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A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

A Truck Driver Must: Steering Wheel Hand Therapy

Truck drivers are gripping and clenching all day long. This can cause many issues that drivers may not realize come from doing what seems to be nothing… Gripping the steering wheel.
Hours a day, your hands are left in a clenching (flexion) position, day after day. This causes the fascia to create pathways, making it hard to do other things with your hands when you need them most!
“Having a weak grip can be an indication of many things, including arthritis, a pinched nerve, or a nerve injury, among other conditions,” says DeLuca. “Assessing grip strength, along with the patient’s medical history and other presenting symptoms, can tell us a great deal about the person’s overall health.”
There are many reasons one’s handgrip strength could be declining aside from the long hours gripping the steering wheel day after day, year after year as a truck driver.

Possible Causes for Grip Strength Issues:

  • Weakness in the hands and forearms
  • A pinched nerve (in the upper back, shoulder, or arm)
  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Heart Problems
  • Fascial restriction/scar tissue
Self.com published an article that noted a study commenting on the following:
“Grip strength—or lack thereof—can actually have long-term health implications, too.

Research shows that grip strength is a good predictor of overall strength, which serves as a good predictor for overall health, including cardiovascular disease risk. In a large-scale study published in the journal The Lancet, researchers measured the handgrip strength of nearly 140,000 people across 17 countries and then followed subjects for approximately four years. The study findings revealed that lack of grip strength is a stronger predictor for death from any cause, including cardiovascular disease, than systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your arteries when your heart contracts).”

For drivers, this can be a great way to gauge one’s health and, more importantly, decide to do something about it sooner than later.

 

The good news there are many things you can do to improve your grip strength and many things a driver, even living over the road, can do to improve your overall health, wellness, and fitness.

Exercises Truck Drivers Can Do To Improve Grip Strength:

  1. Steering Wheel Hand Stretch

Pro Tip: Double down. While you are driving, use the wheel to stretch your hands REGULARLY! This is a great exercise to do (safely) while driving to help break up those moments of strain and boredom.
Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Hand Stretch
  • Holding the steering wheel safely, use one hand and press the thumb down again the wheel
  • Keep your wrist straight
  • Extend your fingers long
  • Place your thumb on the wheel & pull down
  • Repeat this with each finger individually and then with all four fingers together
  • Hold each one for 5 to 10 counts or unit the stretching subsides
  • You do not need to overdo this; make sure what you do is breathable
  • Repeat the opposite hand
  • Repeat 1-3 times a day
Do you love this move? There are more stretches you can do for your hands and wrists on our other blog post, 3 Stretches to Do to Improve Hand Mobility While Driving.
✋ Hands….they are quite important ❤️💥

2. Scapulae Push-Up

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Blog Post Mother Trucker Yoga Scapulae Pushup
The shoulder girdle is often forgotten about when it comes to arm, elbow, and hand issues. But it can be a big factor when trying to rehab issues in those areas. The Scapulae Push-Up is my go-to for everyone BEFORE they want to embark on doing Push-Ups, as most people do them incorrectly and are leading themselves down a roadway of future pain, injury, and wondering where this all came from. The Scapulae Push-Up strengthens and mobilizes the muscles on the front of the shoulder blade and around the shoulder girdle to help you hold a strong Plank, help you get up from your Push-Up, and give you relief in your driving life from a thing like a shoulder and a neck pain, or arm and wrist pain. This move is great for steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Come to a Plank position on your truck step or the ground
  • Turn the folds of the elbows forward and draw your shoulders back
  • Tip your belt line up and into your abdomen for more core support
  • Without bending your elbows, pinch your shoulder blades together behind you
  • Then broaden them without hunching your back
  • Continue to do this 5-15 times in a row.
  • Do not sag the head or belly, and this moving is only 1-3 inches (not big)

3. Strength Building Pinch Grip

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Pinch Grip Mother Trucker yoga Blog Post
Building strength is crucial to help aid the decline of grip-related issues. Throughout the day, find ways to strengthen your hands by pinch grip lifting tools or heavier objects to challenge the muscles of the hands. This can be with any object or with a weight, kettlebell, or weight training specific tool. Don’t overthink this. A little goes a long way. And every bit counts. This is one move to rescue your hands and give you a great session of steering wheel hand therapy.
  • Hold a weight, kettlebell, or heavy object between your pointer finger and thumb.
  • Slowly and mindfully lift the object off the ground
  • Work to hold it for up to 30 seconds
  • Repeat this 1-3 times a day to continue to improve pinch grip strength

4. Forearm Curls

Steering Wheel Hand Therapy Forearm Curls Mother Trucker Yoga blog post
When the forearm is weak, this can cause pain and grip issues in the hand and issues in the shoulder. This is as simple as using a weight or weighted object and doing wrist curls one to three times a day to build up the lost strength and tone in the forearm.
  • Hold the weight in your hand.
  • Bring your elbow to 90 degrees.
  • Drop the hand to extend the wrist as far as you can
  • Next, curl the weight up and bring your knuckles into your forearm as close as you can
  • Repeat this 10-30 times
  • Then hold the weight verticle and your hand sideways
  • Repeat the same process, but this time moving right to left like a gate closing and opening
  • Repeat this same process on the opposite side.

