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First in Fitness
by Bryan Fass

EMS wellness: Explained in pictures

The next time you have a craving or need a simple reminder to keep you on track, pull up this infographic and stay the course

By Bryan Fass

What is wellness?

Is it health, lack of disease, good fitness, nutrition, stress management, financial wellness, lack of pain or mental health?

The answer is all of the above. There is not a single all-encompassing thing to create wellness; it is simply a lifestyle choice. In a busy EMS system wellness can become very complicated and difficult to follow.

Often we succumb to the sheer volume and constant stress of the job, which will rapidly erode your wellness on all levels and lead to a predictable path of disease. If it's predictable it's also preventable.

The beginning of this infographic depicts what a poor diet and lack of fitness will do to your body. No one wants to even think about it, but most EMTs leave the profession in less than five years due to injury and even more leave because they cannot handle the stress of the job.

One of the few things we can control when on the street is how we fuel our body and how we help it heal. They go hand-in-hand; we need good nutrition to give us energy and to help fight diseases caused by stress and fatigue. 

You cannot out exercise a bad diet. Making good food choices will help you feel better, have more energy and reduce your chances of getting hurt.

Movers with a medical complex

In EMS we are movers with a medical complex. I bet you never thought of it that way? EMS is a physical job that requires job-specific strength and conditioning.

Good cardiovascular fitness will reduce your chance of injury, help you to better deal with stress, and lead to more sleep. Good fitness also means that you will also eat better; you have got to feed the machine and it likes clean, natural foods.

So the next time that you have a craving for something bad, don't know what exercise to do, or need some motivation or a simple reminder to keep you on track, pull up this infographic and stay the course.    

About the author

Bryan Fass is a leading expert on public safety injury prevention. As the president and founder of Fit Responder, Bryan’s company works nationally with departments, corporations, and state and local governments to design and run targeted injury prevention and wellness programs. He is frequently contacted for expert opinion and content contribution for all aspects of public safety fitness, ergonomics and wellness. He authored the Fit Responder book used by departments and schools, and writes for numerous web and peer-reviewed journals.

Bryan holds a bachelors’ degree in sports medicine with more than 17 years of clinical practice, was a paramedic for more than 8 years, and is certified as an Athletic Trainer (ATC, LAT), Strength Coach (CSCS) and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Fit Responder developed the nation’s first validated pre-hire Physical Abilities Test for EMS. Bryan is a sought-after speaker on a variety of topics including risk reduction, employee self-care, real world wellness and How to Eat on the street. Fit Responder also offers a mobile app and program for Fire-Rescue fitness. Contact Bryan at
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Pat Hisel Pat Hisel Monday, July 07, 2014 7:24:07 PM Good cardio fitness will reduce your risk of injury? That's one component of it, but a combination of strength, especially functional strength, will go extremely far on helping reduce your risk of an on the job injury.
Scott E Mc Scott E Mc Monday, September 08, 2014 6:40:12 PM I think what they're getting at is if your cardio is good, you won't get as winded easily, and make a stupid move when doing a heavy lift. Strength is also important, but strength without stamina is useless. Also, CPR is cardio, so there's that.
Matthew Whitt Matthew Whitt Monday, September 08, 2014 8:03:42 PM Most of the time when you are craving chocolate you are simply craving chocolate.
Laura Toth Laura Toth Tuesday, September 09, 2014 1:21:46 PM It'd be great.....if we could *read* the infographic. No high res version to link to?

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