showerbag-onegirltruckingYou’ve been on the road all day, finally pull into a much-needed rest stop where you plan to shower and clean up before dropping off a load. But the shower is broken or looks like might actually get you dirtier.

Maintaining good hygiene on the road can be difficult. That’s why Bethany from One Girl Trucking offers a few suggestions get rid of the grime. Step one is to be prepared.

“I keep a messenger bag as my go-to shower bag loaded up with all of my essentials in my truck at all times, so that I do not have to remember to throw a bag in the truck each week I go out or repack said bag because I will always forget something.”

As you know, not all rest stops are created equal. Petro and TA Truck Stops often receive high marks for shower quality. At these stops, drivers automatically receive two free towels and a bath mat. In her article, Bethany cautions against Love’s and Pilot/Flying J stations because they have significantly fewer showers available.

What can you do when no showers are available and you’re running short of time?

Bethany recommends:

“Keep facial wipes handy along with action wipes for quick, good smelling, adult-sized body wipes. Also, the best thing about these wipes are that they will not make you smell like a baby and they are perfect for a quick shower without having to use actual water.”

Have your own suggestions? Share them with us here, we’d love to hear from you!

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As a truck driver, your body experiences strain as a result of having to sit so long. Often, your neck can be the most affected by these long rides with no movement. It hurts to swivel your head to monitor traffic. It gives you painful headaches.

Matt D’Aquino, The Healthy Trucker, writes of the neck-pain challenge and offers a few exercises to bring some relief.

Some simple stretches can quickly help lessen pain, especially if you do them on a regular basis (even you’re your neck isn’t hurting). Regular stretching helps prevent tightness from happening in the first place.

These following exercises, which target all directions, can be done for a few minutes every day outside of the cab for a much looser, more mobile neck.

  1. Turn your head left and stick your hand out at a 90 degree angle. Switch directions, and complete again.
  2. Pull your head down, hold for up to 30 seconds. Push your head up, again holding up to 30 seconds. Do so gently .
  3. Move your head slowly side to side and in circles.
  4. Place your hand on one side of your head, placing pressure, while also pushing your muscles in the opposite direction.

We hope these neck stretches will help make driving a bit more pain free. Have some useful stretches to share? Connect with us here and tell us!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

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Five years ago, Cynthia Ward weighed 338 pounds. Her ankles, knees and hips were always hurting. She failed her DOT physical and had 30 days to control her sugar levels. She had to make a change, fast.

“I’ve lost a whole person since then,” Ward says. 160 pounds, to be exact. Ward’s story is an inspirational tale that other drivers can learn from.

“If you would have told me that I would have to lose 160 pounds, I would have quit,” she says. “I set out to lose 25 pounds, and I lost 25 pounds. And that’s the way I’ve done it, 25 pounds at a time. Because 25 pounds in attainable.”

Every couple of weeks, Ward allowed herself a cookie or a sliver of chocolate cake as a reward to make the journey more enjoyable.

Start small

Ward took several small steps toward success. She began by buying smaller dinner plates at Walmart. She started parking in the back of parking lots so she would have to walk farther. She also researched diets on the Internet and met with a dietitian, who helped her plan her portions.

“If I ate one thing less, if I took one step farther, that day was a win,” Ward says. “And the rest of it would fall in line.”

Keep it healthy

Now Ward rarely eats at truck stops. Instead, she keeps healthy eats in her truck at all times. She begins her day with a cup of coffee and a serving of Dannon Light & Fit yogurt, with only 9 grams of carbs. Even a small serving of yogurt, with flavors such as banana cream pie, strawberry cheesecake and toasted coconut, is enough to satisfy Ward’s sweets cravings.

At noon, she indulges in raw nuts and indulges in lunch, her biggest meal of the day. Lunch is a serving of meat (the size of a deck of cards) and two cups of low-carb vegetables. Ward tops her day off with a light meal, such as chicken salad with dried fruit and walnuts.

Ward designed her regimen on her own.

The dietician she worked with initially wasn’t helping, Ward says. So Ward did her own research and came up with her own plan of consuming 1,200 calories and no more than 50 grams of carbs daily to keep her diabetes under control.

“By following the diet I’ve followed, I’ve been able to get off medication that was costing me $600 a month,” Ward says. “I ran my diet by my doctor to get the OK, but I’m the one who decided what I was going to do.”

To lose weight, Ward focused on diet, not on exercise. But she walks her dog every few hours, does squats during her pre-trip and often walks with an exaggerated march to burn more calories.