 

By taking the initiative to do something about things like this, you can lengthen your career, and more importantly find relief to do your job without nagging issues like this.

Attention Trucking Companies

Trucking companies must find this a necessity to help take care of their drivers. More than 80% of work-related injuries are repetitive injuries, which means it’s what the employee is doing day in and day out. Drivers need relief, and that relief can be something the trucking companies these men and women work for can give them.

Does your trucking company offer driver fitness and wellness programming and seminars for you and your fellow driver? If not or you would like to see them upgrade what they offer. Reach out to us here at Mother Trucker Yoga. Here at Mother Trucker Yoga, we leave the trucking to the trucking companies and drivers, and that way with nearly 20 years of experience working with people just like you, with real jobs, real ailments, and real pain, you can leave the health, fitness, and healing to us! CLICK HERE TO find more out about our corporate programming!

STIFF Mother Trucker Wrist Pain Graphic MOTHER TRUCKER YOGA BLOG
2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works

2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works

There are many ways you can recover after a hard workout. But there are some that are better than the rest. You are not the only one who may be wondering what these two ways are. And you could ask, why only two? Well, these techniques are special in the form of proven results. These have been taken from hundreds or thousands of people who have experienced these two and they are in general agreement that they have healed quicker. Healing is not the same as relaxing or even repairing. Healing is when your body gets stronger than before, not just back up to where it was. We commonly misuse the term, but the healing process specifically has a phase where the tears, rips, and muscle soreness is fixed and made tougher.

 

Ice and pressure

 

Many people don’t like to use heat or ice after a workout because it can feel really intense. Your body has only just finished a hard workout, your blood is pumping and you don’t need or want anything that will interfere with that. However, ice and pressure are both needed if you want to recover fast. And this type of healing actually works. The good part is, it only needs to last a few minutes.

 

You can use pressure wraps or just use a belt to tie the ice pack onto yourself. What you should do is find somewhere to lie back and relax. The ice is going to be intense and the pressure is going to make your body feel stiff around the area. You can do this in bed actually, it just solves the issue of having a frozen arm or leg, as you can tuck yourself under the covers when you’re done. 

 

2 Special Techniques Where Healing Actually Works- Mother Trucker Yoga Blog Post

 

Joint pain

 

Not many people know what a Chiropractor actually does. Take for example this service, Dr. Evan and Dr. Callan both received their doctorate in Chiropractic from Life University. But what does that mean? They use the most specific, scientific chiropractic techniques in the world. So the way they work is backed up by science. They heal joint pain above all else, but you never know, they could release some muscle tension due to their techniques. 

 

The key to this type of healing is, they, first of all, use the body’s innate ability to heal itself. This is done without the need to twist or pop your joints in order to remove the nervous system interference. This is key for the spine. They use specific and gentle adjustments instead, backed up by scientific studies. They will track and adjust your appointments so you can keep going until they see that the body has begun to heal itself due to the release of pressure. 

 

These two techniques have been shown to work. There is no doubt that ice and pressure work. It may be uncomfortable but it will only last a few minutes. Chiropractors have shown that their techniques have evolved, from loud pops to scientific-based gentle adjustments. 

 

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them Mother Trucker yoga Blog May 3 2021

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them

When you are on the road all the time, you are at increased risk for certain medical conditions. Of course, not every trucker is going to experience the same things, but there are some common themes running through the industry when it comes to health due to all the sitting that has to be done. In this article, we are going to be talking about some of the common issues that truckers face from sitting in their trucks all day, and some of the things that you can do to fix them. If you would like to find out more about this topic, keep reading down below.

Common Issues From Sitting In A Truck All Day And How To Fix Them Mother Trucker yoga Blog

Picture Location – CC0 Licence

 

Sore Back And Neck

 

The first thing that you are more likely to experience is a sore neck and back. Seeing as you are not using the muscles in your back and you are holding your neck up all the time, it’s no wonder that it begins to hurt. This is a problem because there’s not much you can do to avoid this other than to stop every so often and take a short walk, or lay down over your seats for ten minutes. Give your neck a break, and let your back muscles stretch in order to keep them in good condition.

