ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

Showing posts with label WellnessWednesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WellnessWednesday. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Tips to Eliminate Driver Fatigue

0
Driver fatigue is a leading cause of deadly trucking accidents each year. There are a number of factors that can lead to driver fatigue, including inadequate sleep, too many hours on the road, and physical factors. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted safety guidelines to prevent driver fatigue and thus keep all our truckers safer. We here at ExpressTruckTax are committed to helping keep you safe and healthy, Trucking Nation. So here are some tips for your #WellnessWednesday on how to prevent fatigue from occurring in the first place.


Eating Healthy: Eating healthy food daily will prevent blood sugar problems and other factors that can lead to fatigue, but that doesn’t mean you have to munch on spinach all day long. Let’s not forget that dark chocolate is a health food too, and a few squares can help you feel more alert and give you some much needed iron and minerals. It is, after all, National Chocolate Day today, so kick off your healthy habits with a few squares of rich chocolatey goodness!

Adequate Sleep: This is pretty straightforward, but often ignored. Not only does getting enough sleep at night help combat fatigue during the day, but naps are also an excellent tool in fighting fatigue.

Regular Exercise: Sometimes it seems counterintuitive, but working out can actually give you more energy. And exercise can help alleviate stress, which often is a cause of fatigue. Just 15 minutes a day of vigorous exercise will boost not only your energy level, but your mood as well.

Time Management: Trying to do too much in too little time, rushing to make deadlines, running behind, all these can cause fatigue. Effective time management helps keep fatigue to a minimum.

Relaxation: Down time is not wasted time. We all need to relax and engage in positive, interesting activities in our free time in order to alleviate emotional stress and ease tension.

Minimize or Eliminate Use of Caffeine: Caffeine while having a seemingly positive effect initially, often leads to negative or depressed emotional states eventually. It also can all interfere with sleep, and we’ve already determined how important sleep is in avoiding fatigue.


Ultimately, minimizing fatigue is just a matter of living a healthy lifestyle. Often, we don’t notice the things we’re doing (or not doing) that lead to fatigue until it’s too late and we’re already exhausted. Being proactive in making healthy choices daily is perhaps the best way to keep fatigue at bay.

ExpressTruckTax can also help you avoid fatigue by taking care of your tax-related tasks that you’d rather not do yourself. Just a few short minutes of entering your information and you’re done! No hassle, no fuss.

You can always share with us your ideas on Facebook or Twitter. Our world-class support team is located in Rock Hill, SC and is ready to take your calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. We’re also available via chat during those same hours. Just click on the “Chat With Us” button at the top of the screen on our homepage. Finally, you can reach us any day by email at support@expresstrucktax.com.

And don’t forget to refer us to your friends and family. Why keep such a good thing to yourselves? Just think how much better the Trucking Nation could be if everyone followed these tips. Word of mouth is our best advertising.

Read More »

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Managing Stress on the Road

0
Driving a truck can be among the most stressful jobs out there. Being responsible for up to 80,000 pounds of metal moving at speeds of 70 MPH or above places severe demands on your brain for attention, and produces rigorous tension in your body. Then there are other drivers, deadlines, (including tax-filing deadlines) adverse weather conditions, and the grueling number of hours on the road. It’s no wonder you truckers are constantly feeling enormous amounts of pressure and stress!

But did you know that stress actually triggers a number of health problems? Problems such as headaches, upset stomach, heartburn, high blood pressure, chest pains, and difficulty sleeping can all come from stress. Untreated stress can also contribute to diabetes, heart problems, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety. And believe it or not, 75 to 90 percent of all visits to the doctor are for stress-related illnesses.

Since stress is so prevalent in the trucking industry, and its effects so serious, one of the best things you can do for yourself as a trucker is to learn techniques for dealing with stress. Here are some great methods you can use to ease your stress and make each day on the road more peaceful.

  • Exercise. This is perhaps the most effective method for dealing with stress. The movement of exercise can release the pent-up energy that stress can cause. It may be difficult to find the time and a place to exercise while on the road, but even a 15 or 20 minute walk will do wonders towards relieving your driving stress.

  • Healthy Diet. Another difficult thing to manage while driving long distances is your diet. There aren’t a host of opportunities for healthy eating at most truck stops, but a healthy diet is a crucial factor in controlling your stress level. It boosts your immune system, making you more resistant to the effects of stress. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water are two important ways to maintain a healthy diet.

  • Sleep. Getting adequate, restful sleep can do wonders for your stress level. If you’re getting enough exercise, you’re probably already sleeping well. Making sure you get plenty of restorative sleep keeps your mind in optimal condition, and will leave you better equipped to deal with whatever stress you may encounter during the day, and eliminate the unneeded stress that comes from not being well rested.

Other methods of managing stress include meditation, breathing techniques, and using smart strategies to eliminate any unneeded stress from your daily routine and activities.

We don’t have to tell you how stressful it is out there for you, Trucking Nation. But we can help you keep your unnecessary tension to a minimum, and using the above strategies will help you deal with the unavoidable pressures of the road.

As always, we’re here to answer any questions you may have about using ExpressTruckTax. You can call us Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 704.234.6005, and email us any time at support@expresstrucktax.com. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and to let your family and friends know about ExpressTruckTax and the helpful tips you get from this blog!

Read More »

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Getting Enough Sleep

0

Hello, Trucking Nation! ExpressTruckTax is back to give you more wellness advice. We’ve been covering some basics when it comes to staying healthy on the road, such as how to maintain a balanced diet, achieve mindfulness, and exercise to eliminate back pain. There is one topic, however, that I’d love to discuss with you, and that is getting enough sleep.

In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced new federal regulations to improve the safety of truck drivers, including a maximum average workweek of 70 hours. The FMCSA had also retained the 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.

That’s a lot of hours to be driving if you ask me. Therefore, getting enough sleep is one of the most important steps you can take in order to stay healthy and alert. While you know it's true, you may be thinking about those common interruptions that tend to keep you awake, like too much light, sound, or vibration, and wonder if there is a way around it. Well, truckers, there is a way! Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you catch more zzz’s:

Reduce Sound


To get a good amount of sleep without the interruption of noise from other cars, trucks, or people, truck stops and rest stops are familiar places that allow peace and quiet. Another option is to wear a pair of earplugs—that should do the trick!

Eliminate Exposure to Sunlight


If your hectic schedule only allows you to sleep in your truck during the day, you should block out as much sunlight as possible. For maximum darkness, close all of your curtains, wear a sleep mask to cover your eyes, or lay a sunshade across your windshield, which can also block the outside heat from coming in.

Decrease Smells and Odors


You may like sleeping with your windows down, but it’s important to stop any bad odors from entering your truck, such as diesel exhaust, so roll them up to your comfort level! Some other suggestions are to remove trash regularly and park far away from dumpsters, sewage treatment plants, and other relatable locations.