Where she goes from here

Today, Ward weighs 180 pounds. Her goal is to lose 30 more pounds eventually, but she’ll continue to take it slowly.

For others who want to lose weight, Ward has this advice: “Start small. Start with something obtainable. Take one step more than you normally would. Take a complete walk around the store before you start shopping. Leave one thing off your plate that you would normally eat. If you have to give up everything all at once, you’re not going to succeed.”

Ward focused on losing 25 pounds at a time. Do you have a great weight loss tip others can learn from, too? Connect with us here and tell us about it!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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truck driver cyclingTaavi Rutishauser has been a cyclist all his life. A driver and trainer for Quebec’s Canadian American Transportation (C.A.T.), Rutishauser takes his bike everywhere he goes. He rides with a folding bike that fits neatly between his seat and his dashboard.

In the winter, when his runs take him down to Laredo, Texas, he brings his mountain bike with him to ride with locals down there.

Rutishauser rides his bike in his downtime, whether he’s waiting on a restart or unwinding from the workday.

“I ride as often as I can,” he says.

A long history with cycling

As a teen, Rutishauser raced mountain bikes. From age 20 to 25, he worked as a bike messenger in Montreal, leaving the job to pursue a career in trucking.

“Trucking was a dream for me,” he says. “I like the traveling. I needed a job. And, I needed a change, so I jumped into trucking.”

Rutishauser has had a CDL trucking job for 16 years and has a million safe miles in the last 10 years. However, It didn’t take long for Rutishauser to gain weight after starting his CDL trucking job. After five years on the road, he was too soft around the middle for his own liking.

In 2007, Rutishauser started cycling again. Over time, Rutishauser has shed 80 pounds from cycling. Today, he’s more reinvigorated by the sport than ever, often riding between 50 and 100 miles a week.

Building a cycling community at his company

In 2015, Rutishauser approached C.A.T. about launching a cycling program for the 100 truck drivers who work out of the company’s main terminal. Managers loved the idea and set about implementing it.

Now the C.A.T. Health and Wellness Program, as it is called, allows C.A.T. truck drivers at the company’s main terminal to purchase folding bikes at Dumoulin Bicyclettes in Montreal at a discount. If a driver wants to finance the bike, C.A.T. finances up to $1,000 without interest. In addition, the company even pays for bike helmets for all drivers in the program.

And the initiative has been a huge success. Of the 100 drivers in the main terminal, 10 percent have bought bikes through the program.

Benefits of cycling

Since he got back into cycling in 2007, Rutishauser has dropped from 260 pounds to 190 pounds. But there are other upsides to the pastime than weight loss.

“Besides the fitness, cycling takes a lot of the stress out of my job,” Rutishauser says. “I can let all the steam out. I’m a lot calmer and more relaxed at the end of the day. It’s also a great way to see the country.”

In addition, Rutishauser has seen a lot of the country through cycling. From country roads and farmers markets to rocky trails and residential streets, Rutishauser has enjoyed every turn. For exampke, some of his favorite spots include trails near Nashville, Tenn., and Danville, Va.

“You can do a little bit of everything with a bike on your truck,” he says. “I buy groceries or go sightseeing, even if it’s an hour or two in the evening. It never gets old.”

Overall, sometimes you have to express yourself and see where it takes you. What other programs have you had a hand in creating at your employer, drivers? Join our community here and tell us about it.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

truck driver fitness contest

Tom Kyrk with Miss Marisol from Tough Tested

There’s a movement among truckers to lose a ton of weight, literally. It’s called the MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge. The Facebook fitness contest aims to inspire at least 500 truck drivers to lose a collective 2,000 pounds as a means of getting healthier. The contest launched at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March and will end at the Great American Trucking Show in August.

Truck driver Tom Kyrk spearheaded the MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge, and he couldn’t be more excited about it.

“We’re really trying to make this contest big,” Kyrk says. “If we can get 500 people to sign up, we’ll have enough active participants to meet our goal.”

The contest page already has more than 300 follows in its first week, and Kyrk is striving for at least 200 more by the time the participation deadline arrives on May 1.

Tech company Tough Tested is sponsoring the contest, wherein participants commit to a healthier lifestyle through exercise and diet. Each participant receives a rubber bracelet and a T-shirt. Tough Tested also will have giveaways if contestants lose a collective 2,000 pounds or more. The biggest reward, however, is losing weight in a supportive environment.

