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 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 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 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.
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!
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