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STAY FIT Truck Stop Fitness Center Quick Weighted Workout for Drivers

Have you ever stepped inside any of the truck stop fitness centers? They aren’t in every truck stop, but they are free, and after being to more than a dozen of TA Petros Truck Stop Fitness centers, I’m here to tell you this is a hidden gem you want to take advantage of.

NOTE: This is not a full gym, and often people will see it and instantly compare it to a full-size gym. And no matter what, that is a win! This isn’t, but what it is, is an opportunity for you to move.

Now that things are beginning to open back up again, that means for drivers just like you, there are more opportunities for you to get up and move.

Most still look at “getting active and healthy” in the form of exercise. And I’m telling you they are wrong. Well, not totally wrong, but if exercising more would solve all our health problems, we wouldn’t have this conversation. It’s about the little things.

Making small little changes.

If you want good dental hygiene, then you brush your teeth every day. If you want better bowel movements, you are going to drink more water. These are simple, not complicated, yet so many try to make it be complicated. I want to lead you towards health and fitness strategies that are as simple as brushing your teeth and make as much sense as drinking water for better bowel health.

Sprinkled throughout the US are fitness centers just for drivers. Truck Stop chains like TA Petro and Pilot Flying J’s have truck stops with fitness centers just waiting for you to use. Now, are they huge? No. Do they have every machine known to man? No. But they do have just the right amount of equipment and space to get you back on track!

Where We Go Wrong

We focus on the negative. I have talked to hundreds of drivers, and most have never taken advantage of the fitness centers at these locations. Why? Well, one, they didn’t know they existed, and two, they found reason to disapprove. Too small, not enough equipment, and on and on.

The people that want to improve their health will. The people that don’t want to improve their health won’t.

After 20 years working with people in pain and people looking to improve their fitness and health through lifestyle and movement changes, I noticed that it’s not about “exercise”, it’s about learning how to add more movement into your day. Which is what we focus on in Mother Trucker Yoga’s Membership Platform with Quick Simple Moves

What Can You Do Today?

What is one thing you can do today to take better care of your health? If you find yourself making excuses or coming up with bad reasons why nothing will work, then I want to encourage you to take a step back and find

Here are two of my favorite quick fitness moves for truck driver exercise on the go. And I know you are going to love these quick and easy moves.

Angled Abs Drop

Weighted Chest Fly

Let me know what you think about these simple fitness center moves.

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Mother Trucker Driver Spotlight – VW Lady Trucker

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

National truck driver appreciation week mother trucker yoga blog

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

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

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

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

Meet VW Lady Trucker!

 

QUESTION 1: How long have you been driving?

Answer: 17 years.

 

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

Answer: The freedom!

 

DID YOU KNOW?

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

 

Recognition Well-Deserved!

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

Real women in trucking award 2019 mother trucker yoga blog

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

Answer: Long hours, but I love that paycheck.

 

QUESTION 4: What is your favorite truck stop?

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

 

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

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

 

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

ANSWER: Better accommodations for parking and fewer government mandates.

 

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

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

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

Smile! Meet a new friend.

 

 

 

What do you like most about the trucking industry?

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

Please share it in the comments below!

 

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

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

Good Stress, Bad Stress and How to Manage It

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How to manage stress is not something we are “taught”. But everyday life can be stressful. Good stress, bad stress. Stress, stress STRESS. It’s everywhere. 

Job demands, relationships, life events, and social media drama are daily occurrences. Moreover, it can begin to feel like this is just how life is supposed to be, coupled with the stresses of living over-the-road as a truck driver. These things can often have you feeling like you are traveling down a never-ending, bumpy road called LIFE. It’s easy to see how stress can suck you in and not let you go.

good stess bad stress blog post MTY

While stress can help some people perform under pressure, too much bad stress can negatively impact a person’s mental and physical health. It’s common for most people to focus on the negative side of stress, but sometimes stress can be a good thing. Good stress can motivate a person and help them achieve more goals. BUT how can a person tell the difference between good stress and bad stress?