Minimize Movement and Vibration


As mentioned earlier, a truck or rest stop are ideal places to fall asleep, as they can also minimize any movement or vibration that you would feel if you parked on the side of the road.

Even though your sleeping hours are affected by a busy work schedule, it is possible to fall asleep with only peace and quiet in the background. After all, getting restorative sleep is not only necessary for your health, but also for your job.

Do you have some tips on how to get enough sleep on the road? Or maybe you would like to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Either way, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

You can also call us at 704.234.6005 or email us at support@expresstrucktax.com if you have any questions.


Read More »

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Mindfulness for Truck Drivers

0
Hello, truckers! I want to share an important fact before we get down to business. According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, “Nearly 1 of every 15 people in the workforce is employed in the trucking industry, including over 7 million truck drivers on our roads.” That’s a lot.

While it's unfortunate, stats have suggested that truck drivers are among the unhealthiest populations in America, mostly due to the particular lifestyle and lack of good nutritional options on the road. We must change this now! Who is with me?

Driving, although somewhat stressful at times, is a perfect opportunity for developing mindfulness, or a kind of meditation practice, if you will. Don’t worry, it’s not what you think, as Eden Kozlowski mentions in a Huffington Post article: “You don't need incense, an exotic location or to be transported to some elevated state of being. Your truck can be your sanctuary.”

With that said, let’s take a look at some ways to attain the state that enables you to reduce stress, maintain a healthy diet, and improve your quality of life:

Turn off the Radio and Enjoy the Silence


Yes, I’m referring to music, advertisements, and the news. Being in silence gives you the ability to fill your awareness with thoughts and perceptions, allowing your mind and body to relax more than ever. Engage in how your body feels—what is it that makes you feel good, tired, or happy?

Appreciate Your Surroundings


When you’re on the road, do you ever stop to fully experience your beautiful surroundings? Even though green landscapes may not appear everywhere you roam, it’s encouraged to appreciate the scenery when it’s there. Eden says, “Life can be incredibly repetitive, especially when on the road. So, if you are going to be ‘in it,’ participate and make it more.”

Shift Over to the Slow Lane


Sounds boring, right? Well, if you're trying to be more mindful, driving a tad below the speed limit can eliminate a lot of tension. Shift over to the slow lane and allow drivers to pass you if necessary. Hey, you can even wish them well!

Eat More Healthy Food


Part of being mindful is eating enjoyable and nutritious food while being aware of the nourishment you are consuming. Eden says that this practice “opens the door for you to see how important you are, how important food is, and how it provides nourishment not just for your body but also your soul.”

I do admit—it takes commitment and determination to attain mindfulness, but once you get the hang of it, I have no doubt that you will feel amazing effects. Eden says that with mindfulness, “You eventually start to trust life more, trust yourself more, you start to look at the bigger picture instead of all the clogging minutia.” That’s a big 10-4.

Do you have some tips on how to stay mindful on the road? Or maybe you would like to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Either way, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

And remember, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to e-file your HVUT to avoid penalties!



Read More »

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Making Better Fast Food Choices on the Road

0
From McDonald’s to Starbucks, consuming fast food is a way of life when you’re on the road. Especially if you’re pressed for time, eating at a restaurant that offers speedy service may be your only way to have three meals a day. 


But if you’re trying to eat healthy, having to eat fast food can seem like a nightmare. Especially when you consider how many health risks the trucking industry faces each year, because truckers consume tons of fast food on-the-go. 


But there are healthier options out there for you. And they can even help you avoid things like diabetes and high blood pressure.  All you have to do is eat right.  

At first finding healthier options at a fast food restaurant may sound like a myth, but there are several sandwiches, salads, and even tacos you can eat from various fast food menus and still be healthy! No matter what your favorite fast food restaurant is. 


Here are 6 healthier options for truckers and travelers alike. So you can get your fast food fix without the excess calories.









No matter where you go, if you order the grilled option, chances are it’s a lot healthier than fried. Many places also offer salads with grilled chicken, but with the sandwiches, you get a less bulky and much more portable option for when you’re on the road. Not to mention there's the added benefit of the bread filling you up much faster than you would get with a salad.  









With junior in the name it may sound small, but no matter where you go it’s definitely filling. In fact, junior cheeseburgers are a much better option compared to their giant counterparts. And you don’t feel overfull afterwards.  Just make sure you're not adding too many extras to your burger, and lose the fries.  Those can often be another 500+ calories you don't need.









Who says bacon can’t be healthy? Yes, you should definitely avoid any sandwich that has bacon with numerous beef patties, but a nice small bacon cheeseburger can definitely help you get that bacon fix.  And you don't have to feel guilty about it!  Just be sure to check the calories on your bacon cheeseburger before you decide.  But most fast food places have one for under 400 calories.

  






There's nothing healthier than a good old fashioned black coffee. There’s less calories, no sugar, and so much more of that much needed caffeine. So get your coffee fix the old fashioned way with a nice big cup o’joe.  You can also consider unsweetened hot tea for a zero calorie solution to getting caffeinated








Generally, the Americano only goes from 5-30 calories. Plus it’s a great source of caffeine and it tastes great. And if you’re not a big fan of drinking it black, adding a splash of nonfat milk will only increase the calories by 40, making this one of the healthiest options you can order. Other than black coffee, of course.









These crunchy chicken tacos are not only delicious, they’re also nutritious! And most of the time they only have a few calories, and we're talking 200 and less. You have to make sure to watch your sodium intake though, South Western cuisine can be a little heavy handed with the salt.









There are some foods you should always, always avoid eating when you go to a fast food restaurant. These foods are filled with more calories than you need, and while it might seem like a good idea at first, you’ll regret it later.

So you should also avoid fried sides and sugary menu items such as:
  • French Fries
  • Onion Rings
  • Any Dessert
  • Milkshakes
  • Soda

You should also avoid famous menu items at any fast food restaurant, because chances are that’ll be bad for you as well. And be wary of condiments. Adding extra can significantly increase the calories of your meal. So make sure you always know what you’re eating before you eat it. And pay attention to calories!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

And remember you only have 6 days left to e-file your HVUT to avoid penalties!  

Read More »

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#Wellness Wednesday: Taste the Rainbow

0

Managing your health on the road takes a lot of dedication and hard work, but the reward is definitely worth it.

Having to remember everything you can and shouldn’t eat may seem like a nightmare in the beginning, but always remember that it’s a safe bet to stick to fresh food, especially when it comes to snacking.

While fresh food and being on the road don’t seem to get along very well, choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables from the produce section will help you out in the long run. Plus fruits and vegetables are resilient, and can be kept unrefrigerated for a number of days.

But what exactly should you choose to begin your wellness journey? Well, Trucking Nation, it’s time for you to Taste the Rainbow.










Red fruits and vegetables are filled with antioxidants to help your body detox. The darker the red, the higher the antioxidant. Though, that goes for any dark colored fruit or vegetable.