“It’s for support and giving ideas,” Kyrk says. “We’re here to motivate and inspire.”

How It Works

People with CDL trucking jobs get healthy

Tom Kyrk whips up something healthy

When drivers join the challenge, they provide their current weight and continuously update organizers on it once or twice a month until the end of the challenge. For his part, Kyrk will work with a personal trainer throughout the contest and hold himself accountable by posting his workouts and weighing himself in videos he will share on the MATS 2 GATS Facebook page.

“I’ve agreed to do it publicly because I’m a firm believer in practicing what you preach,” he says.

By posting video of his workouts, other drivers can do them, too.

The MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge page features healthy recipes, workouts, inspiring words and more to keep participants on track. Life coach Carolyn O’Byrne offers tips, as does nutritionist John Reed.

All In It Together

Ideally, the sense of community on the page will keep participants motivated and encouraged from the contest’s beginning to end.

“I personally like the community attitude of the MATS 2 GATS challenge,” says Idella Hansen of Real Women in Trucking, who has made her own great strides toward a healthier life. “Many need the encouragement and tips this type of challenge provides. I personally do the three steps forward, one step back, and hopefully this is the ticket for many of us backsliders.”

Tom Kyrk with Drive My Way contributor Sierra Sugar and Tough Tested’s Tom Buske

While there have been other fitness challenges in the trucking industry, this one is different, Kyrk asserts. For one thing, the effort is a year in the making. Driver-turned-videographer Tex Crowley launched the contest last year, but it fizzled out because organizers had too many other commitments. Crowley handpicked Kyrk, his friend, to launch the contest again this year. This time it’s taking off.

At its core, the MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge is for truck drivers, but others in the trucking industry are welcome to participate. “It’s about trying to build a sense of community among everybody in the trucking industry,” Kyrk says, “whether it’s dispatchers or recruiters, drivers or family.”

What great strides are you making in your quest for better health? Join our community here and share your story.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

eating right or exercising

What’s more important—eating right or exercising? If you need to lose weight, you might think you need to exercise more often. However, as Mercola.com points out, this idea may actually be the obstacle that keeps you from succeeding in your Battle of the Bulge.

The website asserts that when it comes to weight loss, and keeping weight off, “you cannot out-exercise your mouth.”

Your diet surpasses the importance of exercise. Although, physical movement allows you to truly optimize your health and fitness.

Exercise proves to be as effective (or more) than many drug treatments for common health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and depression. So, exercise definitely plays a role in optimal health — it’s just not the central key for weight loss.

eating right or exercising

You cannot keep eating a junk food diet and simply exercise your way into smaller pants.

In addition, the article states that when and how much you eat influences your weight. Eating less and paying attention to the timing of your meals can move your metabolism in the right direction.

According to Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., a nutritional biochemist and former director of the University of Utah Nutrition Clinic, more than 700 weight loss studies confirm that eating healthier produces greater weight loss results than exercise.

“On average, people who dieted without exercising for 15 weeks lost 23 pounds; the exercisers lost only six over about 21 weeks. Therefore, it’s much easier to cut calories than to burn them off.”

Indeed, one of the simplest ways to improve your ability to burn fat as your primary fuel and lose weight is to replace all sodas and sweet beverages with pure water. Condiments and snacks are other categories that can be eliminated without risking nutritional deficits, thereby lowering your overall calorie consumption.

A recent international study confirmed that exercise was for the most part unrelated to weight loss.

The study also found that even sedentary behavior was not strongly linked to weight gain.

Also, Similar findings were made in 2012. A systematic review of studies found that, over time, people who exercised regularly wound up burning less energy than predicted based on their activity levels. This phenomenon is known as metabolic compensation. Also, they increased their overall calorie intake.

In addition, exercise only accounts for 10 to 30 percent of your overall energy expenditure each day. How many calories you burn in total each day primarily depends on your resting metabolic rate. On the flip side, you have full control over 100 percent of the energy (calories) you put into your body.

Even so, the article states, research does confirm that when you supplement a healthy diet with exercise, you’re typically rewarded with more sustained weight loss over the long term. Therefore, when it comes to answering the question between eating right or exercising, we have our answer.

Want to stay up to date on more great health and wellness tips? Follow Drive My Way on Facebook here.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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If you’ve been thinking of taking a vacation for a while now, there’s no time like the present to actually take it. And if you planned well and have the money saved to board the plane right now, here are some great North American getaways highlighted by Men’s Health magazine that will have you salivating for your next dreamy getaway. Even better? You’ll improve your health while having the time of your life.

