Feel fit and healthy with Midlands Air Ambulance critical care paramedic Fay Pollock as she talks us through some simple exercises to boost your fitness levels
Fitness is something that you build into your life in order to embrace it fully and, crucially, enjoy it! It’s very difficult to balance work, life and fitness, however there are a few things that I do to keep fit. My first go-to exercise is running, which is a fabulous cardio exercise.
While I am out running, I am away from the pressures of work, housework and all the normal strains of life. It’s just me and the open air. Exercise is essential for me as a critical care paramedic (CCP) both physically and mentally. It clears my head as I have time to reflect on some of the challenging jobs we attend. Not always being able to land by the side of an incident means that we have to run with kit and equipment. You have to be fit so that you are still able to look after the patient once you reach them.
FAY’S TOP RUNNING TIPS
1. You can do it anywhere. You can do as much or as little as your time and fitness levels allow you to.
2. All you need is a good pair of trainers! You don’t need expensive equipment or the latest fashionable gym kit.
3. You don’t have to rely on others, but at the same time it’s so easy to find somebody like-minded who you can buddy up with.
4. You can listen to music or just enjoy the quiet pleasure of a run in our beautiful countryside.
5. You can do it at any time. I always train in the morning. I appreciate how difficult it is to exercise when you have a family, so just work around them – get up half-an-hour earlier than the family and go for a quick run then. Or get the kids to run with you. I occasionally run with my goddaughter and she is 11, so she definitely keeps me on my toes.
6. You can set your own challenges depending on how you feel: sprint to the first lamppost, then jog to the next, sprint to the one after, and so on.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Warm up with just a few stretches and warm down with a few more.
If you are going to train outside wear highly visible clothing such as reflective bands, lights and tell somebody what route you are going to take.
If you get injured rest for a few days, use ice if necessary and get medical help if the injury persists.
Do something that you enjoy. You don’t have to be good at it, just do it for your own self-worth, self-being and self-satisfaction.
Start off gently, don’t go too hard to begin with. If you’ve never run before, you will hate it and so won’t do it again.