Red Peppers - These peppers are red bell peppers, not to be confused with spicy red peppers that could do some serious harm your tastebuds. They’re great for snacking, and they’re filled with nutrients. Not to mention they’re a great healthy replacement for french fries. Red peppers can keep for 2 days unrefrigerated.

Baby tomatoes - Not only are baby tomatoes sweet, they’re also healthy! They keep for 2 days without being refrigerated, and they can replace other unhealthy snacks like tater tots.

Red Delicious Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away! And with apples, especially ones of the red delicious varieties, you get a crisp, sweet snack that will fill you up. Apples can keep for 2-4 weeks without being refrigerated.








Orange fruits are high in vitamin C and vitamin K, both of which are required for a good immune system, to fight off scurvy, and have healthy eyes to see the road.

Oranges - Oranges can keep for 2-3 weeks without being refrigerated. And they’re filled with vitamins to keep you healthy on the road. Plus, they offer a much needed boost to stay awake naturally, without having to drink energy drinks.

Orange peppers - Much like their red counterpart, orange peppers are also filled with antioxidants, but they have a light fruity taste. And the crunch and freshness will have you disowning chips in no time at all. They keep for 2 days without refrigeration.

Carrots - Carrots are filled the vitamin K, which is good for your hair, skin, and fingernails. Plus, they’re super healthy, and they taste great. If you’re not a fan of the harsh crunch of carrots you can drink carrot juice, which is just as good and super tasty. Carrots can last 2 days without refrigeration, and carrot juice only needs to be refrigerated after opening.








Yellow fruits and vegetables are sweet, sour, and mostly tropical. They also contain enzymes that can reduce the risk of severe illness, as well as help lower cholesterol.

Yellow peppers - These peppers are very similar to orange peppers with the same light fruity taste. Sliced, they pack a crunch that will have you coming back for more. Any type of colorful bell peppers can be the best snack when you’re on the road. They keep for 2 days unrefrigerated.

Bananas - Bananas are filled with vitamin B6 and potassium that can help you stay awake, and prevent painful cramping. Plus, they’re filled with fiber and vitamin C! Bananas are basically a pre-packaged super delicious superfruit. They can also last 2-7 days without being refrigerated.









Cucumbers - Cucumbers are filled with antioxidants and vitamin K to help your body detox, and keep your eyes, skin, and fingernails healthy. And if you slice them up with a little bit of salt, they’re just as good as potato chips. Cucumbers last 2 days without refrigeration. If you’ve sliced them, they will expire the same day.

Avocado - Avocados are a miracle fruit. Filled with fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin K, they’re super healthy for you, and they’re very filling. And with a consistency similar to ice cream, you can eat them with a spoon right out of the skin. Avocados last 3-4 days without refrigeration.








There are technically no blue or indigo fruits, even blueberries are considered purple. Which is why we’ve lumped the last three colors in the health rainbow together to give you some amazing antioxidant packed berries that make great snacks.

Blueberries - These tiny little berries are packed with antioxidants and vitamin K with little to no calories at all. And they taste great! Anything that can make you feel good and taste great at the same time is definitely worth a try. Blueberries last for 2-3 days without being refrigerated.

Blackberries - Blackberries are filled with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. As a dark berry, they taste sweet, and contain a lot of much-needed nutrients. They last for 2-3 days unrefrigerated before expiring.

Grapes - Grapes have a low GI value, and can help with better insulin regulation, and blood sugar balance. Not to mention they improve skin health, heart health, and can aid people who are on calorie-restricted diets, or people who crave sugar but cannot have it. Grapes can last 3-5 days unrefrigerated.

You can still buy whole grain sandwiches, cheese, and pepperoni sticks, but when it comes to snacking you should definitely stay fresh and keep to the rainbow.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: 4 Stretches to Eliminate Back Pain

0

Bad backs and poor circulation are one of the most common health concerns facing truckers. It’s understandable, you sit in a cab for several hours with limited movement, watching the road like a hawk.

But since it’s #WellnessWednesday, today isn’t about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can do to fight the pain and restore circulation!

Driving trucks isn’t easy, but these 4 simple back stretches definitely are. And they could save a life, and your back! So here’s how to do some quick back stretches to help you avoid back, leg, and neck pain.

Back Bends


Back bends will really help you with decompressing your spine and fluid buildup that can happen in your back after sitting for long periods of time. It might sound a little scary, but this simple stretch will help you avoid any sort of complications.

All you have to do is put your hands on your hips behind your back, leaning backwards, and holding for 5-10 seconds. Then you should repeat that 5 more times, and that’s it! You’ve successfully helped your body eliminate future back pain.

Front Bends


Front bends are important because they help you loosen your hamstrings and increase circulation to your legs. Good leg circulation is crucial for good driving, good posture, as well as good health. And all it takes is this simple stretch to maintain some great circulation!

All you have to do is put your hands on your hips, just like the back bend, and lean forward. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also combine it with the back bends for a full range of motion. Remember to hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, and do it 5 times, while breathing in and out like normal. You don’t want to hold your breath while doing stretches. Your body needs the oxygen to repair itself.

Then voila, you’re successfully helping to avoid both back pain and poor circulation!

Knee Up’s


Knee up’s may seem a little difficult at first, but in the long run they’re worth it. Much like the front bends, they help restore circulation to your legs. They also really help you loosen up and stretch your lower abdomen, which can be difficult to stretch otherwise.

All you have to do is use the side of your truck, and place your hands shoulder width apart, taking turns to bring each knee up. Then you should turn your knee to the side, stretching it across your body.

These knee stretches will make you feel much better very quickly. You’ll also feel a lot looser, and much more flexible. So do as many as you can and try to hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds.

At first it might seem a little difficult, but in the end it’ll be rewarding, I promise! Don’t worry if you can only do a few at first. Wellness is a journey, not a destination.

Neck Stretch


The next stretch will give you some much-needed relief from the tension that builds around your shoulders and neck.

All you have to do is start with one hand down by your side, with your other hand out at a 90 degree angle. Then just lean your head to the opposite side of your outstretched arm. Try to reach out as far as you can with said arm.

Make sure you don’t let your arm drop, keep it outstretched as far as you can for 5-10 seconds. Then do 5 reps and you’ll really begin to feel loosened up, and so much less tension!

Then all you have to do is keep up with these stretches. Even doing them once or twice a week can greatly improve your mobility. And it can combat the pain of being sedentary for long periods of time! All in under 5 minutes.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: 4 Ways to Eat Healthy on the Road

0

Truck stops have a reputation for being filled with greasy, fatty, fried foods that aren’t good for you. But you’d be surprised how easy it is to create a simple and healthy meal from the variety of foods you can find there.

From fresh fruit, to whole grain bread, truck stops are packed with variety. They even have protein shakes with low calories and carbohydrates to accommodate people of all diets and lifestyles.

