition to this, your chiropractor will give you some tips to use when driving. This might include:

  • Doing certain exercises each day to prevent pain and stiffness
  • Changing your hand position on the steering wheel to stop cramping
  • Sitting on a cushion to keep your spine aligned
  • Ensuring your mirrors are in an easy position for you to see when driving

How Often Should Truck Drivers Visit the Chiropractor?

As a truck driver, it can be difficult to find time to consistently visit the chiropractor. Depending on how severe your symptoms are, a chiropractor will recommend that you visit anywhere from one to three times per week. While this might be an investment at first, in the end, you’ll find your body feels invigorated and free from pain.

Chiropractic care is a great option for truck drivers to consider. It can naturally treat many health concerns and prevent them from coming back. Because of this, you’ll find it much easier to move around and do your job.

About the Author

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His top-rated chiropractic clinic has treated thousands of Alaska patients from different health problems using physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy designed to help give long-lasting relief.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.

strong abs with mother trucker yoga blog post

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers

Best Core Exercises for Truck Drivers when they don’t have a lot of time.

We have all heard how important it is to strengthen your core, but the only problem is most people are still doing traditional core work. 

What is traditional core work?

Traditional core work in my experience is exercised flat on your back, where you flex your body (crunch) up off the floor. When movements like these are coupled with flailing fast and furious body parts, you feel out of breath and hurt for the wrong reasons. Yet there we are calling “sit-ups” an excellent core workout when there is a better way. 

Times have changed and so has how we move, with the average person sitting 13 hours a day that’s enough if that’s not enough to consider moving more, I don’t know what is. And if you average in 8 hours of sleep on average, a person gets, that 21 hours PER DAY people are sitting. 

The stats don’t lie, we sit way to much!

On top of all of that sitting at work, and for meals and commuting, the respondents:

  • Sit another 1-2 hours while watching TV (36 percent)
  • Game another 1-2 hours (10 percent)
  • Lounge for 1-2 hours for things such as reading (25 percent)
  • Use their home computer for 1-2 hours (29 percent)” (PRNewswire)

And truck driver or not- we Americans sit WAY TO MUCH! 

So when you choose exercises to try to improve your health, fitness, and overall well-being, we want to make sure we are selecting movements that aid us in our everyday life.

Why Not Sit-Ups?

The traditional sit-up is done flat on your back; when core-based exercises are all performed this way, we lose the opportunity to use our back muscles (which are a part of our core). So if you are concerned with the health of your back and spine, it is best to opt for other movements when focusing on your midsection. 

Sit-ups also focus primarily on flexion, and for someone who spends most of their day sitting, this is not helping you. All of that flexion encourages the chest, pec, and neck muscles to stay short and tight, and the upper back and neck muscles to continue to be overstretched and strained. Think about your driving position (or if you are in an office, how you sit at your computer), after a few hours you end up with your head sinking forward and your shoulders and chest collapsing forward over the steering wheel. Like you would yank and pull on your upper body during a sit-up. 

Finally, those good-intentioned sit-ups only work a small portion of your core, and the movement you are choosing to do shortens the abs rather than lengthens them. And if you are going to work on your back, make sure you are finding what is called “neutral.” A place where your lower back is not pressed flat into the floor nor overly arched. 

So when you choose the best types of exercises to strengthen your core as a truck driver, choose movements that:

  1. Focus on form and function.

     Gone are the days that huffing and puffing, yanking and jerking your body all over the place and calling it a good workout are over. Core exercises or not, challenge yourself and see how well you can hold a move or move slowly and control how you move every step of the way. 

  2. Focus on movements that extend more than flex.

    The extension works the body 408% (roughly 10x) more effectively than flexion does.

