It takes determination and bravery to walk into a burning building, risk your life and help those in need. The temperatures can exceed hundreds of degrees. Inhaling toxic smoke and incurring third-degree burns are a few of the health hazards associated with firefighting. Not only does the job require a considerable level of willpower, but firefighters need to be physically fit to perform their duties. Carrying injured victims, lifting heavy objects off of people, and having the endurance to get the job done requires firefighters to be healthy and fit. With that said, listed below are five health and wellness tips to consider if you already are or considering becoming a firefighter.
Stay physically active
Heavy lifting in the gym is necessary. You won’t be able to make it as a successful firefighter if you don’t have the physical strength for the job. Moreover, it would be best to build stamina and endurance to cope with challenging and physically taxing situations. However, the best way to go about an exercise regimen is to develop a proper plan to improve the functionality of specific muscle groups.
Incorporate movement-based exercise that improves your strength, stamina, and agility. By doing so, you’ll be able to maneuver tricky terrain and avoid injuries. Modern gyms have the latest equipment and physical trainers to help you get up to speed with your fitness goals. So, find a good, cost-effective gym that meets your needs.
Also, consider enrolling in firefighting online training courses to hone other aspects of the functional training required to join professional ranks. Remote learning opportunities will help you save time while balancing on-job experience, gym time, and other personal commitments. You can complete these courses from the comfort of your home.
Prioritize mental health
Firefighting is a dangerous and stressful job. The responsibility of saving lives can take a toll on just about anyone. This increases the risk of suicide among trained professionals. Moreover, most people don’t realize that the first responders also encounter a fair amount of trauma on the job. A stressed-out mind is incapable of making snap judgments. Therefore, prioritize your mental well-being and engage in activities that help you reduce stress.
Consider indulging in medication activities, such as yoga and deep breathing, in your spare time. These activities help reduce stress and negative cognition. They also help to improve morale both on and off the job. Holistic therapeutic interventions help reduce trauma-related to anxiety-inducing work environments. If you feel that you need individual help, consider talking to a psychologist.
Take a balanced diet
If you want to remain healthy and fit for the job, you’re going to have to eat right too. Exercise is only one aspect of fitness; the rest comes from what you eat and drink. A healthy balanced diet packed with protein and the right combo of macros will help enhance your physical training and get you better results. To perform in such a stressful and physically demanding job, you need to have a balanced diet.
A sluggish firefighter isn’t going to be extinguishing any fires when disaster strikes. For this reason, portion control and proper nutrition are a must. You must consume enough high-quality carbs to sustain your energy levels throughout your shift, but not so much that you start feeling slow and lazy. Moreover, it’s always a good idea to supplement vitamins as you need to be physically and mentally alert. Decision-making and cognitive function need to be on point if you are want to save lives.
Moreover, if you don’t have the energy to perform, you aren’t just putting other people’s lives in danger; you could be playing with your own life as well.
Surround yourself with the right people
Having co-workers that you can count on makes all the difference. In a line of work as demanding as firefighting, you need the assurance that your pals and teammates would do just about anything for you.
Besides counting on them in challenging situations, it’s always a good idea to have people you can unburden with.
Sharing near-death experiences with people often bring you closer to them. Work with that. Develop relationships and let your colleagues and friends act as the support system you need to get through the day and play a part in saving lives.
Remember what motivates you
One of the best wellness tips in your arsenal is reminding yourself why you do what you do. Whether it’s your family or a personal commitment, wear it as a badge on your sleeve to get through the day. There are times that you might want to give up. Reminding yourself about what motivates you will give you that necessary nudge you need to overcome adversity yet another day.
Some people keep a picture of their family in their wallets, and others get a meaningful tattoo. Do whatever you have to do to give you that extra boost of motivation to get you through the day. Remember, a demotivated firefighter can be a bigger liability than you might imagine.
Putting out fires and saving lives is no ordinary feat. And firefighters need to be mindful of their health and wellness to be able to perform their jobs. This article mentioned a few health and fitness tips for firefighters. Stay physically active and focus on functional training. Prioritize your mental health to avoid trauma and work-related stress. If you need help, talk to a professional mental health specialist. Eat a balanced diet to maintain optimal energy levels on the job. Surround yourself with the right people and remember what motivates you to continue going on.
Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.