Physical Fitness: A must for all Customs and Border Patrol Employees

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If you’re already hired as a Border Patrol Agent of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you know how tough the physical requirements are. Not only do you undergo the physical fitness test once, you actually need to do so twice. Physical Fitness Test 1 (PFT-1) happens early in the hiring process to select those who really meet the demands of the job. Physical Fitness Test 2 (PFT-2) takes place before you graduate from the Border Patrol Academy.

However, staying physically fit does not end with passing PFT-2. For all Federal workers, staying in the best of shape is a must. And this holds true especially with those who are working for law enforcement agencies in the Federal government. Staying healthy on the job will not only help you do your work more effectively and keep injuries to a minimum; it will also reduce absences and decrease your chances of getting chronic disease.

Observing a healthy lifestyle is a vital component in staying physically fit. Fitness experts recommend eating a healthy diet composed mainly of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated with water and avoiding high-calorie items like soft drinks, French fries, red meat and the like will also help you stay in shape.

But for Border Patrol Agents and other officers of the CBP, regular exercise is essential. Stretching, strengthening, and aerobic conditioning workouts must be done on a regular basis to ensure that you stay fit and healthy. While doing patrols, BPAs can find themselves in chases and in various scenarios that require them not only to think quickly but move quickly as well. Running, chasing, and ducking are all part of the job especially in highly-charged situations where agents try to go after illegal migrants or smugglers. Thus, it’s essential that you are always up to the task.

Before you start any exercise program, you should see to it that you have no active injury or disability. If you are recovering from an injury, you should follow the regimen given to you by your attending physician. Even if you have no injury, you should still go to your doctor for advice regarding the regimen that will best suit your state of health.

Any exercise program you follow should always start slowly. Otherwise, you risk injuring yourself and minimizing the gains that you want to get from the exercise. Doing warm ups is necessary before you begin doing your workouts to prevent stretching “cold muscles.” You can gradually increase the intensity when your body has already adjusted to the regimen.

Strengthening exercises can be done 2 to 3 times a week while stretching exercises can be done 3 to 5 times a week. Aerobic conditioning can also be performed at least three times a week. Don’t worry if you feel any discomfort when beginning your exercise program. However, this should not go longer after the workout. Consult your doctor if the pain lingers longer than necessary.