1. Rancho La Puerta, Mexico

With an organic farm, pools, hiking trails, and 32 acres of gardens, Rancho La Puerta’s 3,000-acre property is a veritable Mexican desert oasis.

Among the 60-plus classes and activities offered each week are interval training, weights, circuit work, spin, yoga and guided meditations. The resort even has a fitness concierge who can help you create a personalized workout schedule tailored to your needs.

“Rancho La Puerta is a great destination for individuals looking for a creative, interactive space for health and fitness needs,” says Brandon Mentore, an ACE-certified personal trainer. “The ability to plan and structure your own experience is great.”

2. Extreme Fitness Camp

If a trip to the Dominican Republic conjures images of frosty drinks and beachside sunbathing, think again. The Extreme Hotel in Cabarete—a solar-powered beachfront eco hotel that serves food straight from its organic farm—is all about holistic health and wellness.

Their fitness camps come designed to help you jumpstart a new workout regimen or recommit to your goals. In addition, they offer traditional fitness activities like strength training, yoga, kickboxing, and core, as well as more non-traditional ways to get your heart pumping. Think: salsa lessons, kite-surfing, and trapeze work (yes, really).

3. Mountain Trek, B.C.

Mountain Trek’s fitness-hiking vacation in British Columbia, Canada aims to help you gain strength, increase your metabolism, improve your sleep, lower your stress, and more—lofty goals, to be sure.

But, the 6-day immersive, science-based program covers its bases. The daily schedule includes several hours of Nordic Fitness Trekking, an evening fitness class, massage, gourmet dinner, and more.

The staff even turns off the Wi-Fi for 8 hours every night to give you time to decompress. In addition, each meal comes prepared without alcohol, caffeine, starch, sugar, and processed foods.

“Mountain Trek has one of the best balances of all the things you would look for in a health and wellness retreat,” Mentore says. The program manages to feel both like a spa vacation and structured workout camp. But beyond that, Mentore says the service and support provided by the staff helps you stay on motivated. “You’re not left to rough it out by yourself.”

4. Red Reflet Ranch

Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyo., serves as the healthy vacation every country guy (or wannabe cowboy) dreams of. Fish, ride horses, zip around the ranch on ATVs, help herd cattle, or go skeet shooting.

Mentore says the ranch is an ideal option for people interested in a more naturalist approach to health and wellness. It offers “lots of outdoor activities and experiences that combine exploration, learning, and some physical demand,” he says.

To break a sweat, explore the gorgeous trails via mountain bike or hike in the nearby canyons. Or, paddleboard through the natural water park, or try rock climbing.

5. Golden Door

Golden Door is a tranquil Japanese-style resort in Escondido, California. It features 25 miles of private hiking trails, citrus groves, Japanese gardens, and bathhouses.

The resort’s week-long men’s program comes designed to help you “recharge your body, mind, and spirit.” In addition, it offers amenities such as daily massages, sessions with a personal trainer, and fitness classes. Also, it features personalized skin care treatments, a customized meal plan, cooking class, and nutrition education class.

“Many locations offer the opportunity to connect with professionals in fitness, wellness, yoga, and stress,” Klapow says, “but in this setting the plan is provided for you.” Which means all you do is show up and soak it in.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

Does your back ache from sitting in the driver’s seat too long? Before it gets worse and you have to take time off to fix it, consider the advice of Matt D’Aquino of the Healthy Trucker blog.

Take advantage of the breaks in your day to complete some stretches and exercise. It will eliminate back pain and save money and time in the future. Plus, no equipment is required.

1. Place your hips behind your back and lean backwards.

Hold this for up to 10 seconds, and repeat 5 times to decompress spinal fluid that can build up.

2. Repeat the position but go forward.

This can help your hamstrings too.

3. Place your left hand on your left leg, and your right hand upwards.

Then, stretch your hand down as far as it can to relieve some of the muscles around the torso. Repeat on the other side. Do each set five times.

4. Place your hands on a flat surface shoulder-width apart.

Then, bring each knee toward the opposite side as high as it can go. Doing as many as possible can relieve and strengthen the gluten and surrounding areas.

We hope these back exercises will keep you on the road pain-free.

Do you have a favorite tip to share about how you stay pain free? Want to continue to get health tips to make your life better? Follow Drive My Way on social media here.