Here’s a few healthy choices you can make instead of choosing something fried.

4. Yogurt & Fruit


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but a lot of people seem to skip it. Especially when they’re on the road, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Having a small breakfast of just yogurt or a piece of fruit can greatly improve your day and even boost your metabolism.

In fact, if you’re like most people, eating several small meals every day will help your digestive system and give you more energy.

And, as an added bonus, you can find yogurt and fruit at any truck stop. It’s not all grease and pizza! You can even grab a cheese stick, or a fruit and nut bar. Anything to get that metabolism going early in the morning.

3. Whole Grain Sandwiches


Whole grain sandwiches are cropping up at truck stops all across the US. In fact, truckers being able to have healthier options is becoming a large movement.

We have to take care of the dedicated men and women who haul goods from state to state. And adding healthier options is just one of the many ways the trucking industry is changing to make the lives of truckers better.

So the next time you stop off to get some gas and some food, consider eating whole grain. It’s better for your digestive system, and it has the added effect of being healthy for you. Plus, most of those sandwiches are loaded with protein and a lot of vitamins to keep you healthy on the road.

You should also consider eating a cheese stick or pepperoni stick on the side, instead of chips. But, if you prefer to have chips, consider chex mix, sun chips, or baked chips as an alternative to regular fried potato chips.

2. Salads


At first salads may not seem very filling, but the ones you can get at your truck stop have a lot more substance to them than just “rabbit food.” These salads are monsters! Filled with chunks of meat, and tons of eggs and cheese.

And that’s not all! You can get all sorts of different salads filled with everything you need to fill you up and make your whole day better.


1. Wraps


Wraps are a good standby that can be found at most truck stops and fast food places as a healthy option. And while tortillas aren’t much healthier than whole grain bread, wraps are usually packed with vegetables, meats, and cheese to help you get a well-rounded diet.

Plus, some truck stops are introducing corn wraps, which are much healthier than the flour tortillas. Corn tortillas have less sodium, less calories, and they offer a better taste and texture to your food. Not to mention, it’s something different. And a well-rounded diet with a lot of variety can really help!

Keeping a well-balanced diet while on the road can be tough, but manageable! Especially with all the options you can find at truck stops. Don’t let their “unsavory” reputations fool you. They have so much more to offer than fried chicken and taquitos.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Smoothies on the Road

0

At ExpressTruckTax, we’ve been celebrating summer with our Summer Series of Giveaways. Every few weeks, we raffle off a prize to one lucky e-filer, and from now until the end of July, you can win a travel blender! Perfect for making delicious and nutritious smoothies right in the cab of your truck.

All you need to do is e-file with us and “Like” us on Facebook, and you’re entered to win an awesome Hamilton Beach Single Serve Travel Blender!

In honor of our current giveaway, this week’s #WellnessWednesday will feature some great smoothie recipes for truckers!

Carrying around food items that need to be refrigerated in a truck can be a bit of a headache. But almost anything can be made into a smoothie, including, non-perishable food items and non-temperature sensitive fruit.

So grab yourself a bag of ice and a cooler, and enjoy being healthy on-the-go!

These recipes are simple. In fact, most of them only require a few ingredients, a handful of ice, and a single-serve travel blender.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

3 tbsp of Peanut Butter
A single medium-sized banana, sliced
A handful of Ice
1 cup of Milk, ½ a cup of Kefir, or ½ cup of Yogurt
Honey to add sweetness


For a thicker smoothie, choose the kefir or yogurt option. If you prefer smoothies with a thinner consistency, go with milk. The peanut butter acts as a thickener for this particular smoothie anyway.

The best milk to use in situations where you’re travelling are single-serving boxed milk cartons. You can find them in the juice or cereal aisle of most supermarkets. They don’t need to be refrigerated until after you open them, so you can make a smoothie and get a full serving of calcium all in one fell swoop.

Making the actual smoothie is easy. All you have to do is make sure you add the banana first (you don’t actually have to slice it, you can break it up with your hands), then add the peanut butter, before pouring in the milk and put a handful of ice on top. You can add any amount of honey you’re comfortable with. It all depends on your taste for sweetness. Then just blend it and enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Extravaganza


Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

  • A pinch Cocoa powder or a handful chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • A medium-sized banana, sliced
  • A handful of ice
  • 1 cup Milk, ½ cup of Kefir, or ½ of Yogurt
  • Honey to add sweetness


Like the last smoothie, this one also contains peanut butter so it will already be thick. You don’t have to use yogurt or kefir unless you want to.

To make the smoothie, if you use chocolate chips, place those at the bottom of the blender, but if you use cocoa powder, you will once again place the banana at the bottom. Then add the powder on top, the peanut butter, the milk, and a handful of ice. Blend and enjoy!

Banana and Green Smoothie


Banana and Green Smoothie

A handful of baby kale
A medium-sized banana
A handful of ice
1 cup of Milk, ½ cup of Kefir, or ½ cup of Yogurt
Honey to add sweetness


This smoothie could use a little yogurt to beef it up and make it a little smoother. But if you don’t have yogurt on hand, kefir, and milk work just as well.

Simply add the banana, a handful of baby kale, and some yogurt, milk, or kefir. Then you add a handful of ice and some honey for sweetness. This one could use a little extra sweetness, but it’s so, so healthy for you.

Protein & Banana Smoothie




Protein Smoothies

  • 1 pkt or 2 scoops of any protein powder
  • A medium-sized banana
  • A handful of ice
  • 1 cup of milk, ½ cup of Kefir, or ½ cup of Yogurt
  • Honey to add sweetness


Any protein powder will do, but the strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter flavored ones usually taste best with bananas.

To make the smoothie just add the banana at the bottom, your protein powder of choice on top of it, and a handful of ice. For this one you don’t really need honey since you’ll be using a powder, but if you want a little extra sweetness, then do it. Those powders can taste a little better with a spoonful of honey. Now just blend, and enjoy!

The best thing about smoothies is that they’re filling, they help you save some money, and you can eat healthy on the road! All you have to do is push a button.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#Wellness Wednesday: Exercises to Get You Through the Traffic

0

Cross-state travel can be tough, especially when you hit traffic or inclement weather. But worry not, Trucking Nation, because the next time you hit traffic or weather so bad you have to pull off to the side of the road, or stop at a truck stop, we’ve got you covered.

Exercising while driving a truck is difficult. Most of the time you’re in a sitting position, driving a giant vehicle where one wrong move can mean a loss of control. But while driving across state lines and all over North America, you may find yourself spending a lot of time parked to avoid road dangers, construction, or to get some much-needed rest from the road.

That’s where we come in. It only takes a few minutes to get some much needed exercise. A little bit of healthy movement, breathing, and stretching will go a long way.

4 Simple Exercises to Get You Through the Traffic


These exercises are so easy you don’t even have to get out of your truck! Because nobody wants to stand in the rain or be ogled by passing drivers in a truck stop parking lot.