 

If the issue persists, then you should see a chiropractor. They might be able to do something to help you, such as give you small exercises to complete, or you never know what!

 

Obesity

 

Another huge problem is obesity. When you are on the road a lot, you’re not getting the exercise that you need, you’re probably eating fast food more often than not, so really obesity is to be expected. Even though this is the case, it doesn’t make it okay and you need to avoid this at all costs. We recommend that you try taking some food with you for your meal while you are out. If you are going to be on a long trip and you can’t take that much food with you, then at least try to pick some of the healthier options when you take a break.

 

Swelling In Your Legs

 

When you sit down for so long, your legs become more likely to swell. If you’re not using your legs other than the slight movements, you are at risk of deep vein thrombosis as well which is not a pleasant condition. There are a few things that we can suggest here such as drinking enough water while you are on your drive, managing the amount of salt that you eat on the drive and before, as well as doing feet and ankle exercises while you are stopped in traffic for example. When you can, get up and have a walk around outside to get your blood pumping and your legs moving, and this should help you avoid the issue.

 

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the common issues that you can get when you sit in a truck all day. Not only that though, but hopefully now you see how you can fix these issues as well. We wish you the very best of luck, and hope that this has helped you!

Stress Management: How to do deep abdominal breathing

Stress Management: HowTo Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Stress Management: How to Do Deep Abdominal Breathing

Breathing is one of those things we all do, yet we rarely think about it; when a system like the respiratory works without us having to think about it or make it happen, it’s called “involuntary.” The respiratory system has the unique ability to work all on its own without our help, unlike the muscular system, which works voluntarily.

When we breathe, we get this precious gift called life. We can survive 21 days without food, seven days without water but can only go one to three minutes without oxygen. And at the 60-second mark, brain cells are already dying. Yet after 20 years of teaching yoga (Mother Trucker Yoga’s Membership) to others, there is one thing I have come to find, many do not like to breathe. I would often notice few would appreciate the art of breathing practices (pranayama) in yoga. You could see people start to fidget, become distracted, and even get annoyed at the idea that they weren’t “doing anything” during their yoga class. Yet without the ability to breathe, nothing on the yoga mat would even be possible. 

Mother Trucker Yoga Audio Bundle

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

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

Stress management sign mother trucker yoga blog

Stress can:

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

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

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

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

How do we breathe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the vagus nerve?

The vagus nerve is the longest of the cranial nerves, extending from the brainstem to the abdomen through multiple organs, including the heart, esophagus, and lungs. It controls the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which contains your relaxation response. Most people never breathe deep enough to stimulate this impressive nerve. We need the vagus nerve to be alive and working because the vagus nerve controls your mood, heart rate, digestion, and immune response. Stimulating your vagus nerve can help to regulate many functions in your body.

Vagus nerve stimulation has been linked to treating epilepsy, improving digestive conditions, reducing inflammation, and managing anxiety disorders. The journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reported in 2018 that the poor function of the vagus nerve could lead to mood and anxiety disorders. But most importantly, when you stimulate the vagus nerve, you can reduce anxiety, stress, and mood disorders. All of this can happen when you learn to breathe more deeply and more often. 

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

Where does your breathing fall?

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

Chest Breathers: Those that breathe into the center of the chest. 

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

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

Deep Abdominal Breathing Technique:

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

How to do deep abdominal breathing

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

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

Deep Abdominal Breathing Benefits:

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

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

Try This:

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

After seven days, come back and let us know how you did. What changed, what you noticed or found. 

Now take a deep breath and start living! 

Resources:

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_focusing_on_the_breath_does_to_your_brain

https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/

https://www.healthline.com/health/facts-about-stress#25.-Past-experiences-can-cause-stress-later-in-life

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.n

https://www.consumerreports.org/mental-health/ways-to-manage-stress/ih.gov/29593576/

 

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker

Take care of your veins truck drivers

Pexels- CC0 License

The human body is supposed to move continually. Even when we sleep, we toss and turn, and fidget endlessly. 

 

The reason we do this has to do with how fluid moves around our bodies. We actually have several circulatory systems. The biggest is the blood, but there’s also one for lymph and another one for brain fluid. 

 

These systems can work while the body is sedentary. But they have movement built into their design, meaning that to function at their best, they need you to activate your muscles. 

 

Most workers have no problem doing this. Even office workers have to get up for a cup of coffee or a meeting every now and then. 


