Driving a big rig is not a small responsibility. In fact, it can be very grueling and demanding. Drivers face many stressful challenges that go along with the profession such as heavy traffic, extreme weather events, heavy lifting during loading and unloading, as well as the stress of time-sensitive deliveries. Recently drivers also face the stress of complying with new regulations such as ELD and HOS regulations. In addition, as trucking is by nature a sedentary job, many truckers suffer from musculoskeletal pain, especially back pain due to spending long stretches of time on the road. Keeping a healthy diet on the road is not easy either since most options available to truckers are fast food and junk food items.
With all the challenges truckers face, they often struggle to stay in shape and find ways to decompress and stay relaxed while working in such a tiring and stressful job. Recently some truckers are turning to hatha yoga help stay fit and healthy. According to Truckdrivingjobs.com, “More and more truckers have turned to yoga as a means of staying healthy and limber on the road, as more companies place an emphasis on the physical well-being of truckers in recent times. In addition to stretching, the yogic principle of deep breathing can help drivers stave off hypertension and help to prevent hyperventilation which may lead to more serious health concerns.”
You may be wondering what exactly is yoga? To put it in its simplest form, yoga is doing certain stretching exercises to build flexibility and relax the body. These exercises can also be coordinated with the breath to increase health benefits. Yoga postures can also build strength, coordination, balance, and stamina. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. It became popular in the West in the 20th century. The word, yoga, comes from the Sanskrit yuj, which means “to yoke” and “samadhi” or “concentration.” Thus, yoga is the practice that aims to join the mind, body, and spirit.
According to Healthline.com, a site for health and wellness information, “Multiple studies have confirmed the many mental and physical benefits of yoga. Incorporating it into your routine can help enhance your health, increase strength and flexibility and reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.” The website lists the following evidence-based benefits of practicing yoga,
- Decreases Stress
- Relieves Anxiety
- May Reduce Inflammation
- Could Improve Hearth Health
- Improve Quality of Life
- Helps Fight Depression
- May Reduce Chronic Pain
- Help Promote Sleep Quality
- Improves Flexibility and Balance
- Help Improve Breathing
- May Help Relieve Migraines
- Helps Promote Healthy Eating Habits
- Can Increase Strength
Truckers may feel pressed for time in their busy schedules and decide that exercise such as jogging, biking, etc. are out of the question. Yoga however, can be done anywhere, at any time of day; except for after meals. (Ideally one should wait for one to two hours after eating a meal before practicing yoga). Drivers can even do yoga inside their cabs if the weather outside is not conducive.
In honor of International Day of Yoga, Harvard Medical School put out an article with a simple 15-minute yoga routine. Click here to view the simple yoga stretches and get started with a routine. Once you start your yoga routine and enjoy the health and relaxation benefits from it, you will be inspired to continue and expand your yoga practices.
Matrackinc is happy to celebrate International Day of Yoga with you and wishing you health and happiness in your trucking career!