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11 Strategies for Truck Drivers To Start Following A Healthy Lifestyle

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

 

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

 

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

11 Strategies for Truck Drivers To Start Following A Healthy Lifestyle

1.Identify unhealthy habits.

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

 

2.Cook Yourself.

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

Roadpro sauce pan Road Pro portable stove lunchbox

 

4.3.3    3.Practice Preventative Health.

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

 

4. Keep on walking.

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

 

5.Discover what trucker fitness exercises work for you.

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

mother trucker yoga blog movment

6.Add to your exercise routine over time.

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

 

7.Reduce daily stress.

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

Life Is About Choices

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

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

 

8.Schedule in some self-care.

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

 

9.Put together a sleep schedule.

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

10.Set yourself manageable goals.

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

 

11.Remain positive.

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

 

 

 

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

 

   STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream

 

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.

How To Deal With A Vehicle Accident: Helpful Tips For New Drivers

What do you do when your vehicle gets into an accident? Knowing the best course of action can be challenging, whether it’s a fender bender or more serious. Here are some helpful tips that will keep you safe and protect your vehicle.

Stay Calm And Assess The Situation

It’s easy to get nervous when in a car accident, but you must stay calm and assess your situation before moving. This will ensure that no one gets injured or damages their vehicle needlessly.

Get To Safety

If you are in a severe accident, it’s essential to get yourself and anyone else involved out of the way of any oncoming traffic. If your vehicle is still operational, move it somewhere safe so that no one gets hit by another driver who might not be paying attention or be impaired.

Call Emergency Services

Even if only minor injuries, always call for help when an incident happens with your car. An ambulance will come along with police officers to take statements from everyone involved about what happened before sending them home safely.

It is also possible that someone else was injured more seriously than they let on at first, which means calling emergency services can save lives! This is especially true if both parties were responsible for causing the crash because then nobody would be helping those who need it most.

How To Deal With A Vehicle Accident: Helpful Tips For New Drivers Mother Trucker Yoga Blog iimage

Via Pexels

Call Your Insurer And Call A Lawyer

If you were involved in the accident and caused damage to someone else’s property (including their vehicle), then your insurance company will be getting a call shortly! It is always best that all relevant information about what happened gets passed along as soon as possible so that everybody has an accurate picture of how things occurred. This way, there won’t be any confusion later on if something like liability needs to get sorted out before repairs can begin. Insurance companies are known for playing hardball when they feel they have been wronged by customers making claims against them. With this knowledge at hand, though, drivers can ensure that everything goes smoothly and that both parties feel satisfied with the result.

Many people overlook calling a lawyer as soon as an accident happens, but this is actually one of the most important parts of dealing with your insurance company and any other drivers involved in the incident. Even if you do not think that there was anything negligent about what happened on your part, it’s still worth consulting the best legal representation who can help protect your best interests and guide you through all of the steps to take once an auto accident occurs.

Accidents are scary situations for many people because they often involve unknown or unforeseeable circumstances, which can put anyone at risk of being taken advantage of by others looking to make some easy cash from someone else’s mistake! Calling a lawyer right away helps ensure that no matter how complicated things get within the first hours after an accident, somebody will always be there looking out for you.

Gather Evidence And Take Photos

Even if it’s just a small fender bender, take photos of the damage done to both vehicles involved to present them as evidence when talking with your insurance company or any other drivers who might have been at fault. Make sure that nothing gets moved around until after all necessary pictures are taken so that no one’s story about what happened becomes muddled while trying to piece together what occurred before police officers arrive on the scene (if they do). This is important because once someone moves something from its original place, it can make figuring out where everything should go much more difficult later down the line! Remember, though. It is always best to leave anything that could be considered a piece of evidence alone until the police arrive on the scene or you have been instructed by them otherwise.

In this blog post, we went over what exactly happens when an accident occurs and how important it is for new drivers, in particular, to follow these steps carefully if they end up being involved in any vehicle crash! Even though there are several legalities at play here which might seem daunting at first glance, the most important thing about dealing with auto accidents involving other people’s property (including their vehicles) can come down to simply following orders from your insurance company about what needs to be done next. Keeping calm under pressure will help ensure things go smoothly without too much stress getting in the way of the best possible outcome for all parties involved.

