First responder physical health risks: How to detect problems lying in wait

Take charge of your physical health and wellness so you can identify potential issues and address them before they cause trouble

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for all first responders and it’s about your physical health and wellness.

Public safety jobs can take a toll on physical health. As a first responder, you are at elevated risk for hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Your chances of having a heart attack – and having one when you’re young – are higher than the general population.

Fight back against these statistics. Take charge of your physical health and wellness so you can identify potential issues and address them before they cause trouble.

When was the last time you had an annual physical? If it’s been more than a year, call and schedule one today. Don’t wait. I particularly want to talk to the men in this audience about this as your reputation for avoiding the doctor is well-earned. Please, change that paradigm!

Regular physical examinations often detect problems lying in wait. For example, controlling your weight and blood pressure are keys to avoiding obesity and hypertension, both of which are potential early signs of bigger problems to come.

Second diet issues. Make sure your diet includes as many whole foods as possible – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, chicken, and other lean meats. Stopping for fast food is often the go-to for hungry first responders. But a reliance on fast food can have a negative impact on your physical health and wellness.

Lastly, make sure to get good sleep and regular cardiovascular exercise. Both are important to help you remain physically fit, recharge and heal from injuries and illness, and avoid disease.

None of this is rocket science – but it’s critically important. You must take good care of yourselves so you can take good care of your loved ones, your families, your co-workers and the communities you serve.

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

Get more tips from Gordon here.

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