As an electrician I can confidently say that we are usually in pretty good shape physically as far as being able to physically perform most tasks and due to having to contort ourselves in weird positions while pulling wire or making splices we stay ‘able’ to do most different types of work. However, that being said some of us ‘might’ be guilty of eating bad foods from time to time off the roach coach or from deli’s on the way to the jobsite. Let’s face it, us electricians dont eat so healthy all the time! Also, here in sacramento there are so many good places to eat and it’s so hard to stay on a structured regimen when it comes to eating healthy. The following is an article I found that has some good exercises for electricians and hey it would be a start! The second part of this one-two punch would be a balanced diet but hey.. lets take this one step at a time! I hope you enjoy the article by allen b. ury.
Exercises for Electricians: Stay in Shape to Deliver Peak Performance
by Allen B. Ury
Being an electrician is a very physical job. You have to climb ladders, squeeze into tight places, reach into ceilings, crawl around in attics, and lift heavy tools. You have to kneel and squat and bend and stretch. In other words, you’ll be a better electrician if you’re in good physical condition. Being in shape can also help you avoid painful muscle strains and potentially debilitating injuries.
As you train for your electrician career, don’t forget to train your body as well. Here are the areas that need your attention:
Your Upper Body:- As an electrician, you’ll often be required to lift heavy equipment such as air conditioners, ceiling fans, chandeliers, lighting fixtures, etc. Strong arm, shoulder, chest and neck muscles will prove extremely useful in such situations. Good upper body strength is useful when lifting ceiling fans, fixtures, etc., into overhead positions. Recommended Exercises: Push-ups, bench press, pull-ups and bicep curls.
Your Back/Core: Even with the best of upper-body muscles, any lifting you do is going to put some strain on your back. The twisting, turning and bending that is part of many electrical installation and repair jobs will also task the muscles around your spine and hips. It’s all too easy to pull a back muscle. And when you do, recovery can take days…or even weeks. Keep those back and core muscles warm and limber to avoid long and painful injuries. Recommended Exercises: Hip bridges, side planks, lunges and leg lifts.
Grip Strength: When they call electrical work a hands-on occupation, they aren’t kidding. Virtually all the work you do will involve some kind of hand tools. You will need to grip, hold, twist and push tools of various dimensions and weights, often for hours at a time. Squeezing a wire-snipper handle once can seem easy. Do it a hundred times in a row, and it can become exhausting. Exercise your hand muscles regularly to maintain strength, flexibility and endurance. Recommended Exercises: Hand grippers, wrist curls and reverse wrist curls.
Lower Body/Knee Strength: How many times have you been told to “lift with your legs.” Focusing on leg muscles can certainly take pressure off your back (see above). Also remember that only a fraction of the electrical work you’ll perform is likely to be at eye-level. Being an electrician usually requires a lot of bending, squatting, crouching, etc. Not to mention getting up and down from sitting or squatting positions. Having strong legs and knees will help you stay at the top of your professional game for many years. Recommended Exercises: Squats, leg press, bent leg raises, straight leg raises and wall lifts.
In addition to muscle strength, you need to develop and maintain many overall physical attributes to deliver peak professional performance. These include:
Flexibility: As an electrician, you’ll often be required to squeeze into areas not designed for long-term habitation. Cramped equipment closets, crawlspaces, attics and even voids between walls may become familiar workspaces. You need not be a contortionist to be a successful electrician (although it helps), but you do need to keep your body loose and nimble. Recommended Exercises: Spine/trunk turning, spine extensions, spine flexion and lateral flexion.
Leanness: A good diet offers a wide range of benefits, not the least of which is keeping you thin enough to fit into all those tight spaces listed above. Not carrying around excess fat can also make standing, squatting and climbing a whole lot easier. In addition to the professional benefits, staying thin can also help you control your blood pressure, blood sugar and other metabolic factors that determine your quality of life. Recommendations: Avoid fried foods, processed foods, candy/pastries, white bread, potatoes, white rice and other foods that offer only empty calories. Focus on eating whole grains, lean protein, and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Endurance: Electrical work often requires you to spend many hours on your feet or moving from place to place. Beyond strength, endurance can help you keep up with the job’s physical demands. Endurance is often achieved by maintaining lung capacity and cardiovascular health. Recommendations: Don’t smoke. Limit alcohol consumption. Stay thin, and exercise aerobically — fast walking or jogging — 20 to 30 minutes per day, five to seven days per week.
Vitality: Good nutrition and exercise will help you maintain a high energy level throughout the day. But perhaps even more important, get enough sleep to optimize your health and mental alertness. When you’re working with electricity, the last thing you want to be is too groggy and light-headed. Recommendations: Get 6-1/2 to eight hours of sleep daily. Try to go to bed and wake up at or near the same time every day, including weekends. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule will help you avoid that “jet-lag” feeling on Monday mornings.