Wheel Push-ins

  • This exercise is basically the same as a push-up, and with the large cabin in your truck they should be a breeze! Put your hands on the wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock and squeeze. Both of your hands should be pressing towards each other. Do 3 sets of 10 and hold each one for an entire second. 
  • Then you can stretch by sitting tall, lacing your fingers behind your hips, and pushing your chest forward and shoulders back. 

Wheel Pulls

  • Much like the Wheel Push-ins, but going the opposite direction. Place your hands on the wheel at 5 and 7 o’clock with your palms facing you. Pull against the wheel, working the muscles in your forearms and upper arms. Do 3 sets of 10 and hold every pull for 1 second.
  • To avoid muscle aches, stretch by lengthening your arms with your palms up and clasping your hands together, pulling one arm to the side, holding for 3 seconds and then pulling the other.

Upper Back Presses

  • This exercise is great for your posture and lower back. Sitting in a truck for long period of time can definitely wreak havoc on your back muscles! All you need to do is place your hands gently on your steering wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock and push your shoulders and upper back into the seat behind you. Again, you should be holding this exercise for a full second, and you should do 3 sets with 10 reps.
  • Stretch your back by interlacing your fingers in front of you and pushing your palms upwards towards your windshield.

Calf Raises

  • This is one of my favorite exercises because you can literally do it anywhere! All you have to do is lift and lower the heels of your feet while putting weight on the balls of your feet and toes. You can even take it a step further, lifting yourself up in the seat and working your glutes. Make sure you’re still holding for a full second before moving on to the next rep. Do 3 sets of 20 reps and then stretch!
  • Stretch by straightening your legs off the floor and flexing your feet by pointing your toes for 10 seconds. 

It’s just that easy! It may not seem like much right now, but little things you do every day will build up and help you on your wellness journey. So keep up the good work, Trucking Nation!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Yoga for Truckers

2

When it comes to driving a truck, since you’re sitting in a vehicle most of the time, you can develop aches and pains.

There are a number of different ways to combat these chronic aches, but the best way is to regularly do yoga.

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy– just a few basic poses and some good, deep breaths to get a good stretch in and get that blood circulating. 

That alone can make a world of difference in your mobility and overall happiness. It actually works so well that we even do it here at ExpressTruckTax!

Here’s a few basic poses depicted by the ExpressTruckTax Support Legends!


Tree Pose


Kay

To perform a successful tree pose, you only have to do a few things. When you inhale, move your arms up and over your head, and then when you exhale move your arms down by your side. This is done to improve your balance and find your center.

And don’t forget to breathe! The breathing you do in yoga is important. It trains you to breathe properly, especially when doing exercise.


Swan Dive


Jana

From the tree pose you can go into the Swan Dive pose which is essentially tree with a slight modification. Instead of moving just your arms up and down, move your arms up on inhale and on exhale, move down bending at your back and knees, then though the ground.

Chair Pose


Lauren


From Swan Dive you can go into Chair. With the Chair pose, instead of touching the ground in front of your feet, you just bend at your knees, and squat slightly while arching your back.



Cat Pose


Sir Charles


Cat is a floor pose. In order to perform the cat pose, you must be on all fours, back slightly arched with your face forward and arms slightly bent at the elbows.



Sonial Balance


Eli

From the Cat pose you can perform the Sonial Balance pose. This pose requires you to be on all fours and extend your right arm and then your left leg (or vice versa) while balancing on your other limbs and stretching your body.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Thursday, July 2, 2015

5 Tips on How to Begin Your Wellness Journey

0
The best thing about deciding to live a healthier lifestyle is that you get to decide what that means for yourself. You get to choose what to change, how to eat, and how to exercise.

But maybe you aren’t sure where to start your wellness journey. We’ve got some tips for how to get started and how to change your habits over time. Because it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

5 Tips on How to Begin Your Journey:


Believe in Yourself

The first step in beginning your wellness journey is to believe in yourself. Now this probably sounds like a total cliche, but trust me, if you don’t believe you can do it then you won’t make it very far.

Talk yourself up every day, realize that you’re so much stronger than you think you are and just do it! Because every single day is another step on your path to becoming a healthier person. And it matters, it really, really matters because your health is so important. 

Eliminate Bad Habits

It takes 14-21 days to beat a bad habit, but once you’ve beaten it you’ve accomplished something great. Out there on the road it’s so easy to find yourself eating fried, sugary, and salty foods that are so bad for you. You don’t have to change your eating habits overnight, but you do have to make a choice. 

Try eliminating one of those bad things and switching it out for something healthier. Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, from ice cream to yogurt, from fried chicken to grilled chicken, or from french fries to apple slices or baked sweet potato fries. There are so many ways to make a change in yourself. All you have to do is start small and keep on trucking.

Water Is Your New Best Friend

Lose the juice and the soda and switch to water. This might seem like a huge change, but you can take your time with this one too. If you’re not a big fan of water or need a lot of caffeine to keep you going, try moving to a drink that has less calories and sodium (perhaps a diet soda). 

Then you can switch from that to carbonated or flavored water. Eventually you’ll learn to love it because drinking water will make your feel better! You’ll be less thirsty, increase your circulation, flush toxins out of your body, and it will even improve your skin.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Being cooped up in a truck all day doesn’t give you much time for exercise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are little things you can do to improve your mobility inside of your cabin. Maybe you have a song you like to dance to, crank it up and do a little dance in your truck! 

And any time to have a moment to stop, take some time to do some stretching to get your blood flowing, Not only does stretching help with your circulation, it also makes you feel so much better. You can also make it a point to walk a little further every day, every time you have a break. Eventually you’ll begin to feel like a new person!

Be Mindful of What You Consume

You don’t have to go all out and eat nothing but salads and vegetables, but you should be mindful of what you consume. If you’re eating a lot of fast food, make sure you pay attention to the calories (most restaurants will have them on their menus) in your favorite meal. 

If they seem too high, try eating just the sandwich or main entree, or substituting those calorie high french fries for something healthier like apple slices. You can still have french fries if you want to, but make sure you know what you’re putting into your body. Because monitoring the amount of calories you consume each day can help you feel less tired and lethargic and much more energetic. 

Food can give you energy, but only if you use it right!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Wellness is a Journey

0
Wellness is a journey, not a destination. It takes more than deciding to go on a diet, you have to decide to change your whole life.

I’m not talking about becoming obsessive and going to the gym 7 days a week for four hours or anything like that. I’m talking about your own personal wellness journey—what you alone are comfortable with doing.

Siphiwe Baleka, an Ivy-League swimmer, was already well into his own journey before he decided to help truckers begin theirs. Instead of pursuing an Olympic Career, he found his passion was helping truckers become more active.

And he’s doing a great job at it! In fact, he’s helped thousands of truckers lose tens of thousands of pounds.