And always remember, if you work for a company, reach out and gain clarity on the policies and procedures that they have in place for their drivers to ensure you have done everything you need to do to ensure the best possible outcome despite the accident.

 

Easy to Pack Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers

Healthy snacks for truck drivers that are easy to pack!

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

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

Why pack healthy snacks?

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

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

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

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

Ideas for Healthy Snacks for Truck Drivers and Travelers

Nuts & Seeds

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

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

Trail Mix

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

Fresh Fruit

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

Chips Popcorn or Pretzels?

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

Consider the following:

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

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

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

Rice Cakes

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

Kale Chips

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

Jerky

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

Granola or Oatmeal

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

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

 

Protein Balls VS Protein Bars

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

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

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

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

Mother Trucker Yoga Health and Fitness Webinar

How To Move More When You Sit All Day!

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

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

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

5 Ways to Increase Daily Movement:

Go for a walk.

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

Stretch your body.

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

Sit up straight.

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

Move while you watch TV.

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

Make your movement consistent.

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

 

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

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

We Are Your Trucking Fitness Company

Welcome to Mother Trucker Yoga, your trucking fitness company. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga®, we focus on small, simple changes that lead to the big results™. We are not interested in giving you another gym-based fitness program or fitness app for you to watch exercises and then do them for maybe a day, week, or month and then never do them again.

We focus on “fitting health and movement into your everyday life”. We are the first and only trucking fitness company that uses the lifestyle practices like mindfulness, breathing, and stress relief taught through yoga to help drivers in their health and wellness journey.

Our Mission at Mother Trucker Yoga

Mother Trucker Yoga® believes that you can feel better wherever you are with small, simple changes that will lead to big results. No matter your situation, no matter your environment.

Mother Trucker Yoga® wants to help 1 million drivers change lanes in their health and fitness by 2031. Whether you are a truck driver, an Uber driver, a bus driver, an Amazon driver, someone who finds themselves behind the wheel for hours a day- we want to help you.

As your trucking fitness company, we want you to know that we understand. And just like you want a lifelong expert mechanic working on your truck, you definitely want the same when it comes to working on your body, mind, and health. For many, jumping on the health and fitness bandwagon is an afterthought. Meaning everyone else is talking about it, so we should too. But not at Mother Trucker Yoga.

For nearly 20 years, I have been deeply rooted in health, fitness, mindfulness, and movement.

Hope Zvara, CEO & Founder of Mother Trucker Yoga

why we are differnt MTY page

Our Method at Mother Trucker Yoga

Most people focus on the WHAT when trying to help others solve a problem. And when it comes to fitness and health, this is where people stop. And in turn, you never get the results you are looking for.

Here at Mother Trucker Yoga®, we help drivers just like you implement small, simple changes that will lead to big results by adding more movement into your day, every day. So rather than removing yourself from your day-to-go “workout” and only focusing on the what, we focus on the HOW, WHY, WHAT and WHEN. And it’s these small, simple changes, when implemented correctly, where drivers see the biggest changes.

We want to help you feel good again and show you the path to improving your health by moving more, and making small yet powerful changes. And when implemented correctly, you are looking at lasting results that you, your family, and your company can enjoy.

Find out about our Trucking Fitness Corporate Programs HERE

STIFF Mother Trucker Marc Springer

Strong Driver – Benefits to Strengthening Exercises

In our twenties, we typically feel invincible, like we can do anything and are unbreakable. Then in our thirties, we may feel a little wear and tear, but for the most part, we are at the peak of our lives. But by age forty, fifty, and sixty, the ability to carry loads of life the way we use to start to show signs of weakness both mentally and physically.

Having Strength means

  • Having strength does not mean we are the strongest person in the room. 
  • Having strength does not mean we can do 100 push-ups in a row. 
  • Having strength does not mean that we are working out 24/7. 

Being strong is an inner game just as much as it is an outer game, and the two often play off each other. As we age, life can often get busier; we have more responsibilities and more things pulling at our focus. They sacrifice exercise, movement, and mental wellness to meet those other needs’ demands for many. 

If you feel exhausted, mentally spent, short-tempered, distracted, lacking excitement for life, even showing signs of depression, you don’t need more rest; what you need is to feel strong again. 