  3. Focus on movements that include working your back muscles.

    When all we do is “front core” exercises or what many of us call “ab” exercises we actually leave our back vulnerable for injury. By inadvertently over strengthening our front core and neglecting our back muscles (which are a part of our core) we can sometimes do more harm than good. (Read more about neck issues what exercises to do to help)

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), core training is an essential part of any personal fitness routine. Your core helps transfer force and power from your lower to upper limbs. The stronger your midsection is, the safer you’ll be during exercise, plus when you have a stronger core, you are less likely to injure your back.

4 Exercises for Truckers to Strengthen Their Core:

Exercise #1 – Weighted Extension:

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Find a place to sit on your sleeper, the ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Bend your knees (optional place a pillow or small ball between your knees to squeeze for lower body stability. (If your tail bone is sensitive place a blanket under your tailbone)
  3. Grab your weight (1 lb – 10 lbs) and place it at your chest.
  4. Keep a straight spine (no rounding in the shoulders, upper back, or lower back).
  5. Inhale and exhale to prepare.
  6. Inhale slightly tuck your tail bone under and lean back to 45 degrees (do not go all the way down).
  7. Exhale and with control draw your body back up sitting tall and press your arms overhead/weight.
  8. Do not round your upper body when pressing up overhead. If your shoulders are tight press the arms to a 45-degree angle.
  9. Repeat this 10-30 reputations working on form, function, and control.

Weighted core full extension truck driver core workout mother trucker yoga blog post

Exercise #2 – Oblique Weighted Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Find a place to sit on your sleeper, the ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Bend your knees (optional place a pillow or small ball between your knees to squeeze for lower body stability. (If your tail bone is sensitive place a blanket under your tailbone)
  3. Grab your weight (1 lb – 10 lbs) and hold it in front of your chest (imagine there is a pole keeping your hands in front of your chest).
  4. Keep a straight spine (no rounding in the shoulders, upper back, or lower back).
  5. Inhale and exhale to prepare.
  6. Inhale slightly tuck your tail bone under and lean back to 45 degrees (do not go all the way down).
  7. Inhale and work to rotate to the right, really pay attention to your spine and rib cage rotating (not your hips and pelvis).
  8. Exhale and return back to center (stay at 45-degree angle).
  9. Inhale and work to rotate to the left, go as far as you can without rolling onto one hip or rounding your spine.
  10. Repeat this 5 to 20 rep each direction.

Oblique Weighted Twist Core Exercise Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post

Exercise #3 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Start on your hands and knees on the sleeper, ground, or your floor at home.
  2. Drop to your forearms and place your elbows and fists a forearm’s width apart.
  3. Step one foot back at a time until your body is in one straight line.
  4. Press your fists into the floor to help activate your core.
  5. Drop your tailbone between your legs and press your lower abs and hip bones into your lower back.
  6. Draw your shoulders back and breathe.
  7. Now rotate your hips and lower body to the right.
  8. Press your hips up slightly to activate your obliques.
  9. Hold for 5-20 breaths, then repeat the opposite side.

Plank Oblique Twist Best Core Exercises for Truckers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

Exercise #4 – Plank Oblique Twist

Prep Time: 1 Minute

Total Exercise Time: 30 Seconds – 3 Minutes

  1. Start by lying down on your sleeper, the ground, or the floor.
  2. Adjust your pelvis so it’s level, do not press your lower back into the floor, imagine a small arch in your lower back.
  3. Draw your legs up to a tabletop position (optional: put a mini ball or pillow between the knees and squeeze for more stability) and flex your feet (you can opt to keep your feet on the ground OR do a few reps with one leg, and then switch to the other).
  4. Grab your weight (optional) and extend it up overhead. Turn the folds of your elbows towards your nose (shoulders move in external rotation).
  5. Inhale and exhale, work to stabilize your core, remember only go as far as you can keep your back and ribs from arching and pulling up towards the ceiling.
  6. Inhale, and begin to lower your legs towards the floor and your arms overhead.
  7. Reach through your fingers to stretch the shoulders.
  8. Exhale and draw your arms back up and knees back up over your hips.
  9. Repeat this 10 – 30 times moving mindfully with your breath. This is not a race.
  10. To make this more of a challenge (as long as you can keep your back from arching) once your heels meet 1 inch off the floor, press your legs long and engage your glutes and inner thighs.
  11. You go this!

