Motivation to be fit starts with the first step
One thing I have learned after 13 years in the fire service is that in order for me to do the job as a relatively small older female, I have to stay in shape. The only way I was able to pass the agility test to be hired, in the first place, was due to lifting weights for years.
I had a good base when I started. Many firefighters can do the job because of their size, but to be more effective and to live longer, we need to take care of ourselves regardless of our size. We often hear of overweight firefighters coding and dying too young. We also hear about fit firefighters dying too young even though they may lift and do other means of working out, but they may not eat healthy.
As firefighters, we have to maintain overall good health. This means eating a balanced diet, performing cardio daily, and lifting weights. This also means getting sleep. Getting consistent sleep can be a challenge in the fire service where sleep deprivation is the norm. This is another topic in itself, to be discussed later.
With all this being said, I want to talk to you about motivation. After a 24-hr shift, I, at times, find it hard to find the motivation to go and workout – and I love to workout. It is hard to work out consistently when we just rely on will power. So let’s look at some tips for staying consistent and motivated with our physical fitness program.
The 3 Keys to Staying Fit and Motivated:
1- Get a Workout Partner
Having a workout partner is huge. So get a workout partner whether it is on your day off or at work. This can be the biggest motivator. I know when a group of us has worked out at the station, it has been some of the best workouts I have ever had. If not in a group, find someone who has similar capabilities, or a little bit more, to push you. You can also be a mentor to someone who needs that push.
2- Get a New Workout
Get a new workout or change-up the routine especially if you are burnt out on the one you have. This is also good because your body needs the change in order to progress. The key is that changing up the program or routine sparks some new energy and re-ignites the training sessions.
3- Schedule It
Put PT on your calendar as one of your daily tasks and make sure you follow through with it. Track it like a contest to see how many times you worked out this month and look to match it or beat it next month.
Now, get motivated to put health and fitness at the front of your mind, so that you can have a long life in the fire service and live way beyond those years. Make sure you are not over training, as that can be just as bad as not working out at all.
Article Also Contributed to by David J Soler
Photo Courtesy of Buffy Schilling