Whether you are a truck driver, someone who sits at a computer all day, or on your feet doing every task known to man, when you don’t physically feel strong, it impacts how you feel mentally. Which in turn affects how you live your life.

“As a recovering addict and someone who has experienced the depths of depression firsthand; when you use your physical body in a way that helps you feel and build strength, it dramatically impacts your mental strength and state of mind as well. It was yoga that gave me my first glimpse beyond high school gym class at what feeling strong tasted like. And every time I would strike a pose, do a Plank, or hold a Downward Facing-Dog for what felt like 5 minutes, even though I was shaking, it was mentally building strength just as much as it was physically. I kept coming back to yoga. All the poses challenged my body in a way I had never been before; they looked easy but took such a tremendous amount of physical and mental strength. It taught me how to shift my mind away from the weight of the world and into the moment and task at hand. I felt strong. Many think yoga is just stretching or meditating. Still, yoga is a total body experience that many do not fully understand until they participate in the first, second, and even tenth time.” 

But why build strength? 

Why focus on exercises and movements that build muscle? As we age, we lose three to five percent of our muscle mass each decade after age thirty. But if you aren’t doing anything to maintain what you have, that number only grows, and your body loses muscle, that is. It’s a misconception that to build muscles; you need to lift heavy weights. Research has proven that after age thirty, switching to lighter weights or focusing on resistance training has a more powerful impact on your physical body and decreases the chances of getting injured. So for all my friends out there who are worried about that bum shoulder or aching hip or back, lighten up. There are more ways than heavyweights to build your strength back up. 

Don’t forget the impact of feeling physically strong has back on your mental state. Even if the weight feels heavy or the Plank feels shaky, the effect it has on your brain, thoughts, feelings, and outlook on life is nothing short of transformative. Working out regularly for just 20 minutes can boost long-term memory by 10%. It also improves cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain and slows down dementia.

What are Strength Training/Exercises?

Strength training, typically known as weight or resistance training, is an anaerobic exercise that includes the breakdown of glucose (sugar) for energy without oxygen.  Strength training plans to assemble and keep up muscle tissue using bodyweight or external obstruction, for example, free-loads, weight machines, or resistance training. Weight training can be utilized to reinforce and build up significant muscles, like the legs, back, glutes, chest, shoulders, arms, and midsection. These muscles are all needed in daily tasks and help reduce pain. Stretching allows our body to release tightness, pulling, and snags in our tissues that could be causing pain and discomfort. But building strength also allows us to reduce pain and discomfort by ensuring the muscles in our body supporting us are at peak performance and up for the job. 

Benefits

I believe taking care of your body is about balance. Not that fancy balance where life is a walk in the park talk. But balance where you give your body a little bit of everything. A few stretches, a dash of cardio-like walking, or even stepping up and down off your step while you are parked all counts. But let’s not forget the need to build and maintain your strength. 

When we focus on building up strength and toning our muscles we:

  • Make the muscles of the whole body stronger.
  • Stimulate bone growth.
  • Lower blood sugar level
  • Help in maintain weight.
  • Improve posture and balance.
  • Reduce mental fatigue.
  • Improve memory.
  • Improve oxygen to the brain through more regular breathing.

 Exercises to Build Strength

There are many ways to build up strength no matter what age you are, and when you live over the road as a truck driver, you often have to use what you have. Not every driver has time, means, or ability to pull over and park near Planet Fitness or have a total weight or gym set up in their truck. Many carrying around dumbbells or fancy equipment is not first on their necessity list when packing their vehicle for their next trip.

Planks and Push-Ups on the step of your truck.

Throw on a pair of gloves and use your truck steps or your frame steps on your trailer to set your body up for these quick moves.

Your body weight is an excellent way to maintain strength and it up as well. Plus, moves like this require no extra equipment to travel with, but if you have the equipment, make sure you have a secure toolbox to store it in your truck.

Plank on the truck Mother Trucker yoga

 

 

 

Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions, and Shoulder Overhead Presses.

You don’t need a zillion moves, just a few good ones to keep you moving strong. If you are traveling and tight on space, swap out an actual hand-weight for two wrenches, water jugs, or something heavy inside your truck. No one said fancy is necessary. 