Understanding Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Good Stress

Good stress, often called eustress, is stress that pushes a person to accomplish more. It helps a person achieve those hard-to-reach goals. Good stress also helps a person learn new things, adapt to change, and engage in creative thinking. In a situation where a person is experiencing good stress, they always have control over the outcome of the issue.

Bad Stress

Bad stress, often referred to chronic stress, can slow a person down and prevent them from doing the things that they need to do. It can often lead us down a winding road of helplessness and despair. Bad stress can be things like staying in an unhealthy relationship long-term, living with a difficult person, continual high paced (stressful) workplace, taking on too many things, and continuously unable to complete them. That is continually saying “yes” when you should be saying “no.” When the body feels like it is under too much bad stress, symptoms such as excessive sweating, anxiety, headaches, and rapid breathing begin to appear. 

Managing Stress

As a yoga teacher, I encourage others to live a life where they can stay grounded, focused, balanced, and content. However, sometimes I fail to implement these strategies into my own life. I take on too many things, try to please everyone else, and neglect my health and self-care. It’s a downward spiral, and before I know it, my daily life is fueled by bad stress. Can you relate? 

Unfortunately, stress is inevitable. It’s a part of daily life. The good news is that stress IS manageable. To manage the stress in your life, you must relax your body and mind. You must balance the scale and know what your triggers are and what to do to bring yourself back to center. 

What is center? Center is when you feel like you are on point when you feel like you are handling life and thriving. When you sleep well and respond to life’s circumstances with ease, most people that meet with anger or hate are dealing with something much more profound—usually, sadness or hurt. And in not dealing with those emotions and challenges brings about bad stress and unwarranted responses that hurt rather than help.

Here are three ways to manage stress so that you can live a healthier, stress-managed life.

1. Take a Break

When I say take a break, I don’t mean a break where you are scrolling through social media or watching videos on your phone. I’m talking about unplugging and walking away from all the distractions in your life. Do something for five to fifteen minutes that requires very little of you other than for you just to be yourself and to be present. Sit outside, take a quick five or ten-minute walk, play a quick game of “Go Fish” with the kids, or engage in meditation. And sometimes that break is to help your body to heal. Make sure you take a time out so your physical body can reset and heal as well. Check out STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream to give your body the boost it needs for rapid healing!

Stiff Mother Trucker

2. Put Away Your Electronic Devices

If you think about it, we live in a world where we have immediate access to almost anything we need. Instant information is available to use with the simple touch of an app on our phones or tablets. But at what expense? Being over connected has created a massive epidemic in our world today. An epidemic that has produced anxious stressed and technology-addicted teens and young adults that are not ok with doing nothing or being alone. The only way to break that cycle and bring more Zen into your life is to put the electronic devices down and slowly back away. Have a no-phone rule at the dinner table, limit screen time, keep your device in your pocket or bag when you are out with friends–whatever you need to do to stop looking at your device–do it. You’ll be glad you did.

3. Be Positive

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? If it’s half-empty, it’s time to change your thinking. Keeping a positive attitude, shifting your negative thoughts to positive ones, and keeping your self-talk encouraging are great ways to reduce stress. For example, instead of thinking, “I can’t believe I made the same mistake AGAIN,” think, “Everybody makes mistakes. It’s ok. It is something that I can fix.” Developing an attitude of gratitude toward the people, things, and events in your life is also an excellent way to reduce stress. Write it down or take time to tell the people in your life that you appreciate them–trust me; it goes a long way! Finally, smiling and laughing also helps to reduce stress. I guess laughter is the best medicine. 

AND if you are ready to get crystal clear on your life priorities, health needs, and how to achieve your goals, my Practices for a Positive and Productive Life Masterclass is for you! In this sixteen-week program, we cover three key areas: Breath, Body, and Belief. All three of which are necessary for sustainable success!