For truckers, though, it’s a different story. You often can’t stop and take a break to stretch your legs, particularly, if you’re caught in traffic. 

 

And that’s a problem because it can lead to damage to your blood vessels over time. 

 

So what can you do about it when there are thousands of loads available and you have to work your socks off? 

 

Move Your Legs Around

 

Many truckers develop problems such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. It’s not just down to “getting older.” Instead, it’s a consequence of how blood pools while you drive. Over time, it applies pressure to the inside walls of veins, causing them to lose their elasticity and balloon outwards. When this happens, it’s almost impossible to get them to return to their original shape. 


The trick here is to move your legs around often. Just moving them at the knee can be enough to get the blood moving. When you come to a traffic stop, try pushing both your toes into the floor and then releasing, repeating several times. Again, this will encourage the blood vessels in the legs to get to work and return blood to the heart. 

 

Stop Every Hour Or So

Truck Drivers taking care of their veins while driving blog post

Pexels – CC0 License

 

While stopping every hour or so isn’t always possible, you should try to do it whenever you can. Stopping and moving gives your body a chance to pump blood around your system, relieving vein problems in your legs. You’ll notice that you feel so much better after a five-minute walk and stretch than if you just carry on driving. Plus, it will help reduce the chance you’ll develop vein dysfunction in the future. 

 

Wear Compression Stockings

 

The idea of wearing compression stockings might sound a little strange. But studies seem to indicate that they work. 

 

Stockings compress muscles. This process, in turn, causes the blood vessels inside them to work harder. Evidence suggests that they can reduce blood clots by a significant amount. 

 

You can buy compression stockings in most drug stores. They’re also a great investment if you do a lot of flying. 

 

Flex Your Foot At The Ankle

Another strategy is to flex the ankle, something that medics call dorsiflexing. The action moves the foot up and down, helping to pump the muscles and improve overall blood flow. It’s also great if you drive in a cramped seating position.

Top 3 trucker injuries and how to avoid them blog post mother trucker yoga image

Top 3 Trucker Injuries: And How To Avoid Them

top 3 trucker injuries mother trucker yoga blog image

Photo by Seb Creativo on Unsplash

Top 3 Trucker Injuries: And How To Avoid Them

There are many benefits to working as a long-haul driver (or trucker). However, the nature of the work sometimes means that you are susceptible to specific injuries, which, if not treated appropriately, could mean you have to take a lot of time off work. Not only could this lose you money, it means you won’t be able to get behind the wheel and do what you love for a little while.

With that in mind, here are the most common injuries that truckers have to deal with.

1: Sprains

Whether you are regularly lifting heavy cargo or attempt to do a two-person job alone, it’s relatively easy to sprain your wrist. However, a sprain can be incredibly painful, and if left untreated, can cause severe damage to your wrist/hand.

2: Back/Neck pain

Spending lots of hours behind the wheel, combined with poor posture, can lead to many back and neck injuries, which can quickly worsen over time.

3: Repetitive Stress Injuries

Repetitive stress injuries are caused when you repeat the same task over and over again. For example, you could get an RSI through how you hold the steering wheel or by sitting in the same position for too long. This can lead to painful swelling and inflammation.

However, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of injury moving forward – keeping you happy, healthy, and behind the wheel!

This includes:

Participating in Yoga. Yoga is a great way to remove any tension in your body and is also a great way to unwind after an incredibly stressful day. It can also help you recover from an injury and relieve the pain you may be holding in your neck, back, or shoulders.

Visit a chiropractor. There are numerous different ways in which you can take better care of your body – many of which can help you recover from injuries quicker or reduce the chances of getting injured in the first place. For example, you could arrange a visit with a chiropractor. When you visit a Chiropractor, you can treat injuries in your neck, back, and shoulder muscles, alongside reducing inflammation in your body. 

 

Working out. In addition to yoga, you should ensure that you include plenty of exercise into your routine. This is a great way to ensure that you spend time outdoors and positively impact your physical and mental health. Whether you work out with others or alone, you should spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising. 

 

Practice good posture. As mentioned previously, many of the above injuries are caused a result of poor posture. Therefore, you should work on improving your posture wherever possible. When sat in a truck, you should ensure that you have appropriate lumbar support and that your knees rest lower than your hips. You can find more guidance on proper driving posture here.

Taking regular breaks. Another way you can minimize the chance of getting injured when driving is by taking frequent breaks. Though the rule varies depending on the area you might be driving in, drivers are expected to have at least 11 hours rest after driving – but long journeys should include smaller breaks throughout the day.

