The police culture of 'whenever he gets time he eats and whenever he gets space he sleeps' needs to change to become a fit cop

IPS Vivek Raj Singh Kukrele, DIG Chattarpur Range MP Police writes in BW PoliceWorld magazine exclusively on police health, fitness and fitness challenges during the pandemic

Photo Credit : Vivek Raj Singh Kukrele,

DIG Chattarpur Range (MP), Vivek Raj Singh Kukrele

Fit Cop

During this pandemic  emphasis on health has increased among us. At the same time, contribution of front line workers has been generally appreciated by most of the citizens. Police being one of the important functionaries in government system operate 24*7 the year round. Fitness remains neglected amongst police most of the time . Now one must give time to rethink self about the cause of becoming unfit and should work on improving life style in longer run .

It is rather an occupational irony that while policing is a job wherein selection of both the Constabulary and Non Gazatted officers happens based on physical fitness, over time these very men and women become unfit over a period of time as they become a part of the active policing machinery. 

One Needs to understand the reasons and how this can be corrected.

Basically being one an emergency service, the unscheduled job profile of Police makes the policeman have a generally Unhealthy life style. A police man who was working hard physically and mentally for getting selected for police and even during his\her training hardly finds time to do physical work out - which over a period of time makes them gain weight . Improper sleep profile makes situation even worse. There is a saying in Police "wherever he gets a meal, he eats and whenever he gets opportunity, he sleeps" because of the uncertainty when one needs to rush to the place of duty where he will have to stand for hours without food even water. So he grabs whatever is available readily near the duty point, that is mostly oily food, tea and bakery items - food that is calorie dense food and not very much filling . So he will try to have his meal whenever he gets another opportunity and this has a further negative impact on his health and physical fitness. He cannot carry packed food along because he is always unsure of when and where he would be able to eat this. 

So the FIT Cop becomes FAT Cop very quickly once they become part of hectic day to day policing. Because  neither are they able to manage diet nor their exercise regime. This hectic schedule also becomes an easy excuse for not doing exercise on odd time .

Now after observing people who have been able to manage fitness there are few conclusions

*Active lifestyle*

Generally one should start doing physical activities like 

1. Walk when talking on mobile - whenever one starts talking on phone just get up from seat and start walking , those 100-200 steps each call will improve NEET (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) invariably . So that will help to improve over all calories burnt by an individual.

2. Play games - whenever gets opportunity one should play some game , generally there is culture of team games in which one should get involved  

3. Walk when one needs to cover small distances instead of going in vehicle, this will not only improve visibility of police but also will improve NEAT for individual.

4. Morning /evening walk - One should inhibit habit of scheduled walk as a daily routine,  this can be done after meal or early morning/ late evening as per suitability of each individual .

5. Participate in home chores - Should help whenever he gets opportunity, this will definitely help burn some extra calories .

*Mindfull eating*

Monitoring each meal is a very important aspect of healthy lifestyle . Whatever one is eating , how many calories that food contains. 

One needs to understand that Food is fuel for the human body and if fuel is given much more than required it will obviously be stored in human body. Our body also sends us messages of being full so we should not over eat . There are certain reasons of over eating 

1. Having some snacks just before regular meal, that can make one full but we go for regular meal just because it is meal time and meal has to taken. 

2. It is taken as bad habit/inauspicious when one leaves food in the plate so one tries to finish everything on the plate even when they feel full - so at that time they should only take that much food in plate which can be finished by individual.

3. Eating mindlessly when attending social function or eating in buffet - these are times when one needs to control the portions and also make rough estimate of calories they have taken and control intake.

4. Habit of having tea/coffee many times in a day to ensure social responsibility or give company to colleagues or citizens. In this case one can opt for water or if can not be avoided go for green tea/black coffee . 

5. Having high carb and fat diet while taking very low proportion of protein. As Protein is a very important micronutrient it is required for muscle building/repairing. Besides protein has good satiety so including it in good quantity will help in having better meals with relatively lesser calories . 

6. Having meals/snacks outside on regular basis - As we all know outside meal contains relatively more oil as oil makes cooking easier and tastier which obviously serves the commercial viability of food industry . One needs to start carrying home cooked food which is healthier , fresh and contains relatively lower calories than outside food. In case one cannot carry food from home then swap meals which are easily available and have lower calories like fruits/ Salad / green veggies. They can have food with good proteins like milk, ground nuts, puffed rice, boiled eggs, roasted chickpeas, raw paneer etc which can makes meet calories requirements and satisfy hunger. 

7.Not controlling portion size - So called healthiest food also if eaten in surplus will be stored by the body as Fat so it's very important to control portion size as per the requirement of body.

If we know what is our bodily requirement, then we can monitor calories accordingly. BMR ( Basal Metabolic Rate) is calories required by body to run day to day affairs. One should take those many minimum calories so that the body keep functioning without any malfunction. TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) is the number of calories burn by body, meeting all activities’ energy requirements. If one wants to maintain weight, one should eat around TDEE if some one wants to reduce weight should eat less than TDEE. Active life style will help in Increasing TDEE of that individual so he/ she can enjoy more food as he/she is burning more calories. Also increasing NEAT will help in same . So my suggestion to all is opting for Active heathy life style and mindful eating which will surely help in having better physical appearance and improve Confidence levels.


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