CBP Border Patrol Agents: Suggested Exercises for Cardiovascular Conditioning

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The physical fitness requirements of Border Patrol Agents are enormous. On a typical day, Border Patrol Agents do linewatch, vehicle inspections, and traffic checkpoints to secure our land borders. While some do patrols on vehicles, agents assigned in remote areas often have to conduct their patrol activities on foot because of the inaccessibility of the place to any form of motorized transport. Running after illegal entrants or even criminals is part of the job of an agent and for this, much strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning is needed.

To ensure that you are aerobically fit to do the daily tasks of a Border Patrol Agent, doing cardiovascular exercises is paramount. Walking and running are the easiest ways to keep your heart and the rest of your cardiovascular system healthy and strong. Of course, you can always incorporate other aerobic activities such as cycling, swimming, and rowing into your regimen but the easiest way to begin is to walk, jog, or run. If this is the first time that you intend to engage in an aerobic program or are over 40 years, be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure that your heart can perform well under strenuous conditions.

Even before you are hired as a Border Patrol Agent, you need to be in the best cardiovascular shape to be able to be considered. If you are considering joining the CBP as an agent, you need to start walking. Passing a Physical Fitness Test early in the hiring process determines your chances of making it to the next level. To get you started on your walking regimen, reserve about 30 to 45 minutes of your time each day for this exercise. Depending on your schedule, you can walk in the mornings or evenings but once you have set a schedule, be sure to stick to it. As much as possible, the place where you choose to exercise must be away from traffic and pollution and have a soft surface (e.g. grass) to minimize injury to your feet.

Before you start walking, do warm ups for at least 5 minutes so that you don’t needlessly injure yourself. Warming up can mean walking normally for this span of time. Afterwards, you can do brisk walking. If you have just started then walking briskly for 5 minutes is sufficient. Cool down for 5 minutes before completely stopping your exercise. As you get used to walking, you can build up your initial 15 minutes to 17, then to 19, then to 21 minutes until you are able to walk for 40 minutes straight. Soon, you will be able to walk for an hour.

Another way to stay in shape by walking is to walk 10,000 steps a day. With the use of a pedometer, just walk whenever and wherever you can with the goal of reaching 10,000 steps for one day. For instance, you can walk the stairs instead of riding the elevator or parking your car as far away in the parking lot so that you have no choice but to walk the rest of the way. By doing so, you build up your cardiovascular system and pass the physical fitness requirements to become a Border Patrol Agent.