 

Check out more great articles from Mother Trucker Yoga: 

How Chiropractic Can Help Truck Drivers https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2020/10/09/how-chiropractic-can-help-truck-drivers/

Benefits of a Chiropractor for Travel https://mothertruckeryoga.com/2020/10/13/benefits-of-a-chiropractor-for-travel/

Hot to Have Perfect Posture: VIDEO: https://youtu.be/kI0bTvP0KOg

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream Wake Up Feeling Great

How Photography Can Ease Stress on The Road

How Photography Can Ease Stress on The Road

Being a truck driver is far from an easy job. In fact, according to Transport Topics, all those long hours of driving in isolation can take a heavy emotional and physical toll on drivers. Given how tough and stressful the job can be, drivers are always looking for ways to manage the difficulties while they’re on the road.

Photography can ease stress mother trucker yoga blog

Image: Pexels

There are a number of ways to relax and prevent fatigue, just like we’ve previously mentioned on Mother Trucker Yoga. But while you’re on the job, one surprisingly effective solution is practicing photography. If you want to know more about this hobby and how to get started while juggling your driving day job, read on for some tips!

How Photograph Can Help with Stress

Creativity and Stress

In general, creative activities are often associated with mental benefits. True enough, NPR’s article on the brain benefits of art explains that making art can help you feel more connected to yourself and the world — thus helping to lower stress and anxiety. Again, as driving can be stressful, photography is a great fit when it comes to artistic activities that you can do on the go. After all, you can find subjects for photos almost anywhere you go, and it makes those little breaks much more worthwhile.

Photographs and Mental Vacations

What’s great about photography is that even the photographs themselves can help provide relief from stress. Studies featured on CNBC state that looking at photos can have calming effects on the brain. This is especially true if you are fond of taking photos of natural wonders and the outdoors, as these types of photos allow your brain to go on a mental escape.

Photography and Relaxation

Lastly, just like any hobby, photography can provide you with a pleasurable and relaxing experience during your idle moments on the road. What’s great about photography is the activity itself isn’t that time-consuming, allowing you to take a quick photo when things aren’t as hectic. This can be particularly great if you’re required to drive through scenic locations that give you plenty of things to take photos of.

How To Get Into Photography

What You’ll Need to Get Started

The first thing you’ll need to start your photography hobby is a camera. Adorama’s selection of cameras represents the vast options you have when choosing a device — featuring trusted brands Canon, Nikon, Sony. If you’re just starting out, the Canon PowerShot SX720 is a reliable and compact camera that’s perfect for everyday use. But if you’re looking for something more professional, the Sony a7 III Mirrorless Digital Camera takes outstanding photographs in high-resolution 4K HDR. You also have options if you want to stick to your phone camera. Wired’s list of the best phone camera accessories recommends equipment like Moment’s Anamorphic lens and the Shoulderpod G2 grip to help you take professional-grade images.

Taking Lessons

While winging it is always an option, you may also want to seek outside help when trying to learn photography. Luckily, the internet is a great resource especially for those who are starting this hobby from scratch. Firstpost’s feature on the best YouTube channels for learning photography suggests resources such as The Creative Of Photography to get you acquainted with the basic photography principles, and beyond.

Sharing Your Work

You may eventually want to share your photos with other people. There are a number of ways to do this. Platforms such as Instagram give you access to a wide audience due to the sheer number of daily users. If you’re looking for something that allows for higher quality photos, Flickr is the preferred choice of both professional and amateur photographers.

Chiropractor Care Mother Trucker Yoga Blog

Benefits of a Chiropractor for Travel

Benefits of a Chiropractor for Travel

 

Natural and holistic therapies have taken the whole medical field on a roller coaster. There are many therapies under natural healing, which is commonly known as Chiropractic.

The seekers for back pain treatment are mending their way to chiropractic manipulation. 35 % of about 22 million Americans are visiting a Chiropractic practitioner with a complaint of backache. The reason for this can be any injury or long hours sitting jobs like truck drivers, office workers, etc. Going on a vacation can become such a painful nightmare is not good at all.

There are ways you can prevent this problem like exercising, adjusting posture, using Backshield, etc. But the effective treatment for back pain lies in a chiropractic practitioner’s hands.

 

I first experienced chiropractic care 15 years ago at the suggestion of a naturopath. I had hip issues and chronic back pain and I was only 19. After my first visit, I had no idea what was all twisted up and it all made sense. I had twelve vertebrae out of alignment for what appeared to be some time (because they did not go back willingly) and a twisted pelvis which explained my mysterious hip alignment issues. Coupled with specific yoga stretches and strengthening exercises over time I have been able to resolve the majority of my body’s alignment issues. Chiropractic care is not a fix-all, but when implemented, with a credible and knowledgeable doctor of chiropractics correctly and coupled with more specific lifestyle changes you can feel better, wherever you are. 