Utilizing these three tips will help you begin to walk down the path of life a little less stressed and more positivity. 

Need a bit more encouragement? Looking for a quick listen to help you manage stress? Check out the Positive Positivity Podcast with guest Hope Zvara

Self Care is Your Business MTY Blog

The Missing Link In A Safety Check

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

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

The New Stretch With Safety Checks

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

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

 

What We Can Learn From the Construction Crews

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

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

My Husbands Story

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

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

The Outdated ROI Decision Making Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

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

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

Learn more about Driver Wellness Program HERE

Contact Hope HERE

 

Trucker Fitness: Managing Stress Through Movement – Part 1

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As a truck driver feeling the pressure to be ready at any given moment can be stressful and downright irritating. Hurry up and wait seems to be the constant mantra most truck drivers adopt into their lives, and with that comes the added stress of never having control over the situation you are in. But you don’t need to let that keep you from finding ways to feel and stay calm no matter what comes your way. 

Do you ever feel as though you are permanently stuck in overdrive? Like it’s zero to sixty in T-10, and you need to stay there until the job is done, only to feel like you want to crash but are never 100% able to recharge your batteries when you need to. 

You are not alone. 

Trucker Fitness: Managing Stress Through Movement: Part 1 Mother trucker yoga blog on stress 1

Truck driver fitness is more than just exercise. While everyone else is focusing on push-ups and mountain climbers, Mother Trucker Yoga is saying let’s learn from what yoga can teach us about living a healthy, happy lifestyle, and yes, that includes truck drivers. 

There are dozens of natural, easy, and effective ways to manage the stress that will help you deal with the day-to-day ups and downs, unexpected delays, and schedule changes with ease. 

The best way to manage stress is to keep moving!

Keep moving. Yes, I know you are a professional driver, but that seat doesn’t mean you can’t move at all. Movement trumps exercise in that movement is not designated to a specific time, a particular style of movement, or outfit choice. Movement is a way of life; if you aren’t moving, you are training yourself not to move. And that lack of movement will leave you feeling stressed, worried, and unable to sleep. 

Movement and exercise encourage the brain to release “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. 

WOW! Just 15 to 20 minutes of movement every day can help you fight the urge to overeat. That movement can come in the form of dancing, walking, squatting, using weights or a resistance band from the driver’s seat, or even doing a little yoga in your truck, and of course, exercising in any way you choose. Do not let your mind limit you or tell you the lies that this movement has to come in a certain package. We often complicate things to keep us from achieving the results we are looking for. It’s called a Fixed Mindset, and it creeps up on us whenever we are faced with doing something different from what we have been doing up to this point. Even when we know the change is good for us, our minds will try to convince us otherwise. Adding movement into your day is one of those things that you just have to do anyway despite what your mind may tell you. 

When done correctly and done regularly, it’s movements like this that can have a positive impact on your emotions and, in turn, on your life. 

Today instead of thinking, I can’t find the time. Decide that there is always time. 

Today instead of thinking, I don’t like exercise. Decide that movement is more important than exercise. 

Today instead of thinking, I am too busy. Decide that you are never too busy for your health. 

There is a small window of time before you look back and say, I wish I would have. That window of time is now. And great news, you can start today. Join the movement over at Mother Trucker Yoga and see for yourself how easy it can be to de-stress as a truck driver and feel good again. 

 

 

 

5 Stress-Soothing Foods for Truck Drivers

Stress is everywhere, and it’s the wrong approach when you try to eliminate all the stress in your life. Because having stress in your life is a good thing. Yes, there is good stress. But stress in any form is not dealt with and utilized in a healthy way. That is when we see our health affected and our lives negatively affected. As a truck driver finding healthy foods to eat can not only be difficult, it in and of itself can be stressful. But when you know what to look for it can be easier for you to de-stress while on the road. 

