Staying flexible on duty

Law enforcement officials have it tough: you’re either sitting for long hours at a time or walking patrol for long hours with the possibility of being called into action at a moments notice. It is both physically and physiologically difficult to be an officer. Unlike firefighters and EMS, police officers are unable to exercise while on duty. But that doesn’t mean you can’t integrate fitness into your shift.

Performing complicated stretches in your uniform can be difficult, especially with all the gear being carried around. So keep it simple. Stay hydrated – even mild dehydration can hinder performance. Focus on muscles groups that are frequently injured such as the shoulders, knees and lower back. Longer is better and less is more. Stretch for a full 60 seconds to really stretch your muscles, making sure not to strain them in the process. Stretching shouldn’t hurt; it should just be mildly uncomfortable.

Officer.com suggests performing chest, shoulder, knee, and hip stretches in Enforcement Flexibility: On Duty Stretching to stay fit and flexible while in uniform and on duty. Check it out for stretch specifics, including pictures, to ensure you’re performing then correctly.