 

What is Chiropractic?

 

Chiropractic is an alternative or complementary medical practice that manages or treats the musculoskeletal system problems with the primary concern being the spine.

People generally refer to it as “Chiropractor Adjustment.” This adjustment is a quick yet gentle thrusting action or movement performed at spine areas in spasm, painful, or can’t move properly.

 

Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor Before Travel

 

Spinal manipulation is no-joke. It is a fantastic trick to prepare the back for the activity beforehand.

Imagine preventing or fixing a problem before its onset. How thrilling and enticing it would be? Chiropractic treatment works the same way.

Chiropractors search for the red zone areas to remove any obstruction in the way which manipulates the spine into a different exercise.

Starting the visit beforehand will make your trip more relaxing and luxurious.  

And I understand that some may feel different about chiropractic care and to that, I will say that there are good and bad to everything. And I suggest you research who you go to see prior to your first appointment. 

 

Benefits of Chiropractic Care After Travel

Chiropractor spine care mother trucker yoga blog post

Traveling leaves us feeling lethargic, muscle soreness, bearing backache, and unenergized. It takes days to get back to the norms while our body is readjusting itself into its old shape while not completely adjusting in the travel mode.

 

Vacations are fun only when we are healthy. It is no fun to return from the vacations with a burden of pains and soreness. And for truck drivers, when everyday travel, every day you are at the wheel, and every day you are sleeping on the road, pain, and soreness seems to be a regular part of life. 

 

Here comes the Chiropractic therapy for your rescue. If you didn’t visit a chiropractic practitioner before going on vacation, you could do it after returning home. It is better late than never. If getting in to see the chiropractor isn’t on your list of things to do prior to going back out on the road, you may want to consider that tune-up before leaving. 

 

If you didn’t know, TA Petro has chiropractors on duty at several travel centers. For a list of truck stops with these amenities, they have that available on their site! Take advantage of these amenities when you can. It can be tricky trying to do things like what appears everyone else is. But when you live over the road, that isn’t possible. Take refuge in the services others are doing their best to provide for you. A chiropractor, while you fill up with fuel, sounds like a win to me. 

 

Dissolving the Knots

With prolonged sitting, muscles of the neck or back tend to get kinky and painful. A chiropractor can help dissolve those knot-like structures and reduce the pain. Think of those knots as a ball of rubber bands that has been a ball for so long that the rubber bands are not sticking together. A good chiropractor will not only put your bones back in place but also access the muscles and tissues that surround those misaligned bones and work to release and reduce those boulders in the roadways of our tissues. This is one reason why I love techniques coupled with a chiropractor like a massage, or self-massage and stretching. 

 

Unwind the sore muscles

Traveling for some people means the restriction of their mobility. Continuous sitting for an extended period puts much pressure and strain on your muscles to adapt, which leaves them sore after all the hard work. The average person sits for 12 hours a day, and the fourth leading risk factor to mortality is physical inactivity or being sedentary. That’s 3.2 billion people each year dying from physical inactivity. 

 

A chiropractor can effortlessly remove the restrictions hindering the body’s mobility. The manipulation will make you feel like you can move freely and have no muscle tension while stretching them. And in addition, seeking out chiropractic care can help reduce symptoms, pain, discomfort, and even eliminate issues like sciatica, piriformis syndrome, cramping, plantar fasciitis, neck or back pain, sleep issues, and more. 

 

Sound sleep

We know the backache has got no chill, no matter in the day or night time. Overstock here is that it gets worse at night when the body starts to relax and rewind. Even if you are feeling fine in the day, it will catch up to you at night.

A chiropractor can help with your sleeping problems by relieving the strain and pressure on your body. The adjustment makes you feel relaxed and pain-free. And those adjustments can help with blood flow, the release of pinched nerves which all control different aspects of the body. So your sleep issues may not be just because you are an over the road traveler. 

 

I want to encourage you to do your research, educate yourself, and talk to people who have experienced chiropractor visits. Listen to their experience. Like anything in life, there are good and bad. People that have the touch of an angel and those that should not be doing what they are doing. I am certain there are truck drivers out there that should not be behind the wheel, yoga teachers that should never step foot on a mat again at the risk of hurting someone. But your health is really in your hands, and when given the opportunity to let someone else’s hands assist down that path to health and happiness, I want to encourage you to give it a try. 

