Health & Safety

December 21, 2012

Firefighters rely on good nutrition

Senior Airman SANDRA WELCH
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Most would think the highest risk for firefighters would be fire related. However, that’s not the case.

“The number one killer of firefighters is heart disease,” said Marty Yates, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron health assistant chief and safety officer. “Proper nutrition, cardio, strengthening and rest can help lower the risk.”

Aaron Anderson, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dietitian, recently spoke to 56th CES Fire Emergency Services members regarding health guidelines and how to implement them.

“Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard,” Anderson said. “You can make eating healthy, enjoyable and tasty. There are no food police. You can eat whatever you want but there are foods that are better for you than others.”

Eating lighter meats, such as chicken or fish more often than dark meats, is a healthier choice, Anderson said. He explained how to read nutrition facts on product labels. Reading the labels can help people make a smarter quick meal decision.

“A good way to make a quick meal is prepare food in bulk,” Anderson said. “Bulk foods can be cooked, refrigerated and reheated easily for a healthier meal.”
For firefighters, bulk foods can be more convenient when prepared for on the go.

“Firefighters have to go at the drop of a hat,” Anderson said. “You may not be able to sit down and peel an orange, which takes time. Prepping can make it easier to eat healthier. Fruit cups and applesauce are an example of ways to eat healthier on the go.”

Anderson recommends preparing bulk foods immediately after buying them. Cook, wash and store them. Do what is needed to make it more convenient.

“Starting next month Anderson will be helping the fire services,” Yates said. “He’ll come by to show us how to shop healthier and provide us with cooking classes.”

After talking about healthy eating habits, Anderson spoke about supplements.

“Supplements such as protein powders can help repair muscle after working out,” he said. “One myth is that protein needs to be taken within 30 minutes of finishing a workout. It takes your body eight to 12 hours to digest protein, and it isn’t absorbed into the body until after it leaves the stomach.”

Sleep is a very important part, not only for repairing muscle, but keeping a healthy lifestyle. Firefighters however, may be required to go from deep sleep to being wide awake in the middle of the night. An option many use today for an instant boost are energy drinks.

“I am not going to say energy drinks are good or bad,” Anderson said. “Everyone’s body reacts differently to energy drinks. One thing people should watch out for is too much caffeine. If the caffeine affects your sleep you need to wean yourself off. As with protein it takes the body eight to 12 hours to break down half of the caffeine a person consumes. Anxiety and restlessness are possible signs of too much caffeine.”

Not only is caffeine something to keep in mind but also vitamin B6, which is included in most energy drinks and should be watched.

“B6 toxicity is something to be cautious of when drinking energy drinks,” Anderson said. “It can cause numbness and tingling in the extremities which is basic nerve damage. This nerve damage is irreversible.”

The highest amount of B6 contained in any energy drink is 40 milligrams. The National Academy of Science has established a tolerable upper limit of 100 milligrams daily for adults.

“I didn’t realize that it took more than eight hours to break down things like caffeine and protein,” said Staff Sgt. Bud Cleavenger, 56th CES lead firefighter. “I now plan to meet with Mr. Anderson to reconstruct my diet.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Air Force News – April 25, 2014

Hawaii As part of a morale tour sponsored by the American 300 Warrior Support Organization, U.S. Olympian and Sochi Olympics bronze medal winner Alex Deibold toured the 15th Wing and visited with Airmen at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Romania A week-long bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and the Romanian air force concluded at the...
 
 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 

 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 
 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin