Just like every year the United States Fire Administration puts out a report on the Firefighter Fatalities that occur across the nation. Each year they are broken down and analyzed and presented to us.
One thing remains clear to me after reading this years. WE STILL DO NOT GET IT!
Physical fitness and driving to and from incidents are still our number 1 killers. Sure we had some people die on the fireground, and those mistakes are things that need to be learned from, and corrected, but come on folks.
Heart disease is still not only the number 1 killer of us (Firefighters) it is the number 1 killer of Americans period. It was also shown in a study by the University of Kansas that firefighters are more likely to have narrower arteries than the average person due to our exposure to smoke, stress on the heart, and our sleep patterns. In short add to all of the common things that we as Americans do (poor diet, and exercise) and add to that the uncommon factors already listed and we are all a ticking time bomb, for either a heart attack or a stroke!
The thing is we can do something about it, we can get in the gym and get in shape. IT IS NOT TO LATE! 2 years ago I was 216 lbs, bottom line I was fat, well I got sick of it and decided to make a change. Today I am 176lbs have run 5k’s, 10k’s, Stair climbs, am running the tough mudder in a few weeks, and am thinking about running a tri Athlon. I work out 4-6 times a week, and try to limit my meal portions. Now look I’m not perfect, I will never be in a hot firefighter calender, but I am in good shape now, and a lot healthier. I still drink beer and eat Ice cream, and wings just not in the frequency I used to.
So get out of the chair, push away from the table and GET IN THE GYM!!!
Some of you may or may not know that my wife Karen has also started a blog, and hers focuses more on the EMS and Emergency Management side of things www.stickysidedown.wordpress.com she is also trying to start a fitness initiative for EMS purists like herself so stay tuned to those posts soon.
Be sure to follow along on twitter for my work outs @averagejakeff under the hash tag #FSWFitness also check out fellow bloggers www.fireservicewarrior.com and http://queencityburns.wordpress.com/ for some other fitness ideas.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!