 

Have you read…

 Can yoga help with back pain for travelers? – Blog

Have you tried it?…

STIFF Mother Trucker Pain Relief Cream!

7 Rules of Life to Stay Positive

7 Rules of life to stay positive and focused on what matters.

Sometimes we need to stop and remember what’s important. Now I know that seems a bit cliche, but when we…
Re-focus
Re-evaluate
Re-connect
 
We can then see life in an entirely different light. And that can mean new opportunities. New friendships, and new efforts put forward. And as a result, we are more positive towards life and what comes our way.
 
To all our friends out there… It’s about the little things, and the small mental shifts we can make today to help us make better choices and decisions tomorrow!
 
What is your favorite out of our list here?

Mother Trucker Yoga’s 7 Rules to Life to Stay Positve:

Mother Trucker yoga 7 rules for life blog post

1. Make peace with your past so it won’t disturb your future.

You are the only one holding onto your past with a tightly clenched fist. Loosen your grip, you might be surprised at what happens when you do. By holding onto the past you never get the opportunity to be present which is the real gift.

2. What other people think of you is none of your business.

It can be easy to get consumed with what others thing. But opinions are like a$$ holes, everyone has one and nothing good ever really comes out of them (insert humor). My point, what others think of you doesn’t matter. Most people’s opinions of others or life is a pure reflection of them and how they think of themselves. So focus on you, my friend.

3. The only person in charge of your happiness is you.

We can look to others for inspiration, for support even for ideas or help. But you are the only person who gets to decide your level of happiness. And much of that is determined on how you look at life and yourself in it. It’s what Carol Dweck calls a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset. If you always tell yourself you will never be happy, then you will never be happy. If you always say you can’t be healthy or fit when you are a truck driver, then you will never be a health and fit truck driver. If you say you are not good at math, then you will never be good at math. If you want to be happy, then choose to be happy. 

4. Don’t compare your life to others. Comparison is the thief of joy.

I believe that we walk one path, and it’s when we try to hop over to everyone else’s and walk theirs too that we get stressed out, we strikeout, and feel left out. Other people’s lives are theirs to live. Yours is yours. And when we compare we rob ourselves of all the progress and uniqueness we have to offer the world. You don’t know their past, their struggles, or what they had to do step by step to get where they are. So keep your eyes on your own path. Look out for help and encouragement, but not to judge yourself or your progress. 

5. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.

It is true, time does heal(s) (almost) all wounds. My advice, stop looking at the wound. Look up and see there is a lot of other life to be lived. When my daughter died, I was crushed, frozen, and empty inside. But there did come a point where I had to look up and keep moving forward for her. And in time, the wound of her loss began to heal, it’s still there, but now I have chosen to do something different with it. You can do that too.

6. Stop thinking so much. It’s alright not to know all the answers.

It is my experience that we as a culture like to overthink things. Overanalyze things. But thinking too much leads to a lack of action and a lack of useable solutions. There comes a point where we must stop out of our heads and into the field and give it a try. Move even blindly at times, but the results of that will always be far greater than only having thought about it. Because now you know. 

7. Smile. You don’t own all the problems in the world.

No one ever said you have to carry everyone else’s problems on your shoulders. Smile. Smile often. For one entire day, smile at everyone you see, everyone you meet. And see how different you see the world. But even more, see the ripple effect you can do for someone else who may also be feeling the need to carry things that aren’t theirs to carry. 
These are just seven ideas to help you see life a little differently. It’s easy to be bombarded by the media. To be overwhelmed with everything that is going wrong that we forget to look out and see what is going right. The voices in my head like to keep me stuck, unhappy, and overwhelmed. But over time I have learned to stop listening, or at least drown them out. I suggest you consider doing the same. I am positive you will see more good, more smiles, and more opportunities in life than you did before.

What are other life tips you have that you’d like to share?

 

Feeling motivated to move more? Looking to stay positive in life? Check out Mother Trucker Yoga blog post on travel exercise.

travel exercise tips mother trucker yoga blog

Travel Exercise: Top Things You Need To Have

Over time many of us collect fitness favorites and pile them in a corner to pull out whenever you want when you spend most of your time at your home. But for those that travel a lot and those that live over the road like a truck driver or even someone living the RV life, it is essential to consider what you need to keep you healthy. 

If you are living out of a backpack, a suitcase, or the cab of a truck, that lifestyle choice does not make it any less important to find time for fitness. But it does make it a bit more challenging to decide what to bring with when it comes to a workout or fitting in fitness each day. 

A lifestyle that keeps you on the move all the time can leave you feeling like working out seems like a chore or too complicated to take on. That’s mostly because everyone assumes that you need a lot of equipment and time to get yourself fit. But the truth is, you need a few basic things to stay fit while you’re on the road. 

