Many (most?) of us could stand to lose some weight. It is just a fact that obesity is a growing and serious problem in every demographic group. Well known emergency physician and EMS author Dr. Bryan Bledsoe shares his own struggle with obesity and his current efforts to lose weight (keep up the great work doc) in a JEMS.com article.
I would echo many of his tips and add a few Everyday EMS Tips that have worked well for me to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight:
1. Set a goal to participate in an event that is 12-20 weeks away. Work out regularly, 4 to 6 times per week, to prepare for that event. I run so most of my fitness events are running races.
2. Make exercise a family activity. I enjoy walks with my wife while pushing our children in strollers. We also take bike rides together as a family.
3. Find a partner. I always run faster and longer when running with my regular running partner. The same thing happens when we rode bike. We push one another to increase the speed and distance. Competition is OK.
4. Use a smaller plate. I eat almost all of my meals at home on a salad plate instead of a full size dinner plate. There is simply less room to pile on more side dishes. Once my plate is clear I realize I feel full and go direct to the dishwasher.
5. Sometimes a drastic change is needed. I LOVE ice cream. During the summer of 2008 I stopped eating ice cream during my marathon training program. I quickly dropped 10 pounds that had not been coming off during the previous 10 weeks of training. Now I occasionally eat ice cream but nowhere near the amount I did in 2008.
What tips would you offer to Dr. Bledsoe, me, and other EMS professionals that are trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle?
Also a great resource for any Emergency Responder is the Fit Responder blog and book by Bryan Fass. Check it out for ideas, tips, and encouragement to improve your flexibility, strength, and endurance.