Blog of First Responder and Physical Fitness

Why Physical Fitness As A First Responder Is NO Longer Optional

July 21st 2021
Blog Post
I will start this blog off with a very powerful statistic we truly believe here at Reps For Responders, straight from ADAA.ORG (Anxiety and Depression Association of America.)

“Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults, are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the U.S. The benefits of exercise may well extend beyond stress relief to improving anxiety and related disorders.

Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.

Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.”

Being an active First Responder and using physical fitness as an outlet for the last 12 years, I must firmly believe in this study because well I know. I started “lifting weights” because I was a skinny little boy, yes not a man yet all through High School. I wanted to put muscle on and look good. I think that is a lot of peoples “why” when they first start but as my journey continued, I started to realize it wasn’t really for my physical look as much as it was for my emotional health, confidence, and mood booster. We have to define physical fitness so what is the definition? “Physical fitness refers to the ability of your body systems to work together efficiently to allow you to be healthy and perform activities of daily living. Being efficient means doing daily activities with the least effort possible.”

Right there the definition states not your muscles or your speed or agility but your BODY systems. Now the body has way more systems than we think. The most important in my opinion is the nervous system. Our brain, our computer, our control center, our million-dollar organ which can help us literally make a million dollars a year or believe we are a helpless or worse. The body has 11 systems which include integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, urinary system, and reproductive systems. If you do not know them all a simple google or YouTube search can break them all down.

I am not saying you have to be a pro bodybuilder or MMA fighter but what I am saying here is that this positive stress, yes fitness is stress to the body, can help you slow things down when it matters. As a First Responder what does it mean when things matter? When you are giving CPR, fighting a structure fire, chasing someone with a gun, having someone attack you out of no where for absolutely no reason. I firmly believe physical fitness will help you in these situations, of course they will be super stressful, and our fight, flight or freeze will be activated but one can only hope we will choose the right instinct in the right moment.

We know the job is stressful. That is an absolute fact. The going in everyday not knowing what is going to happen, the overtime, the missing family events, the tragedies we see, I can go on and on but with physical fitness on your side, it might save your partners life. A civilian’s life…even your life! If you read this blog all I am saying is to take care of you because it is not a matter of IF it is a matter of WHEN your future self will thank you. I refuse to be a statistic and with physical fitness on my side, that is one piece of the puzzle to not fall into the statistical category. All in.
Examples of physical fitness:
-Weight Training which includes Powerlifting movements, CrossFit movements, Strongman Movements, Bodybuilding Movements, Kettle Bells, and so forth.
-Bodyweight movements
-Mixed Martial Arts
- Sports such as basketball, baseball, football, frisbee, rowing and more!
- So much more! Remember it is what YOU enjoy, not what Instagram or Tick Tok says to do. Not what your friends or family is doing. Doing something you do not enjoy is almost as worse as doing nothing at all. Stay ready so you do not have to get ready!