As a trucker, it can be quite challenging to take out time to hit the gym every day as you’re on the road most of the time, and let’s be honest, pulling in an eighteen-wheeler to a strip malls parking lot is not always an option. To ensure that you’re on top of your fitness game, keep some basic things on hand to exercise whenever you get the time. Here, you’ll find some basic yet essential things to keep with you to help you stay physically fit. 

When I travel, I try to consider how much space I have to pack extras, what is the area I will have to do something, and what do I want to spend my time doing? One of the things I teach our drivers at Mother Trucker Yoga is you don’t need to overcomplicate fitness to be fit. Others tell you that you need their fancy, complicated and expensive equipment to stay healthy, but I’m telling you that it’s as simple as one, two, three, and you are off to the races…well off to a workout when you work with us. 

Five Things You Need to Exercise While They Travel:

1. Sneakers

Sneakers are essential to exercising. You might think that you can get it done with any shoes on, but that’s not true. Make a habit of keeping a pair of sneakers with you in your truck at all times. This way, whenever you get the chance, you can pause and get your daily exercise in using the most basic equipment that you can think of. Ensure that the sneakers you choose are comfortable, fit securely to your feet, and aren’t full of foam. Yes, I said foam, it may seem like a great idea to wear a shoe all day long with pillows in the bottom, but our feel needs to feel the ground beneath us. They need to move and be stimulated when we walk. 

Wear your steel-toed boots when you don’t want something to drop and damage your foot. Wear flexible, bendable shoes when you want yourself also to be flexible and bendable. 

I personally love ASICS, New Balance, Merrell, Brooks, and Under Armor. And when buying a pair of shoes, make sure you can try them on, walk around in them, and how they fit. This is a device that will be carrying your body around all day long. Don’t you think it should fit, right?

 

2. Travel Yoga Mat

Another essential item that you will need to assist you in your workouts is a travel yoga mat. They’re lightweight and don’t take up much space at all. They’re essential as they provide you with the right surface to do your exercises on. Since there’s very little space for you anyway, you can take the yoga mat outside and start working out on it, without having to worry about hurting your body. There are all different brands of yoga mats to consider, and some of my favorites are Jade, you can get it in various lengths, widths, and they are made out of recycled materials. When traveling, because you don’t know what the surface you will be exercising or practicing yoga on making sure your yoga mat is heavy and has enough traction, it won’t slip. So you don’t slip. 

3. Resistance Bands

Can’t get yourself to carry weights around with you as you drive your truck around? Who wants to stuff a set of hand weights in their suitcase when they travel around? Well, guess what? You don’t necessarily need them. Instead, you can invest in some resistance bands that can help you keep your body in shape. Resistance bands are great for strength training and can help you maintain your physical health. You can find some excellent resistance band kits at Mother Trucker Yoga to help you keep yourself fit. 

Resistance bands are a great way to tone up, build muscle, and strengthen joints. Different than using weights, resistance bands build up the connection between muscle and bone, rather than focusing on building bulk. When shopping for resistance bands, make sure you get a high-quality material like one made for medical use or at a physical therapy quality level. Make sure they are cut to a minimum of 6-feet, so you can do endless exercises. And you’ll want to get a door loop so you can double the number of activities you can do right from the door of your ride. 

Not sure where to find that. No stress Mother Trucker Yoga has that all figured out for you! Check out our band kits in their convenient travel bag and get our 11 page PDF guide so you can get to moving ASAP. 

Resistance Bands for Travel Exercise with Mother Trucker Yoga

4. Smartphones

Smartphones are things that everyone has nowadays. They’re essential even if you’re not into fitness. So, all you need to do with your smartphone is to help you place reminders about when you should exercise. You will also be able to watch videos on YouTube or read up on exercises that you can easily do while you travel. 

5. Bicycle

Cycling is a natural and essential physical activity that helps you keep in shape. You can easily place a bike in your truck that you can use when time allows you to. Get your bicycle out and not limit yourself to only views of the landscapes you see. Go out and explore all the routes that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Not only will you get your exercise in, but you will also feel much more refreshed than ever. 

Are there ways you can mount your bicycle to your truck? We’ve seen some great ideas from drivers mounting kayaks, bikes, and more to their rigs so they can stay active. We know you can too!

Don’t miss out on your exercise just because you’re always moving. Try to come up with ways to make sure that you incorporate some activity. Hopefully, the next time you’re out and about, you’ll be able to get your exercise in without having to worry too much about the equipment!