Getting Older, Staying Fit

No matter what your age (or assignment), there’s a good chance that you’re not quite in the same shape you were when you got out of the academy. If regular exercise has eluded you lately, start with doing something you like to do anyway.

Incorporate some movement in your range training, and on the days you can’t get to the range, simulate some of those movements at the gym or in your living room.  In fact, think about what movements you need to do at work to be successful and practice those during your off duty time.   Regular routine of wind sprints from a sitting position in your personal car can make all of the difference the next time you have to run down a 14 year old shoplifter.   So what if the neighbors think you’re a little crazy?  You’re a cop, they probably already do.  You can make it even more fun by involving the family.  Compete with your kids or grandkids (or your spouse, partner or a neighbor kid who needs a little attention) to see who can bail out of the driver’s seat and sprint 100 yards the fastest.  Fitness should be fun, and adding some family bonding time and some laughter to it means you’re more likely to keep doing it. 

The bottom line is this:  get moving!  If you like to run, do it.  If you think joining a class or a club or a CrossFit gym will help you stay motivated, try it.  If your dog has the same “spare tire” around his midsection that you have, then snap on that leash and get him (and you) back in shape.  Be realistic about your abilities, and don’t overdo it, get injured and have to stop.  If you haven’t exercised in awhile, start slow.  See if one (or more) of your friends at work wants to get moving with you.  There’s nothing like making a commitment to another person to help keep you motivated. 

Finally, check you mindset.  Your attitude toward your personal physical fitness should be similar to your attitude toward officer safety.  You have to be vigilant about your safety and vigilant about your fitness; remember, the two are deeply connected.  The older you get, the healthier and more fit you want to strive to be.  Use your “Not Today!” attitude and make healthy choices about your diet and exercise a daily commitment, mentally as well as physically.  You’ll feel better, look better, and most importantly, you’ll perform better.  You’ll have the confidence to say to that 17 year old burglar who just decided to run on you “Go ahead and run kid, I’m right behind you.”


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