How to Fight Obesity in the Fire Service.
This is scary. We as a fire service need to provide resources and education to help change our health and fitness culture.
• Unhealthy eating patterns in the firehouse
• The absence of fitness standards for firefighters
This report should urge everyone from national fire service leadership, to department chiefs, to individual firefighters to think creatively and join in efforts to reverse the negative trends of unhealthy body weight and poor physical fitness. Now is the time to begin a national conversation regarding obesity in the fire service.
We as Firefighters, EMTs, and Paramedic's need to start changing our unhealthy culture around the firehouse. Instead of grabbing a sugary treat like a cookie or cake, we need to reach for something healthy. We as Fire Rescue Athletes must also start to act like athletes and remember that food is a fuel that allows us to more efficiently and SAFELY perform our duties.
Among the recommendations the report makes for the fire service to combat obesity and increase fitness are:
• Fire departments should require annual fitness assessments and physicals/ cancer screens.
• Minimal fitness recommendations for all firefighters should be a priority.
• An effective fitness program and education should be implemented by fire departments.
I will also add that firehouses need to start building a more fit and healthy culture. Nutrition also plays a huge role in the obesity epidemic. Cooks need to at least (at a minimum) offer salads and healthy alternatives at each meal. Firefighters need to think about their nutrition like an athlete and eat to perform (reduce sugars, stay hydrated, eat healthy proteins and eat a lot of fruits and veggies).
Finally, don't wait for your department to start a fitness program. Take the initiative, find a program that will help you improve performance and help you get to a manageable weight.
Let me know how I can help you get more "fit for duty."
Josh Fulk has lost over 100 pounds with Fire Rescue Fitness Workouts and Challenges. You can too! (Click here for information)
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