As a lease purchase owner operator, find a way to increase your activity level. Exercise speeds up your metabolism and gives you more energy. You feel better, are more alert, it improves your memory and it burns more calories to help you shed or keep off the extra pounds. Keep a football or a baseball and glove in your truck or maybe a Frisbee. There are other drivers out there that would enjoy tossing one around a little so you’ll be able to get out of the truck, socialize with other drivers and get in a little exercise instead of just sitting in the truck staring out the windshield.
Do you have a doggy companion that rides with you? Do you usually just let it run around loose to do its’ business? Or do you actually put it on a leash and take it for a walk? Are you sitting at a shipper waiting for your turn to unload or for the green light to come on to say you’re loaded? Take the dog out on a leash unless the property is posted against it. Many owner operators have found a lot of enjoyment having a companion travel with them.
Take a ball, Frisbee, or your dogs’ favorite rope toy and walk off to one side. If there is a grassy fringe area you can use, that’s even better. Throw the ball for the dog to fetch it. Not only are you making the dog healthier by increasing its’ activity level, you’re increasing your heart rate, speeding up your metabolism and burning calories while you’re waiting instead of wasting time brooding staring out the windshield….waiting…watching the world go by without you.
Maybe you don’t have a four-legged friend with you. There are still ways to ramp up your activity level. Is the chrome on your truck buffed out? Maybe you can take a rag and go around the truck wiping the dust off the wheels, tanks, and breathers. Wash your windows and clean your mirrors. When you start up again they will be clean and improve your visibility while having given you something to do besides sitting. As a lease purchase owner operator, take pride in your ride and keep it looking good.
Your truck isn’t polished out and you don’t need to buff the chrome? Take a walk! Get out of the truck and walk around the parking lot. If there are businesses close by and you have the time, walk to them and see what is in the area. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite restaurant if it’s close to one of your regular stops. I parked one day, took a walk and brought ‘home’ Chinese take-out for dinner along with a few interesting pieces I picked up at a leather shop I found nearby. You are limited only if you set limits. There are ways to increase your activity level working in a lease purchase trucking job and the most important thing is “Get out of the seat and do something”!
I have one trucker friend that like me, loves nature. If he gets close to a wooded area when he is laid over for the afternoon or weekend, he’ll go exploring. Even close to a busy truck stop it is amazing the amount of wildlife that lives in a wooded area adjacent to a parking lot or freeway. Not to mention the relaxation of being out in nature without people yelling or screaming, running around in a big hurry for nothing. Take a walk, take a deep breath and relax. You’ll reduce your stress, increase your activity level, burn calories, and feel better in the long run. Feeling better will help you stay more alert as an owner operator.
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease. It’s fine to break up your activity into 10 or 15 minute sessions. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. This does not mean just because you’re ‘working’ that you’re getting the right type of physical activity. Regular physical activity affects blood cholesterol level by increasing the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. A higher HDL level has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
An increase in physical activity can also help control other risk factors for heart disease including weight, diabetes and high blood pressure. Aerobic exercise or exercise that uses oxygen to provide energy to large muscles raises your heart and breathing rates. This will help your heart to work more efficiently at rest as well as during physical activity. Regular physical activity such as brisk walking, jogging and swimming will also help to condition your lungs and keep your muscles toned.
Even mild activities done daily, like walking, housework or dancing can help. You can benefit from simple things such as low-impact cardiovascular exercises that can be done sitting in your seat or on your bunk. For some people, high impact exercise isn’t an option. You might have had prior injuries in the joints, bones, or connective tissue or chronic problems like arthritis, osteoporosis or stress fractures. If you are overweight or just beginning an exercise program, this might be a better way for you to start so that you can begin to get your heart rate into your target heart rate zone. With the new physical guidelines going into effect, you might want to start ramping up your exercise program or you might find it difficult to pass the DOT physical in order to become a lease purchase owner operator.
Walking is one of the most popular low impact exercises but you should try to walk faster than your normal pace so that you speed up your heart rate. Add short bursts of speed or an occasional steep hill if you can to increase the intensity of your workout. If you have a choice between stairs and an elevator, try using the stairs as much as possible.
Add upper body movements like swinging your arms while you walk to increase the overall intensity. By changing the pace and the intensity, you will maximize the results of the workout.
If you are stuck in the truck but wish to exercise, think about getting a couple of small barbells from your local department store on one of your shopping trips. If you haven’t been exercising I might recommend the 2 pound ones. They are an ideal size to store easily in the truck and you can sit and do arm extensions, lifts, and curls with weight to maximize your movements without overdoing it. You may wish to increase the poundage as you progress but you don’t want to start with too heavy a weight and either discourage yourself or hurt yourself.
You can also do tummy crunches while sitting in the seat. Tighten your stomach muscles while bending forward as far as possible. Hold it for an 8 count and then release. Repeat at least 10 repetitions and increase the number as you feel comfortable with the workout. You can also tighten those buns you sit on all day by tightening the muscles and holding it for an 8 count, then release. Repeat at least 10 repetitions and increase as you can.
As you gradually increase your workout, you will start to notice an increase in energy. Your sleep habits may improve as the job will allow and your overall mood should also improve. If your body feels good…you’ll feel good. This will improve your overall performane as a trucking lease purchase owner operator.