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

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mensjournal.comMaybe you’ve considered a vegan diet, but can’t imagine life without burgers or steaks. Exercise physiologist Marco Borges — the trainer and lifestyle coach responsible for Jay Z and Beyoncé’s healthier eating habits — understands. In a great interview with Men’s Journal, he discussed the importance of meeting people where they are in their diet. That includes people with CDL trucking jobs.

Men’s Journal spoke with Borges in Miami at Seed Food and Wine, the largest plant-based, conscious-living fest in the country.

“This lifestyle affords people the health to be happy,” says Borges, and he stresses that it doesn’t mean you have to go all in, or not at all. Here, Borges shares doable tips to help you adopt a more plant-based lifestyle, no matter what you typically eat.

1. Start small.

If you want to deadlift 400 pounds, you don’t start with a fully loaded bar. The same philosophy applies to going vegan. “People say they want to go 100 percent,” says Borges, “but the moment you set up a platform of perfection, you set yourself up for failure.” Just as you’d slowly add weight week by week to hit that lift, Borges recommends starting small with a vegan diet. Incorporate one entirely plant-based meal to your diet once a day, and gradually grow to eat entirely plant-based one day a week — then two days, then three.

2. Think of your gut.

Plant-based diets are easier on the digestive system, Borges points out. And many studies have found they offer long-term rewards: Eating a vegan or predominantly plant-based diet is tied to less inflammation, a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. On the flip side, eating a meat-based diet is connected with many serious illnesses, Borges says. “Studies have already shown a strong connection between animal-protein intake and increased colorectal cancer and heart disease.” What’s more, he adds that research also suggests “an increase in inflammation just one hour after a meal of meat, dairy, and eggs, which eventually causes a chronic inflammatory response that can impede the healing process.”

3. Boost fitness gains.

A common misconception to eating plant-based is that you won’t be fueled up for a hard workout. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Borges says that plants are easily digestible, and loaded with nutrients to provide instant, lasting energy to fuel exercise and beyond. This actually allows you to train harder and lift more. Borges recommends looking to beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, greens, and other plant-based sources for protein post-workout.

4. Know you’re burning more fat.

Eating a diet high in fiber boosts the metabolism, Borges says. That’s because dietary fiber, or roughage, is indigestible. (There are two types of fiber: soluble, which dissolves in water and can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and insoluble, which helps move things through the digestive tract.) Because the body can’t easily break down fiber, it works harder to process through the stomach, small and large intestines, and colon, thus helping you burn more overall calories.

5. Don’t sweat slip-ups.

“The moment we think we’ve failed or that our best wasn’t good enough, we give up,” says Borges. If you find that you ordered a turkey sandwich or burger at lunch with your buddies even though it was supposed to be a meat-free day, don’t beat yourself up about it. “Success comes in many different shapes and forms. It’s a feeling. When you believe that, that’s when you succeed,” he says. And that feeling may come from eating a more plant-based diet a few days a week, versus every one.

For more great tips, read the rest of the story here.

Do you have worthy health tips of your own? Join our community here and share them with us!

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The Ultimate Guide for Truck Drivers to Maintain 3 Healthy Habits Over the Road

Download the complete guide for tips to easily maintain healthy habits over the road.

Download the Guide Now

gladstoneobserver.com.auOne of Rodney Hopson’s saddest moments came when he realized he’d have to stop doing what he loved.

The Australian man had to give up his trucking job and time spent working on his farm after sustaining a stroke six years ago. He talked to an Australian newspaper about how the experience has changed him.

“As an ex-truck driver and farmer, stroke has completely changed my life,” Hopson said. “I was like most people. I had no idea about stroke until it happened to me.”

Now Hopson is raising awareness of stroke as an ambassador for the Stroke Foundation.

gladstoneobserver.com.auOn Saturday he walked 10km from the Calliope River Bridge to Bunting Park, followed by a big yellow truck, to raise awareness and funds.

“The generosity of the community has been fantastic,” he said.

“This walk is all about raising as much awareness and funds as possible so that fellow locals can go through life without the burden of stroke.

“No matter how big or small your contribution is, every cent will make a difference in the fight against stroke.”

Also walking with Hopson was 10-year-old stroke survivor, Griffith Comrie.

“When I heard about Rodney’s walk I immediately knew our family would want to take part,” Griffith’s dad, Todd Comrie said. “Having Griffith and Rodney walking side by side highlights that stroke can happen to anyone at any age.”

To benefit stroke survivors in the United States, donate to the American Stroke Association.

Are you a truck driver who’s overcome a health problem? Join our Facebook community here and learn about other inspiring drivers.

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