Five foods to your diet to help you soothe stress and live a happy and healthy life as a driver. 

Stress-soothing foods that are easy to find and can be travel-friendly when needed!

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are a fantastic way to improve your health and happiness while simultaneously soothing stress. 

These leafy greens include: 

  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Kale

These leafy green veggies offer your body essential minerals like magnesium, which may bring feelings of calm and help with aching muscles. Not to mention are high in fiber which can help you with digestion and elimination because no one likes to be constipated. 

Almonds

This yummy nut is a perfect travel food and easy to store, making it great for truck drivers and travelers. Almonds are full of B vitamins, and when eaten as a part of a healthy diet, they may help you stay afloat during stressful times. Try soaking almonds in a jar of water for 24 hours, then rinsing them to help you unlock their total nutritional value. Then dehydrate them for an even crispier crunch. 

Dark Chocolate

Who doesn’t love chocolate, and who isn’t looking for a reason to take a nibble? Dark chocolate is not only delicious. It is packed full of antioxidants, which is just what your body ordered when trying to combat stress day in and day out. Keep a close eye on your ingredients when buying dark chocolate, as many brands have junk ingredients mixed in. But a piece a day will surely help keep stress at bay. 

foods that sooth stress mother trucker yoga blog

Oranges  

Another great travel food, oranges are not only delicious but are high in Vitamin C, which will help your body lower stress when eaten as a part of your regular diet. Oranges come in all sizes from Mandarin to Clementines to Navel Oranges, and you can even step outside the orange family and give a grapefruit a try. But beware, drinking orange juice, although it has high Vitamin C levels, drinking your orange juice can be higher in sugar, and research has shown that eating your oranges is better for your body than drinking them. 

Complex Carbs

Now don’t get scared. The media has done a great job of scaring most people into thinking that you should run for the hills when you hear the word carb. But every cell in your body is made up of lipids (fats), amino acids (protein), and yes carbohydrates. It would be best if you had these to operate optimally for your cells, and those cells include your brain cells. But remember, everything in moderation! When you eat complex carbs, you give your body much-needed glucose and helps your brain produce serotonin to help you function and keep depression at bay.

Some Complex Carbohydrates include:

  • Starchy Vegetables 
  • Beans 
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa 

Food is fuel, and food is medicine. Let’s change how we look at the food to change how we function in life. Stress may not be avoided, and you don’t need it to be when you fuel your body with the right foods. When you couple a variety of foods with living an active lifestyle (even as a truck driver), this can be a game-changer when dealing with stress on the road. 

5 Minutes to Fit Program Mother Trucker Yoga

8 Aspects of a Successful Driver Wellness Program

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

8 Aspects of a Successful Driver Wellness Program:

Emotional and Mental Wellness

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

Driver Wellness Program Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 1

Environmental Wellness

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

The 30-Second Rule

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

Financial Wellness

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

Intellectual Wellness

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

Driver Wellness Program Mother Trucker Yoga Blog 2

Occupational Wellness

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

Physical Wellness

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

stiff mother trucker pain relief cream

Social Wellness

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

Spiritual Wellness

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

Final Thoughts on Your Driver Wellness Program

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

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

Mobile Meals Made Healthy: Easy Truckers Roasted Veggies & Country-Style Ribs

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Cooking on your truck can seem complicated. But here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we believe that when you are armed with the right knowledge and support and are willing to take just a few minutes. And when mobiles meals are made healthy, you can’t go wrong because you can make a great meal right from your truck. No one said you need to be a gourmet chef, spend thousands of dollars on food, or have hard-to-find ingredients on hand. But, like anything, a little preparation and mapping out where you might need to stop can set you up for a delicious meal on the go.

Meet Cheryl.

