Now for something entirely different. Exercise. Better yet – bastardized Yoga.
We spend hour after hour sitting in these trucks or in our pickup to deadhead to our next job. Our bodies get so stiff we can hardly move. Watching either of us get out of the vehicles you’d think we were ancient and fragile.
Stretching helps to loosen the stiff muscles, unclamp the joints, and get blood moving back into the areas that had been under constant pressure. Such as the backs of our thighs, the gluteus Maximus (the butt), and portions of our lower backs.
I have some trouble with my sciatic nerve on my right rear. To keep that bugger from clenching and causing terrible pain I do the stretches.
Okay. Here we go. First is a “Sun Salutation”. A full upward stretch that can be felt in the large muscle groups of the back, shoulders, and arms.
Raise your arms above your head and reach toward the sky. I choose to put my hands together because I have a tendency to pull myself off to one side instead of straight up.
I’m in my work scrubs awaiting the trucks to be ready. Joe is taking the pictures for me.
To give your back, neck, shoulders, and arms a good stretch bend backward. Make sure to widen your foot stance a bit. You could unbalance yourself and get hurt if you keep your feet together.
Bend as far forward as you can. Try to touch your toes. Go back to the upright stance then bend backward once again. Hold each of the backward and over forward poses for three breaths. Inhale through your nose and blow out through your mouth.
Joe got distracted on the forward bending so you will just have to imagine that one 😉
If you feel “Charley Horses” coming on (muscle strain) then STOP!
To stretch the butt, sciatic nerves, thighs, and hamstrings prop one foot on a solid object as high as you can stand it.
This stretch hurts Joe too much so he uses the bottom step of the truck.
Lean into the stretch as far as you can. Hold this pose for three breaths.
Switch legs and do the same with the other one.
Lastly is the feet, shins, and calves. Get up on the bottom step of the truck, holding on the mirror bracket for balance and set your feet on the step edge just at the balls of your feet.
Holding onto the truck lower your heels below the step edge. You will feel the pull from your Achille’s Tendon all the way up to the backs of your knees.
Finally, raise up on your tip toes and hold for a bit. Each of these poses hold for three breaths. The lowering of your heels and the raising of them.
These stretches take about 5 minutes to do. You will be surprised how much better you feel and refreshed. Do this in a rest area or truck stop when going through a sleepy period and you will be amazed how alert and focused you feel.
The magic is from the deep inhales of breath through your nose and blowing out through your mouth. Your lungs and body gets a good jolt of much needed oxygen and your muscles get stimulated.
Don’t over do this or you will become really stiff and sore.
Joe doesn’t like reaching over his head and bending. He has a compromise that works for him. Holding on the trailer to stretch his back and arms.
For office workers you can use a stair for the foot stretches, a chair (not one with wheels) for the leg stretches. If stuck in a car you can use your cars rear bumper and a parking curb for the leg and foot stretches.
There is no Yoga pose on the ground that I recommend. In fact, I recommend staying off the ground in truck stops and rest areas. Copious amounts of urine are tossed out of windows and doors of parked trucks during the night. Yuck!
So, until next time – bye for now.