Try to do ten reps of each move one to three times a day. With all that sitting at the wheel, posture and upper body strength and tone can begin to fade. Ensure you have a supportive seat and your steering wheel at the proper height not to cause shoulder or neck pain. But when you aren’t driving, you snuck in a few quick strength-building moves that you can do anywhere in under five minutes. 

Bicep curls weights mother truckeryoga blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resistance Band Training.

There are all sorts of fancy resistance band kits available for purchase, but you don’t need any of them. All you need is a six to eight-foot physical therapy grade resistance band, a door loop, and a loop band to get the job done. I love resistance bands because they are easy to travel with and fit into a purse, bag, or door cubby. Resistance band training is fantastic for building up joint health and maintaining lean muscle mass. As we age, it’s my number one choice for strength training next to body weight. 

Next time you are at the truck stop, thread your resistance band through the door loop, close the door, grab each side, and pull down. Get creative, try using one arm and pull, or create a combo and as you pull on the resistance band, add a squat. You can quickly build hip and leg strength with a loop band by placing it around your ankles and walking ten paces forward and back or doing a lap around your truck. Adding in resistance band work a few times a week, even just five minutes, you will notice a difference in posture, strength, and a reduction in joint pain. 

resistance band training mother trucker yoga blog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter what type of strength training you choose to incorporate into your day as a driver, the most important thing is that you add it in. Paying attention to your physical strength and feeding your physical body what it needs will also benefit how you feel mentally. If you want to improve your mental wellness and mental strength, consider adding a few moves to build your physical strength first. Before you know it, your mind and body will feel like they are twenty again but with the wisdom of a forty, fifty, or sixty-year-old. 

Happy Moving!

Mother Trucker Yoga on PBS this Fall

Mother Trucker Yoga’s CEO and owner Hope Zvara is making her mark this fall on the PBS show Start Up this fall.

Hope Zvara is a former yoga studio owner and yoga teacher trainer from Hartford, Wisconsin, whose mission is to help 1 million drivers move towards healthier, more active lives by 2031 with small, simple changes that lead to big results so that you can feel better wherever you are.

PBS Start Up Mother Trucker Yoga

>>This isn’t just an idea.

>>This isn’t just a bunch of gym-style exercises.

>>This isn’t just a business.

This is a mission, a lifestyle, to change how the men and women in trucking breathe, move and live within the industry.

I am not a trucker; I never claim to be, but I grew up around hard-working blue-collar men and women, and although my husband holds a CDL, he drives heavy equipment, not over the road.

There is a gap between what most Americans get and what is offered when it comes to a traditional job, and then there is trucking. I want to bridge the gap and help these amazing men and women have their trucking lifestyle, their career, and have their health. You can have all three.

Hope Why Trucking? 

I found trucking by fate. I was looking to step out of the yoga world as I thought I didn’t really fit in there but didn’t know where that next place was. Then by chance, I met my former business partner, and the next thing I know, we are starting a company for truckers called Mother Trucker Yoga.

“Because this is where I belong. If you want to learn how to dive a truck, ask a truck driver. But if you want to learn how to move more in your everyday life, live healthier as a driver, that is where I come in. Time and time again, I have seen what I do work for drivers, and I believe that is because of how I deliver it. Anyone can memorize exercises in a book and either post a picture of them or make a video. It’s an entirely different experience when you experience the why, how’s, and when’s to movements, healthy choices, and strategies. I know this first hand because this was my experience in fitness, health, and yoga for years. And when I noticed this, I decided I would change this for myself and those I taught.”

Hope Zvara Mother Trucker Yoga PBS Start Up Show

What shows on PBS?

The show is called Start-Up. They are in their 9th season and showcase unique, interesting start-up businesses and what it takes to go from zero to hero in their industry.

When will Mother Trucker Yoga be on Start-Up?

Mother Trucker Yoga will be on Start-Up on PBS sometime this fall between September and January 2022.

You can watch previous episodes at PBS.org

Who is the show for?

Everyone, this is a family show focusing on unique niche start-ups who are making a wave in their industry. During the show, Hope shares her journey to Mother Trucker Yoga, both personally and professionally. The highs and lows of running a business, what she wishes she would have done, and the advice she wants every new business owner to have. You don’t want to miss her episode.

PBS Start up Mother Trucker Yoga Story

How do you get in touch with Hope?

You can get in touch with Hope via email at hope (at) mothertruckeryoga.com. 

