It’s not easy being a first responder- EMS, Fire, Dispatch, LEO, etc. – it’s a rewarding career, but it can really take its toll on your body, physically and mentally.
Now, in the midst of a pandemic (and wildfire season), it is even more important than ever for first responders to take care of themselves and stay healthy.
Exercise is required for most first responders, and there are numerous health benefits. Here are 5 reasons why you should exercise frequently, especially during COVID-19.
Improves Health – It’s important for a first responder to stay in shape, and exercise is one of the best ways to lose fat and gain muscle. Regular exercise also helps manage and prevent many other underlying health conditions that make you more susceptible to the virus like: high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, strokes, and even cancer.
Reduces Stress – Mental health is just as (or arguably more) important as physical health, especially for first responders under a lot of pressure. When you exercise your brain releases endorphins that help you relax and decrease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
Improves Mood – Not only does exercise reduce stress, but it also boosts your mood, helping you stay on top of your game, even on a stressful day. A study found that only 20 minutes of exercise resulted in improvements in mood, both immediately and for up to 12 hours afterward.
Boosts Immunity – Physical activity produces compounds in your body that have the power to improve your immunity, decrease inflammation, and reduce viral respiratory infections, like ones found in COVID-19 suffers. This is very important for first responders who may be exposed to the virus on duty.
Enhances Cognitive Function – Regular exercise has been proven to reduce fatigue, improve alertness, and concentration, which are all vital attributes first responders need when responding to calls, especially those related to COVID-19.
If you are working out in a gym, even if it’s your own department’s gym, always remember to sanitize before and after equipment use and to maintain social distance when possible.
Stay healthy and be safe out there!
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.