Cheryl is a team driver with her husband and has changed her health and her husband for good by learning how to move more with Mother Trucker Yoga, and the other piece is eating better from the truck. Cheryl will be our feature truck driving chef for our newest column, Mobile Meals Made Healthy, where Cheryl will be sharing what she makes while the wheels are turning. Warning. These meals are simple. Delicious for you. Cheryl, alongside Mother Trucker Yoga, believes you shouldn’t have to live in a bubble to lose weight and that eating healthy should not be based on restriction. But rather learning moderation and how to eat real food. If Cheryl and her husband can do this, you can do this too!

Ingredients for roasted veggies:

  • 1 eggplant peeled and quartered
  • 2 white and green zucchini sliced and quartered
  • 2 crookneck squash sliced
  • Red onion sliced
  • Yukon potato sliced and quartered
  • OPTIONAL: carrots, butternut squash
  • Sweet baby bells seeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp of EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper.

roasted vegetables and country style ribs mother trucker yoga blog

Directions:

  1. Mix..microwave for 8 minutes.
  2. Next, put country-style ribs in an air fryer seasoned with garlic and onion powder.
  3. Place on bake 375 degrees for 15 minutes
  4. Then flip ribs and continue to bake for 15 minutes
  5. Next, make a fresh salad (optional) check out our post on Mother Trucker Yoga Blog about leafy greens!
  6. And if you like a little BBQ on your ribs, go right ahead!
  7. Ready to serve.

Mobile Meals Made Healthy: Easy Truckers Roasted Veggies & Country-Style Ribs Mother Trucker yoga blog ribs

Ingredients for Ranch Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp of light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup half-n-half, milk, or almond milk
  • 2 tbsp of ranch powder (Hope here, I personally love Flavor God seasonings!)
  • Mix and enjoy.

YUM! Try this over a burger without a bun, on a salad, even on hard-boiled eggs. You can always make extras and store the extra dressing in your truck frig or cooler for the next day.

 

What To Do With Leftovers:

Put all your leftover veggies in a baggie that seals shut and save for leftovers for the next day. Then, consider adding hardboiled eggs, a water-packed tuna package, or wrap those veggies in a bowl and munch away. Food shouldn’t be complicated, and with a little preparation, it should be an easy, fast, and yummy next-day meal.

 

Where To Purchase Your Ingredients?

Veggies can be bought at most grocery stores, vegetable markets, summertime food stands. Oftentimes mom and pop truck stops often have local vegetables for sale from local farmers and growers. So keep your eyes open.

The country-style ribs pictured in this post on Mother Trucker Yoga’s blog were purchased at the Dollar General Market in Hugo, Tx for 1/2 price on Wednesday for $3.84, which made 2 meals for 2 people.

The vegetables cost approximately $10.00. This was a complete meal plus leftovers for another meal, $13.84 ($6.92 per meal)..plus extra for herbs and seasonings startup.

What Ingredients To Watch For In Seasonings:

Herbs and seasonings can spice up any food or recipe and can be purchased just about anywhere. However, when purchasing seasonings, make sure you read the ingredients; oftentimes, there will be extra ingredients hiding inside seasonings that you don’t want to be consuming.

Ingredients like caramel coloring, Monosodium Glutamate, or MSG are considered one of the 23 worst food ingredients to consume in America, soybean oil, and watch out for sodium levels in spices. More important than the nutritional panel is the ingredients that create that food, or in this case, spice.

 

Driver Review

I know what you are thinking. How will I ever be able to make that? And the beauty is this recipe was made up! And you can do the same. Look at the ingredients and then take note of what you have on hand, or can you get nearby or on your route? Don’t overthink this. If you are already thinking, “I can’t do this. It’s too hard,”. Then you already know your answer for how this will turn out for you.

You can eat healthily and be a trucker! We know you can!

Leave a comment in the comment section below and tell us what you think, and share your first mobile meal creation with us!

For more great recipes from Cherly and other drivers join our community on Facebook – Accelerate Your Health with Mother Trucker Yoga

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.