Since you’re reading this blog I know you care about your health and fitness. From talking with many firefighters like you over the years, I know that one frustration is feeling like your fellow firefighters don’t care about theirs.
Well I want to challenge you to try out a different perspective – because another thing I know, having taught countless firefighters about health, is that firefighters don’t want to admit that they don’t exactly know how to get in great shape and avoid chronic conditions.
Sure we all know to “eat right and exercise,” but that’s not specific enough. For example, do you think all your peers could list the 6 risk factors for heart attack? Could they describe the 3 most important exercises to do to prevent a back injury? Do they know the number of minutes per week that they should exercise to avoid cancer? Probably not. If this were all common sense then I wouldn’t have been able to study it for 11 years to earn my PhD.
Firefighters are competitive and have egos. They don’t want to show their weak areas. If they don’t appear to be taking care of themselves it is not likely because they don’t care to, it’s because they’re not going to ask for help or accept instruction from one of their peers.
You always need the right tool
They need to be taught exactly what to do to lose the weight, get back in shape, and live long enough to meet their grandchildren. They need a step-by-step tutorial, and they need the person delivering it to understand a firefighter’s work and home life. They need to be motivated to make a change by learning something shocking, like the fact that firefighters who have high blood pressure are 12 times more likely to die on the job.
You’ll need to find someone who is not only an expert on firefighter health but also understands the lifestyle of a firefighter and the health challenges associated with it. If you don’t have time to scour the internet for this person/information, and you’re ready to stop feeling frustrated about your coworkers health habits, consider the FitCulture program. It’s a science based, turn-key program that will change your firefighters’ attitudes about taking care of themselves. Click here to learn more about the FitCulture program.
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