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Maintaining firefighter fitness

Listen as Gordon Graham touches on the importance staying fit in the fire service and how to engage fellow firefighters to encourage good habits

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Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for fire service personnel. Today I am going to talk about physical fitness.

As a firefighter, you need to be concerned with physical fitness. Being fit means you have the necessary strength to do your job. It also means you have the stamina to complete your assigned tasks. You might be thinking, I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder or, I don’t want to live on protein shakes for the rest of my career. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m talking about is a general level of fitness that prepares you to do your job and stay as healthy as possible.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a big part of overall fitness. You can accomplish this by watching what you eat and exercising moderately. You don’t necessarily have to avoid those firehouse meals or spend your off time running marathons. Bud adjusting how much you eat during those meals and taking a brisk walk with the dog when you get home can do wonders.

Personnel who maintain a solid baseline of fitness tend to be healthier in general. Don’t like to get sick? Try exercising a little more and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Have a hard time sleeping? Exercise can improve sleep, too.

Don’t forget that muscles that are used to being taxed during general exercise will be more likely to operate correctly on the emergency scene. That means less pain and discomfort after a fire and fewer chances of strains, sprains and tears to your major muscle groups.

If you still can’t convince yourself that you need to be moving more, consider tricking your brain for a bit. Set up some exercises around the firehouse that mimic emergency scene activities. Challenge your crew to participate or just make it part of the regular training routine. Essentially, you might be able to kill two birds with one stone and get in some effective training and fitness work all the same time.

You don’t have to be able to bench press twice your body weight or run a mile in less than four minutes. Don’t get me wrong, if you can do it, or those are your goals, more power to you. On the other hand, if you’re having a hard time climbing a set of stairs or picking up extrication tools, it’s time to get fit. Today is the day to start eating better and moving more. Your body will thank you. Your family will thank you. And your brothers and sisters in the firehouse will thank you.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

Get more tips from Gordon here.

Gordon Graham has been actively involved in law enforcement since 1973. He spent nearly 10 years as a very active motorcycle officer while also attending Cal State Long Beach to achieve his teaching credential, USC to do his graduate work in Safety and Systems Management with an emphasis on Risk Management, and Western State University to obtain his law degree. In 1982 he was promoted to sergeant and also admitted to the California State Bar and immediately opened his law offices in Los Angeles.
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