Fit to Fight

Kenneth M. Glantz, CPP, CHPP
5 steps to getting in shape
As responders, we need to be ready for all combat at all times. We must maintain an excellent level of fitness to ensure that we can protect those we serve and increase our chances of going home at the end of our shift. To get in shape and maintain your physical fitness level, follow these five steps.
Set your fitness goals
What do you want to accomplish? Some common goals include: losing weight, gaining strength, improving cardiovascular capacity, reducing stress, and increasing energy. Your doctor should be able to help you determine your fitness priorities and advise what activities are safe for you in your current physical condition.
Establish a well-balanced nutritional program
Exercise alone will not do the trick. There are numerous diets that you can follow, ranging from fasting to zero-carbohydrate. Most of these diets will result in rapid weight loss. However, they are often impossible to sustain, and most people quickly gain the weight back once the diet is stopped. A healthy nutritional lifestyle is better in the long run. Again, consult your physician or a nutritionist regarding a nutritional program that best suits your needs.
Determine your exercise program
Your exercise program should include a combination of strength training, high intensity interval training (HITT), and cardiovascular training.
Choose a fitness facility
One must consider several variables, including cost, hours of operation, available equipment, cleanliness, staffing, and the environment, when choosing a fitness facility.
Get started
This is the most difficult, yet the most vital, step in the process. It will be tough at first, but after a few weeks, you will look forward to working out and eating right.
Getting in shape will help us protect those we serve, help us achieve our career goals, increase the probability that we go home at the end of each work day, help with our overall health and well-being, and ensure we are fit to fight.
Kenneth M. Glantz is executive director of the National Domestic Preparedness Coalition.