Weighted core full extension truck driver core exercise mother trucker yoga blog post

weighted core full extension for truck drivers mother trucker yoga blog post

Strengthening your core is extremely important regardless of your physical state or your age. When implemented correctly, you can experience a decreased risk of injury, better stability, and performance during workouts. A strong core improves the quality of life for everyone and reduces the chances of severe injury.

Age, mobility restrictions, or past injuries shouldn’t prevent you from strengthening your core. You can get all these benefits by performing these exercises safely and effectively. Focus on proper breathing and posture first and ditch the sit-ups. You’re bound to notice better balance and stability and may even see a reduction in back pain. But they won’t do anything for you unless you allow yourself to start today with 5 minutes of simple core work. 

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10 Tips for a Functional Body

10 Tips for a Functional Body

Did you know that there are over 7 million truck drivers on our roads? Sadly, truckers are one of the unhealthiest populations in our country. The long work hours, little to no time to rest or stretch throughout the day, and the obvious requirement of sitting for long hours on end do not help matters much. These forces work against drivers maintaining a functional body, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yoga has been around for nearly 5,000 years. Yoga is comprised of different poses that help different parts of the body. Most people start to incorporate yoga, or other mindful movements, into their daily routine in order to benefit themselves both mentally and physically. 

It isn’t a secret that life on the road as a trucker isn’t easy. Deadlines quickly become the priority and your health and overall well-being takes a backseat. BUT you don’t need a gym or a yoga studio to stay healthy. There are many things that you can do to help keep your body functional and healthy while on the road. 

Here are 4 changes you can start to make today to start living life on the healthier side of the highway. Get a functional body in no time!

 

  1. Do Something While You Are Driving!

    Now please don’t take this the wrong way. Safety should ALWAYS be your #1 priority. However, if you can multitask while driving I encourage you to do it. Get the most out of the time you have by utilizing hand weights, resistance bands or mindful breathing exercises while driving. Better yet, tune into Mother Trucker Yoga’s Yoga in Seat Guided Audio that guides you through simple exercises to help keep your body and mind limber, happy and healthy while on the road.
  2. Move

    How many trucks have ever considered yoga? Probably not many. It’s ok–believe it or not, I’m not shocked. However, yoga is for everyone–truckers included. Truck drivers sit all day, have limited movement opportunities, incur broken sleep patterns, and have added stressors that continually take a toll on their bodies. There are also limited resources available to them to make the changes they know they need to make. Incorporating yoga movements will help you to increase wholeness and wellness. If you are looking for a starting point, the Mother Trucker Yoga Online Studio only costs $7.99/month and you will receive professional, inspiring, functionally-safe classes accessible wherever you go. 
  3. Shed Your Shoes

    After a long day on the road, take off your shoes! Our bodies are like rubber bands; the tighter a rubber band gets on one end, the more it will pull on the other end. If our fascia becomes stiff, the more we feel that sticky stiffness in our bodies. So what I’m saying is: if your hips are tight, your feet will react, and if your feet are tight, your hips will react. Get the point? So in the end, shed those shoes! And if you suffer from foot pain, know that pain relief is not far.
  4. Strengthen Your Core

    Your core muscles to help support you in everything that you do. Strengthening your core helps to improve your posture, decreases lower back pain, and improves your overall stability and posture. As the creator of the Core Functional Fitness Program, I have over a decade of experience teaching and practicing functionally fit exercise. 

 

Making these small changes today will lead to a lifetime of benefits, both physically and mentally. Don’t waste any more time–start today and work on your functional body!

 

Here are some other great resources to help you get started:

Smart Ass Core 20 Minute Workout Video

Attention Truckers: Step It Up with Interval Walking

Pelvic Tilts: Best Move for Truckers with Back Pain

7 Little Changes Drivers Can Make To Improve Their Health