Here at ExpressTruckTax, we know trying to eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the road can be tough. But we’ve got some health tips that might be able to help!

Beat the Boredom


Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. All wellness journeys should begin here. By getting your house (your mind) in order, you can begin to focus on your body. If your mental health is out of whack, then there’s a good chance you won’t be able to focus on anything else.

Boredom is a very common experience in the trucking industry. You have to sit and drive for hours, and listening to a radio station that recycles the same songs over and over isn’t very stimulating.
That’s when overeating can creep in. Because you can’t do much else while you’re driving (you also shouldn’t be eating, but we all do it). And you need to focus your mind on something other than what seems like an endless road in front of you.

But overcoming your boredom on the road can be as easy as buying an ebook, or subscribing to Amazon’s Audible (because you may not always have time to stop by a bookstore). When you have something else to focus on—other than a bad habit of eating when you’re bored—you can retrain your brain!

Which brings us to the next stop on your wellness journey: becoming health conscious.

Be Health Conscious


Nothing is going to change unless you’re willing to change it for yourself. The second step to living a healthier lifestyle is to address the problem.

Most of the time the problem is overeating, which is easy to start doing when you’re on the road all the time. Because most of the time what you’re eating has a skewed sense of serving sizes, not to mention way more than the recommended daily amount of sodium.

To help you become more conscious of what kind of calories, fat, sodium, etc. you’re taking in per day, there’s an app for that! The app is called MyFitnessPal, and you can use their website or log your daily food intake from their smartphone app.
And MFP is set by your weight and lifestyle, so even if you're sedentary, you can still lose weight or maintain your current weight.

Not to mention, after a while of recording your meals, you begin to notice that you automatically adapt to eat within your allotted calorie range. You begin to eat smaller portions because you realize just how much you may have been eating and you change it.

That’s why the second step on your wellness journey is making a change in the way you eat. It doesn’t even have to be a big one, it’s taking the step that counts!

Be More Active


Now, this next step is usually a red flag for people, but it doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t even have to step foot in a gym (unless you’re comfortable with doing that).

Being more active is just another step on your journey. And like everything else we’ve talked about, you can start small!

You can park a little farther away from where you need to go so you walk a few more steps. Or play your favorite song and dance a little in your truck. You can even spend a little more time walking around in a truck stop.

You won’t become physically fit overnight. And that’s not what this is about, it’s about taking small steps to become a better you. Because each small step you take helps you further along the road on your wellness journey.

And as long as you don’t stop, you’ll get there in no time!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

Read More »

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#WellnessWednesday Part 5: Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy!

0
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 2 months since we began our wellness journey, Trucking Nation.

In the very first installment, 5 Tips for Healthy Trucking, I said that wellness doesn’t begin with pumping iron or munching on a head of cabbage. While it may not start there, at some point, we need to consider healthier eating. (Notice how I’m not using the dreaded word “diet.” This isn’t an extreme 1 month program, this is a gradual lifestyle change!)

What I’m trying to say is…

It’s time to break out that head of cabbage! But we won’t stop there; there’s loads of power foods & tips for making better choices that we’ll discuss today in #WellnessWednesday Part 5: Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy! As always, we compiled these tips with trucking lifestyle in mind, meaning the foods are either readily available, not perishable, and/or easy to eat while driving.

Chew on these 5 tips for healthful eating. Open up wide!

1. Eat Whole Foods: 

  • A general rule of thumb you’ve likely heard by now. It simply means, the less processed your food is, the better. Processing foods not only decreases nutrient density, it also provides the opportunity for artificial flavors, preservatives, colors & even more unsavory things to be mixed into your food. Eat things that look like what they actually are. Whole grains, like brown rice, are preferable to bread, for example. And where might you get these whole foods? Well that leads me to tip #2!

2. Park with Care:  

  • Choices are certainly limited when you’re living out of a truck cab–don’t limit yourself further by stopping only at rest stops and fast-food joints. The limited (and what tends to be unhealthy & overly-processed) selection is just setting you up for failure.

    Instead, stop at grocery stores or farmer's markets along the way. You’ll find a much wider selection of whole foods, and for better prices! If you absolutely HAVE to grab a snack at a rest stop, grab a pack of nuts or sunflower seeds instead of a bag of chips, unsalted is preferable. And grab water instead of soda, that’s a no-brainer!

3. Pack Smart, Snack Smart:

  • Bringing along healthy, delicious snacks is another way to set yourself up for success. Yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, hummus with veggies are all protein-packed, filling, and scrumptious–if you have a mini-fridge! If not, bring dry goods like unsalted nuts and seeds, nut butters with sprouted bread, fresh berries, fruit leather, seaweed or kale chips–I could go on forever, baby!

    Some of these may sound foreign, but they’re becoming readily available. They’ll wake-up your tastebuds (I can tell you from experience), and they’re INFINITELY HEALTHEIR than the same, boring snacks you’ve been eating your whole life! Be bold, try new things, & find what works for you!

4. Start Juicin’:

  • The perfect way to consume a TON of fresh fruit, veggies, & herbs, right in the palm of your hand. Juicing works for truckers, it’s a fact. Google it, you’ll find truckers who’ve shed hundreds of pounds and beaten chronic illness by juicing on the road. If you’re trucking for a few days at a time, you can “pre-juice” at home and store it in air-tight jars in your mini-fridge. Just grab and chug–wheel in one hand, juice in the other.

    However, juicing on the spot is best, the fresher the juice the better! Juice recipes are easy to find online, and they’ll not only cover your 7-a-day, but they’ll detox your body while flooding it with the enzymes, minerals, and vitamins it craves.

5. Fermented Foods:

  • Sounds gross, at first, until you consider that some of the finer (or should I say, winer!) things in life are fermented. Fermented foods are not only easy to bring on a road trip (because they’re preserved in jars!), but they have amazing health benefits too. The lacto-fermentation preserves nutrients and makes them more readily-digestible. You’re likely already eating these foods without realizing it!

    Pickles, for example, are a healthy fermented food, along with sauerkraut. Look for ones that have been lacto-fermented, rather than vinegar-based. Not as common is kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage which is becoming more common in the US every day! You can also drink the benefits of fermentation with kefir, a yogurt drink, or drink kombucha! (Don’t worry, the alcohol content is non-existent.) Made from fermented oolong tea, kombucha is a fruity, delicious, gut-loving alternative to water. Droves of people swear by kombucha because it improves digestion and boosts your energy! 

Take these 5 tips on your wellness journey, and use them to make better choices. Choice, being the keyword. No one can dictate what’s best for you. Break the grooves of routine, do some self-discovery, & reforge new, healthier habits that nourish your body!

And if you feel like back-sliding, gather some inspiration from our former blogs & remember: if you don’t finish your broccoli, the ExpressTruckTax Support Heroes will send you to bed without dessert!

