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Health and Fitness Programs

Firefighter Sudden Cardiac Death

Approximately 100 firefighters die annually in the line of duty.  Nearly 50% die from sudden cardiac death secondary to overexertion.  

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In March 2007 the Scottsdale Fire Department will host its first ever firefighter-recruit academy. This 15-week training academy will prepare newly hired recruits to perform the duties of a firefighter.

During academy, each morning begins with an hour-and-a-half of fitness training. This is supplemented with basic health, nutrition and fitness classroom training. The goal is for each recruit to leave the academy with information that will help them achieve and maintain a health and fitness level commensurate with the job.

To prepare potential recruits, the Scottsdale Fire Department Peer Fitness Team has created a Pre-Academy Fitness Training Program (word document, 9 pgs). 

Check it out and get ready to get fit!

US Obesity Trends

During the last 20 years obesity in the US has been steadily climbing. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 30% of this country's population is obese. Hard to 
believe? View the US Obesity Trends 1985-2004 PowerPoint presentation. (pps/1.17mb/25 pages)

 

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Want to learn more 
about this topic? 

Visit the CDC site on Overweight and Obesityleaving city's web site

 

Three Weeks to a Healthier Heart

Just three weeks of healthy eating and daily moderate exercise can significantly reduce a man's risk of heart disease by lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Researchers at the UCLA put 11 obese men on a three-week health kick consisting of a very low fat, high fiber diet and daily 45-60 min walks on a treadmill.

At the end of three weeks, participants hadn't lost a significant amount of weight, but the seven men who previously had high blood pressure now had normal blood pressure, and the entire group reduced their cholesterol levels by an average of 19%.

Insulin levels dropped 46% and free radicals by 28%, both of which are associated with heart disease.

"This is the first study to show that this type of diet and exercise can reduce oxidative stress, lower blood pressure and improve risk factors for other chronic diseases in a very short time," wrote lead researcher R. James Barnard.

Source: Circulation, 2002; 106: 2530-53

12 Tips to Jump Start your Strength Training Routine

Been strength training regularly but finding it hard to get motivated to do the same routine for the millionth time? Or maybe you've hit a strength plateau and need a little help getting to the next level. 

Consider these 12 tips summarized by Patricia Amend, M. A., in the latest issue of the American Council on Exercise, Fitness Matters. One or more of the tips are sure to spark a change that will lead to a new routine or help you bust through to the next level.

1. Evaluate the other aspects of your life. Maybe it's time to do a life stress level check. Are you taking on too much and it's effecting fitness performance?
2. Make sure you're not overtraining. Rest between workouts is essential. An overworked body can lead to no gain and worse an injury.
3. Find a qualified trainer. Maybe you can benefit from a little professional help. A trainer should be able to evaluate your current routine and make suggestions for changes that will lead to new gains.
4. Review your technique. Back off on the amount of weight and be sure your technique is sound. Then start a new.
5. Look at your training progression. Are you using the proper load? Improvement or muscle adaptation will only occur if the load and the progression of the load are programmed.
6. Consider periodization. Strength training variables include session frequency, weight loads, sets, repetitions, rest periods, exercise order and speed. Maybe it's time to consider challenge the muscles in a different way.
7. Consider high-intensity training. Be careful here! If you're not an expert ask for help. An occasional high-intensity workout will definitely challenge the muscles but also increase the risk of an injury.
8. Diversify your sets. Consider changing the order of exercises, doing a super sets or compound set format.
9. Add plyometric training. These exercises are high-intensity, ballistic in nature. They will challenge you and often lead to total muscle fatigue. Get help designing a plyometric routine to prevent injuries.
10. Make sure you're eating properly. Diet does affect muscle training gain. DO a self-survey and make needed changes.
11. Rest even more. The typical 48 hours between sessions may not be enough for you. Consider trying 72 to 96 hours.
12. Be realistic about your goals. Do your goals match your enthusiasm and free time? Maybe it's time to reevaluate goals and commitment.

Visit the American Council on Exercise web site for other helpful information. leaving city's web site

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