Being healthy is important to anyone, no matter what their job is. But, when the job is physically demanding, it’s even more important to be physically fit, as Jennifer Knight, deputy police chief in Columbus, Ohio, says.
For people who have demanding jobs — such as law enforcement officers and construction workers, to name a few — staying fit is a requirement of the job. Because these jobs require such physical exertion on a daily basis, how people stay fit during off-hours can look quite different from those who work a desk job, for instance.
Below are some ways to stay fit when your job demands it.
Build Stamina Through Cardio
In order to meet the demands of some of these jobs, people will need to have good stamina. The best way to do this is through cardiovascular exercises that can build your stamina and heart health.
Examples of these exercises include biking, swimming, and jogging/running. This can be done outside or on training equipment in a gym. You may also consider other physical activities that force your heart to work harder, such as playing sports.
All of this will improve your stamina and help you lower your blood sugar and blood pressure, reduce your LDL cholesterol, reduce stress, and improve sleep.
Build Core Strength
Your “core” refers to gluteus muscles, lower back, obliques, abdominals, and hip flexors. This set of muscles helps with any movement that involves pushing, reaching, pulling, twisting, and bending.
You may have heard personal trainers or fitness experts talk about building a strong core, and there’s a reason for that. When you have a strong core, you’re less prone to injuries that can stick around for a while and be nagging.
The core muscles aren’t always what people focus on when they work out, but they should be.”For law enforcement, remaining physically fit is critical to how they do their job every day and to their longevity within the profession,” said Jennifer Knight, Deputy Police Chief in Columbus, Ohio. “So, I think that the most important thing that you can do as a law enforcement officer is to prioritize your own personal health.”
Take Time to De-Stress
Physically-demanding jobs are stressful — both for a person’s physical and mental well-being. Many recent studies have shown that physical and mental health are directly tied together. In other words, if you aren’t in a good mindset, you’re more susceptible to suffer physically, and vice versa.
That’s why part of your routine should focus on your mental health. Take time to de-stress by engaging in activities that you enjoy. Read, go for a walk, spend time with family and friends, or meditate.
Whatever you enjoy doing in your free time, make sure to etch out time to do it.”You have to make sure that you build in time every day and every week for those things,” said Jennifer Knight. “It allows you to manage stress better, it allows you to perform your job better, and it helps make for a rounded person as an individual. So, making that time and building that into your schedule is critical.”
About Jennifer Knight
Jennifer Knight, Deputy Police Chief in Columbus, Ohio, is known for dynamic leadership, innovative community engagement, and excellence in the field of law enforcement. After earning her Juris Doctor, she received the National Women’s Law Association Award of Excellence. Ms. Knight is a strong advocate for women in law enforcement and is a passionate community volunteer.