5 Tips for Healthy Trucking

5 More Tips for Healthy Trucking

Even More Tips for Healthy Trucking: Ripped Edition

Part 4: The Return of the Tips


Read More »

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

#WellnessWednesday Part 4: The Return of the Tips

0
With just a week and a half until the Form 2290 filing deadline, we need some extra wellness in our lives now more than ever!

ExpressTruckTax has already eliminated any dread you may have felt when filing taxes before (because we’re just awesome like that). And in today’s blog, we’re going to help eliminate another problem that plagues the Trucking Nation: back and neck pain!

Stuck behind the wheel for hours on end, it’s not surprising that most truck drivers experience chronic stiffness and pain. That’s where we come in–the Heroes at ExpressTruckTax have always got your back! If we could reach through the phone and massage your aching spine, we would. But since the
technology isn’t quite there yet, these tips will have to do instead!

So for Part 4 of our #WellnessWednesday series, here are 5 quick tips for booting that pain in the neck (and back).
  • 1. Empty your Pockets: Cell phones, wallets, receipts, what’s in your pockets? The answer should be “nothing.” Stuffing your pockets, especially your back pockets, leads to lots of pain in the long run. It’s like the Princess and the Pea, if your phone and wallet were enormous peas. Sitting on those items for hours at a time throws off your alignment and puts pressure on your back. For immediate relief, try storing your gadgets in the glove box or any other cubby near by. 
  • 2. Sit at the Right Angle: You’ve had practice sitting your whole life, but are you doing it wrong? It sounds crazy, but there’s actually a right and a wrong way to sit. And good posture isn’t just for looking fancy! It’s far better for your spine. Adjust your driver’s seat so that your back is straight and your knees rest at a 90 degree angle for optimal alignment. Some seats also have a rocking function if you can’t sit still for that long.
  • 3. Float on Air: Your driver’s seat may not be the most comfortable chair in the world. While tearing it out with a sledgehammer may not be a viable option, there are ways to make it comfier! Why not try levitating...on a memory foam pillow! Memory foams puffs up with air and contours to your body, creating the perfect custom cushion for your backside. Gel seat cushions are also on the market. Try them out and see what you fancy!
  • 4. A Loose Dress Code: Tight-fitting clothes may be the fashion, but they aren’t suited for the trucking life! Comfortable, loose-fitting clothes are the way to go! Ill-fitting clothes, or undergarments, can lead to stiffness, stomach pain, and just general discomfort. Nobody's got time for that!
  • 5. Take a Hike, Buddy!: Seriously, walking is a miracle worker. It’s easy & free, you can do it nearly anywhere, and the benefits are endless. It may be tempting to spend your breaks lounging in the sleeper catching up on Netflix, but doing a quick lap around the truck stop will increase circulation and give you a chance to stretch out!
As always, these 5 hacks are just the beginning. Stretching, yoga, back support belts are all great ways to keep your spine in line.

So how do you stay loose and limber while trucking? Let the ExpressTruckTax team know. We love hearing ideas straight from you, the pro’s! Remember, sharing is caring.

#WellnessWednesday Part 5: Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy!

Read More »

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Even More Tips for Healthy Trucking: Ripped Edition!

0

Are you ready...for the Third Installment of our series?




Well–ready or not–it’s #WellnessWednesday, and that means we’ve got 5 more tips just for you, Trucking Nation! Or should I say, Traveling Health Guru Nation! You’ve already started your wellness journey and given yourself an inner tune-up, but now...

It’s time to get pumped up! Tear the sleeves off that t-shirt! Call your friends and start selling tickets to the gun show. (I mean your biceps, of course!) Because you’re going to be a lean, mean truck-driving machine!

We know truckers don’t have tons of time for exercise, nor extra space for toting bulky exercise equipment. So here are five ways to get ripped on the road with little equipment needed! You’ll mostly use yourself and your truck!




  • 1. Isometrics: Behind the wheel! For this first exercise, you won’t even need to leave the driver’s seat! (Although, the truck should be parked!) Isometrics are performed in a static position, so you aren’t performing any dynamic movements like you would with other exercises. That makes it perfect for those with limited space! To improve upper-body strength, grip the wheel with both hands and try to push them toward each other for 10 seconds. Then release. Believe me, after 10-20 reps, you’ll be feeling the burn! For improving core strength, sit up straight and pull your belly button back to your spine, hold for 5 seconds, and release. Repeat 20-30 times each day for wash-board abs!
  • 2. Jump Rope: Okay, this one may remind you of playing in the schoolyard, but there’s nothing childish about the results you can get! Jumping rope can be hardcore exercise, improving both cardio and muscle tone simultaneously. Plus, they cost $5 or less and take up no space in your cab! To hop to the next level, try jumping rope for 5 or 10 minutes straight, whatever you’re comfortable with, always landing on the balls of your feet. Your heels should never touch the ground, and your calves will thank you! If you’re feeling extreme, try mixing things up by hopping on one foot, alternating each jump, or you can jump holding one leg up, knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Improving your wellness is actually a hop, skip, or jump away!
  • 3. Resistance Bands: Yet another affordable, easy-to-store piece of equipment. Best of all, resistance bands are versatile. They’re sold in various sizes, lengths, and resistance levels so you can customize your workout, whether you’re a beginner or a buff babe! And the kinds of toning exercises you can do are nearly endless. To make your truck work for you, wrap a band around the door handle of your truck and do some bicep curls or leg lifts. Once you feel comfortable, invest in a tighter band to increase resistance. You’ll always be increasing your strength, and before you know it, you’ll be Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • 4. Bodyweight: Use your own body for a workout, what could be cheaper or more convenient! Go back to the basics for some good, old fashioned sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, and squats. But why not do it trucker style! Using the step outside of your cab door, you can do these exercises at a new angle, increasing the challenge! For extreme push-ups, place your hands on the step and keep your feet on the ground. Do push-ups a normal, except now you can lower your head below the palms of your hands, increasing the difficulty of the push-up as well as the payoff!
  • 5. Run for Your Life! All you’ll need to get started are some supportive running shoes. Always stretch before running, and breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth. Start out slow, just running twice a week until your endurance increases. Your first day do short intervals, running for 30 seconds, then walking for 30 seconds. Once you’re comfortable, step up your intervals, running for 1 minute and walking for 1 minute. 15-30 minutes of heart-pumping action is ideal, and keep increasing your intervals as your cardio improves. To push it to the limit, (past the point of no return) set a mini-goal for yourself. Just choosing a sign–or sandwich–in the distance to run to will actually push your body further than running aimlessly. When the zombie apocalypse happens, you’ll thank me! 
It’s important to keep things fresh and not get bored on your wellness journey. If your routine starts to feel stale, mix it up and broaden your horizons. YouTube is full of free exercise tutorials; why not try yoga, pilates, or zumba? You never know what will work for you until you try it!

