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The StreetFit Challenge

Written by Ed Sanow

Policing favors the physically fit. Even performing only admin tasks, a physically fit officer has fewer health problems. In fact, an emphasis on fitness for the desk-bound officer may be just as important for the quality of life as fitness for the patrol officer. As an incentive for all officers to become more fit, we are conducting this StreetFit Challenge.

Many ways exist to measure fitness. Some methods are complicated or time-consuming or expensive. These methods are accurate and relevant, but perhaps a bit abstract. On a one-on-one basis, these methods are great. However, for a wide-open, no holds barred contest, nothing is as easy to administer, simple to understand and easy to verify as weight loss.

By eating better and working out more, you lose weight and are arguably more physically fit. If you lose 25 or 50 pounds, your aerobic and anaerobic fitness will almost certainly improve along the way. The StreetFit Challenge is both gender neutral and age neutral.

On Monday, March 2, put on your workout clothes and cross-trainers. Weigh in. Have your supervisor sign off on the “before” weight reading. That same day, in the same clothes and shoes, get a “before” high-resolution photo taken. The contest will run 6 months.

On Monday, September 7, put on those same clothes and shoes, which won’t fit any more, of course. Weigh in again. Again, have your supervisor sign off on the “after” weight and have an “after” high-resolution photo taken. The weight loss, expressed as a percentage, is your score.

The First Place winner will get a cash prize, a new uniform and new body armor. The Second and Third Place winners will also get a cash prize. The list of challenge sponsors and the exact details of the challenge are on the LAW and ORDER Web site at www.lawandordermag.com.

To enter, mail us the “before” weight on department letterhead signed off by a supervisor and a CD with the “before” photo. We will need the participating officer’s name and full contact info (agency, address, e-mail, cell phone). This can be sent to StreetFit Challenge, Hendon Publishing, 130 North Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL 60015. Do the same thing in 6 months.

Multiple officers from the same agency may enter. Your entire agency can challenge the entire agency of a rival. To help your pursuit of fitness, health and weight loss, we have put together a series of officer-specific health, fitness and nutrition articles, where the side benefit is weight loss.

As chief or sheriff, I hope you will participate. Your signature alone on the entry will do just fine. Set the example. Lead from the front.

Published in Law and Order, Jan 2009

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