Lifeguards must exercise often and maintain prime physical and mental condition to function at a high level when beach and pool emergencies strike. The "Press of Atlantic City" reports that Wildwood beach lifeguards run five to 10 miles per day in addition to two full workouts. Most lifeguards perform rigorous training exercises on a daily basis to keep in shape. Strength training, swimming drills and emergency scenario simulation exercises are part of a balanced lifeguard fitness routine.
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) recommends one to three strength training sessions per week, including exercises for increasing and maintaining arm, shoulder, chest, back and core strength. Warm up for 15 minutes to raise body temperature, increase heart rate and prepare muscles for strenuous exercise. Jog, row, bicycle and stretch to get ready before the main workout. Do a mix of 10 exercises at two sets of 10 repetitions each with about a minute between sets. Choose exercises such as bicep curls, dips for the triceps, push-ups, pull-ups, latissimus pull-downs, sit-ups, dead lifts, stair climbing, stepping or rowing. Rotate through different exercises each session. Finish the workout with 15 minutes of various aerobic exercises and 15 minutes of stretching.
The RNLI gives an outline of swimming drills to keep up your fitness level, swimming strength and speed. The entire set of drills takes about 70 minutes to complete and should be done one to three times per week, as time allows. Warm up for 10 minutes with a total of 300 meters of lap swimming with 12 sets of 25 meters or six sets of 50 meters using the same stroke or alternating strokes for each set. Train skills with six sets of 50 meters at a comfortable pace. Improve the quality of your swimming strokes with 16 sets of 25, eight sets of 50 or four sets of 100 meters at a racing pace. Build endurance with three sets of 400, two sets of 200 or four sets of 100 meters.Rest for 15 to 60 seconds between sets for all swimming drills. Conclude with a cool down by swimming laps at a relaxed pace for a total of 150 to 200 meters.
Emergency Simulation Exercises
The "Press of Atlantic City" reports that the Brigantine Beach Patrol conducts group training sessions for beach lifeguards with simulated rescue situations. Lifeguards are timed and scored based on their response times, accuracy throwing life preservers at mock victims and swimming speed. The University of California at Santa Cruz offers advanced lifeguard training courses for lifeguards to learn scuba diving rescue skills and other forms of advanced swimming and rescue techniques. Many city recreation centres offer lifeguard training courses with simulated emergency situations for potential lifeguards.
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