Firefighters report that studying for promotion can lead to poor sleep habits, neglecting exercise, and unhealthy dietary choices. These individuals gain weight and see their fitness levels significantly decrease during this time. Many firefighters have difficulty losing the excess weight and regaining their pre-exam fitness level. These changes are often permanent and affect physical performance for the rest of their career.
Lack of time plays a large role in the struggle to maintain a regular exercise routine. The unpredictable schedule of first responders can make fitting in a workout even more challenging. Continuous exercise for as little as five minutes, can be beneficial to retain (and even improve) muscular strength and cardiovascular health. Dr.
This website supports the “Take No Smoke” campaign and shares information on the Boston Fire Departments efforts to mitigate exposures.
Video from Dr. Mike Evans entitled “23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?”
Body composition measurements are a useful tool to evaluate health and fitness. There are many methods to calculate these values but very few are reliable. Electronic scales, calipers (“pinchers”), and handheld body fat estimators are low-cost but do not provide accurate results.
The Austin Fire Department Training Academy consists of six months of physical and mental challenges. It is very important to arrive in peak physical condition in order to perform at the high level expected of all cadets.There are daily workouts that train for both strength and conditioning. These include weightlifting, stairclimbing, weighted sled pushes, running sprints, and other strenuous activities. This is in addition to the physically demanding fire skills training cadets practice daily.