So break out those leg warmers, Trucking Nation! And let the ExpressTruckTax Team know how you’re staying fit on the road; your tips may be featured in our #WellnessWednesday series!


Ready for More?

5 Tips for Healthy Trucking

5 More Tips for Healthy Trucking

Part 4: The Return of the Tips


Read More »

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 More Tips for Healthy Trucking

0
It’s Wednesday, Trucking Nation, and you know what that means— ExpressTruckTax is back with part two of our #WellnessWednesday series! We’ve got 5 more Tips for Healthier Trucking. Last time, we had 5 tips for getting you started on your wellness journey. But it’s time to rise to the next level!

Wellness doesn’t extend to our physical bodies alone. So today, we’ll be focusing on wellness, from the inside out, with some tips for creating good vibrations. Your emotional/mental well-being is the foundation of
your health, so how can you give yourself an inner
tune-up while on the road?


1. Challenge your Mind: Turn your cab into a classroom! Those hours spent behind the wheel provide the perfect opportunity for some brain stimulation. Any one of these three will give you the thrill of learning something new and broadening your horizons.

  • Stave off boredom by listening to new kinds of music you wouldn’t have before. 
  • Listen to an audio book. You can’t read behind the wheel, but you can still learn about the Civil War or get engrossed in the latest murder-mystery! 
  • And since you’re always going new and exciting places, why not learn a new language? Listening to a language and repeating out loud with a program can be one of the fastest, most effective ways to learn. 
2. Stay Connected: Being on the road for days or weeks on end, we know it can be hard to keep in touch with all of your friends and family. But there are ways to share your experiences and stay connected. First, take plenty of pictures! Truckers see it all, new places every day. So capture it and share it, whether it’s on your favorite social media site, or by making a slideshow and emailing it to loved ones. Another way to bring them on your journey with you, create a journal. Print out the best pictures and glue ‘em into a notebook. Jot down the stories behind each photo, and before you know it, you’ve got a head start on your memoirs!

3. Meditate: Ohhhhm— Breathing exercises and meditation are proven to have loads of health benefits. The best times to meditate are in the morning when you first wake or right before bed, or both! Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, sit up straight, and close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply, listening to the sound of your own breath. You can also focus on a single point, like a flame, or find free guided-meditation videos online, if you get distracted easily. The idea is to clear your mind of all thoughts and just exist in the moment. The results? You’ll not only reduce stress and anxiety, but you’ll lower blood pressure, sleep better, and have increased mental clarity, certainly beneficial for you busy drivers!

4. Adopt a Companion: There are millions of dogs of all kinds out there just waiting for someone like you to give them a loving home. And they’re usually available for little to no cost too. Bringing along a furry friend can stave off loneliness on the road and have added physical benefits too! They’ll get you out of the truck and have you walking (or running!) regularly. If you’ve already got a pup back home, consider bringing her along on your next trip!

5. Get Quality Sleep: All roads lead….to a bed! When you work such long hours, how can you avoid feeling exhausted? Feeling well-rested is not just about quantity, it’s about quality of sleep. Avoid caffeine later in day, and heavy meals too. If you’re feeling hungry before bed, eat a light snack, like fruit and nuts. When it’s time to sleep, blocking out ambient light will help your body sleep deeply. Turn off that T.V. or laptop, and hang some blackout curtains around your cab windows. If you can’t get those, use an eye mask and some good earplugs to get some quality zzz. Sleeping better, you’ll not only feel physically rejuvenated, but you’ll see a positive boost in your moods, too!

With these 5 tips in your arsenal, you’ll be picking up good vibrations and feeling renewed motivation on your wellness journey! If you’ve got some successful health tips, share them with me! They may be featured in the next installment of our series. Have a happy, healthy Hump Day!

Ready for more?
Even More Tips for Healthy Trucking: Ripped Edition!


Read More »

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

5 Tips for Healthy Trucking

0
healthy tipsLet’s talk about health, Trucking Nation! The ExpressTruckTax Team understands that staying fit on the road can be a challenge, but with a little tweaking and a fresh perspective, your unique circumstances can be used to your advantage! So here are five easy tips to help you get started.

Our journey into healthier living doesn't begin with pumping iron or munching on a head of cabbage. It begins within...

1. Dedication: As the Buddha once said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Before you can make big changes, you must be consciously aware of what you want to change! Identify your vices- be honest with yourself. Then start by listing your top 5 goals. This helps you prioritize and keeps you from getting overwhelmed. If five is too much, then start with just one-and commit to it for at least a month. This makes the transition more manageable, which is vital, because you want to be committed for the long haul. Don’t burn yourself out trying to change your entire life overnight. Baby steps.

2. Drink Water Like a Fish: Kick that can of sugary stuff and drink water instead! It’s free of calories and, of course, necessary for survival (minor detail). This change alone can deliver major results. But it can be a hard habit to break, so lean into it. For that fiziness you’re used to, start by switching from soda to sparkling water. For the sweetness you crave, infuse your water with fruit, or use a stevia-based flavor enhancer (avoid ones loaded with sugar and artificial colors). All this extra water will help your body flush toxins, increase circulation, and even improve your skin.

3. MOVE: You don’t need to have a gym nearby-or even a fancy workout regimen-to get your heart rate up. Simply stretch and go for a brisk walk on your breaks, at least half an hour is ideal. This can be particularly fun if you take a friend, whether it’s a fellow-trucker or a loyal pup! Consider picking up a pedometer to keep track of your steps. Just seeing that number can motivate you to keep moving. You can even compete with your friends for most-steps-taken in a month!

4. Snack Smarter, and Easier:
It’s oh-so-easy (and tempting) to grab that bag of chips. But it can be just as easy to make better choices. Buy pre-washed bags of salad, some even come with toppings and dressing right in the bag! Score! Many grocery stores also sell pre-cut fruits and veggies, which means no preparation! Unsalted nuts are also an excellent, protein-packed snack. Yum!

5. Boost that Immune System: Nothing kills productivity like a cold! Your best defense against illness starts with what you eat. When you can’t get fresh fruit, drink plenty of real fruit juice for that Vitamin C boost. Equally important, eat lots of yogurt with live, active cultures. This will nourish the healthy bacteria in your gut, and those buggers are responsible for most of your immune health! Combine this with regularly washing hands with soap and warm water, and your immune system will be in tip-top shape!

Any one of these five easy steps is a great place to start. And if you slip up one day, it’s okay. Don’t let minor setbacks weigh you down. Staying positive is the key. So get going! And tell us your healthy tips and tricks, and they may be featured in our next WednesdayWellness blog! Here’s to healthy trucking!

Ready for more? Check out 

5 More Tips for Healthy Trucking!

Even More Tips for Healthy Trucking: Ripped Edition! 

#WellnessWednesday Part 4: The Return of the Tips

For more healthy tips and tricks, check out:

YouTube: Big Rig Cooking with Misty

Eat Your Veggies Day

Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.