If you are looking to have hope speak at your event, conference, company, or on your podcast or show, you can reach out via email or fill out the form HERE.

12 Things to Say to Yourself Everyday

What we say to ourselves might be the most powerful thing we can do for our health and well-being.

Some joke about the current state of their health.

Some pretend it’s not an issue.

Some respond they had no idea.

But the truth is, bottom line, we know. We know if we are in a healthy state of being or not. I’m not talking about being a fitness model or professional athlete or size zero. The state of health I am speaking of says you can move, breathe and live with ease. You sleep well, feel good, and have a good attitude towards life and yourself.

Your Health Is Not a Means of Punishment

After spending more than half my life struggling deeply with addition, I 100% understand how the conversation inside your head plays into how you live life and the choices and actions you make that play into that.

It might seem silly, but you are enough. And many use their health as a means for punishment. Many choose everyone else and everything else over their health even when the reality is they can’t be 100% all-in when their health is less than optimal.

Today I’m not here to tell you to eat healthy, because correct me if I’m wrong. We all know we need to eat more fruits and vegetables, less processed and greasy foods. We all know we should be drinking more water and less soda. We know that! You know that! I know you do. So the big question is, why don’t we?

When I began my journey into recovery, I realized my choices were directly related to how I felt about myself. When I felt like I was a loser, ugly, a nobody, I made choices that reflected that. But when I had a moment that I felt good about myself, I made choices that reflected that.

On days that I am stressed, the moment I allow myself to “think about it,” I choose the couch, a snack, other needs above mine. But when I catch myself and act accordingly when I get up and move, eat the damn salad, I find I am a better version of myself. I have better internal conversations. And that is worth something.

If push-ups, sit-ups, and squats were the answer, then we’d all be fit.

If meal plans, food apps, and simply eliminating a food group were the answer, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

But it has to start with you.

The Link Between Thoughts, Feelings, And Behavior

An article on Forbes said: “Your thoughts are a catalyst for self-perpetuating cycles. What you think influences directly how you feel and how you behave. So if you think you’re a failure, you’ll feel like a failure. Then, you’ll act like a failure, reinforcing your belief that you must be a failure.”

The article discussed that once we draw a conclusion for ourselves, we are likely to do two things:

  1. Look for evidence that reinforces your belief.
  2. And discount anything that runs contrary to your belief.

Once you do that, you are going to act based on the above. It’s your thoughts that are determining your actions, your choices, not a fancy app or workout program. Those can help, but if they don’t help address the mental and emotional, you may find yourself spinning your wheels and wondering why nothing is changing.

12 Things to Say to Your Self Everyday Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Image 1

Shift Gears

When you find yourself stuck in a corner, reinforcing negative beliefs or thoughts that hurt you rather than help you challenge yourself, there are several things you can do that include self-talk.

  • Talk out loud to yourself.
  • Say CANCEL CANCEL; when you say that within 20 seconds of thinking or saying those negative thoughts, you can rewire your brain away from those thoughts.
  • Do it right away in the morning. When you start the day out on the right foot, the rest of your day is more likely to go that way. Drink a large glass of water, go for a quick 10-minute walk, deep breathe, recite positive affirmations like, I love myself, I am enough, I got this. 
  • Engage in activities, programs, and groups that don’t overwhelm you where they mean well, but you feel like you won’t be able to do that in the end. To figure this out, you have to listen to the conversation in your head. Sometimes, you need to push through, but make sure the pushing is through an overwhelm of information that you aren’t even applying. (Mother Trucker Yoga Program)

It must start with how you talk to yourself.

You are worth it.

You are good enough.
You can work out.

You can eat healthily.

You have what it takes!

That self-talk is the first conversation you should be paying attention to in your daily life and the one that creates all other conversations you have here on out.

Notice your internal response after reading those statements?

Are you rejecting them?

Embracing them?

Do they inspire you?

Or make you feel uncomfortable?

 

Get clear on that, and you, my friend, have your next step!

Things to say to your body everyday mother trucker yoga blog

If you think this is too simple. You are right. It is, and that is why most think it’s not worth it. But the truth is. What you say to yourself is worth focusing on. If your kids listen to everything you say, is your brain not listening to everything you say too?

If you want to learn why Mother Trucker Yoga and how we are different than the rest. CLICK HERE