NYC Firefighter brings unique perspective to fitness and nutrition

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By David J. Ramoy The Pineapple Contributing Writer There are certain careers that stand out in the crowd, occupations that become superhero-like to those of us in the 9-5 grind. Yes doctors save lives, teachers enrich our youth’s minds and Presidents lead a country of people in a democracy. Yet none of them get the crowd favorite reaction like Firefighter, and especially one from New York City. Being a NYC Firefighter (FDNY) is an elite class that is respected worldwide, and yet with all the perks of being one of NYC bravest, there comes a price. Constant lugging of heavy equipment, wearing gear weighing up to 75lbs, overnight shifts, and did I mention running into fire! Staying healthy and fit is recreational for most of us, but for the men and women of FDNY it’s a must! Meet FDNY Firefighter, Mr. March for this year’s Official 2016 NYC Firefighters Calendar of Heroes, and future Pineapple Newspaper columnist Mike Arciprete. Mike loves coming to Delray Beach any chance he can get, and his upcoming monthly column will share some great advice on how he manages to stay healthy and fit with such a demanding job. Hi Mike Tell us about yourself, how did you get to become a NYC fireman? My grandfather is a retired FDNY Lieutenant, and as a kid I loved being around fire trucks and growing up hearing firefighter stories. Becoming a NYC Firefighter was a big goal of mine, so I did whatever it took to achieve that goal. That’s how I try to live my life. I set goals and push myself until I have reached them. Put your mind to whatever it is you want and go get it. No excuses. How does a fireman manage to stay in shape and eat well while living at the firehouse? It’s not always easy. Firefighters love to eat, but when there is healthy food around they tend to gravitate towards it. I firmly believe your body wants to be healthy, so give it what it wants! When I’m cooking at the firehouse I always try to incorporate healthy foods into the meals. Staying in shape is 90% what you eat. What are some of your favorite things to eat and favorite workouts to help you stay in shape for such a demanding job? I eat small meals spread throughout the day, along with some healthy snacks, instead of waiting and scarfing down 2 platefuls of food at once. This gives me lasting energy. I love tacos and burritos, because one, THEY’RE AWESOME, and two, you can make them as healthy as you want. I eat clean, which I’ll talk about more in detail in the future. As a firefighter you need stamina, as well as strength. You can bench-press all the weight in the world but if you get winded quickly that can be detrimental when operating at a fire. So I work in cardio with weight training, and push my body to its max. Congratulations on making it into the NYC Firefighter calendar. How does it feel? Have you been getting a lot of attention? Thanks, it’s great to be part of the 2016 FDNY Calendar of Heroes. 100% of the proceeds go to the FDNY Foundation to help spread fire safety awareness throughout NYC. I’ve definitely been getting more attention, LOL. It’s all positive and it’s for a great cause! They are available now at www.fdnyshop.com What are your favorite places to go in Delray Beach when you come to town? Well, I obviously love the beach, especially during a brutal NYC winter. My favorite thing about Delray Beach is that I can be staying at the Marriott on A1A, walk over to the ocean, stop by Boston’s for some lunch and then stroll over to all the action on Atlantic Ave. Its awesome! My favorite place for dinner (and this is a tough one) has to be Tramonti’s for Italian, The food, service and ambiance are all fantastic. Cabana El Rey for sangria and skirt steak, and of course the Sundy House for brunch. I could go on, but I’ll save some for my upcoming column! Speaking of your column, what can we expect from your new monthly column in The Pineapple Newspaper? A mix of everything! Being someone who has been cooking healthy for years, I’ll be sharing some of my recipes. I will also be sharing fitness tips and talking about new workout trends, and what I REALLY think of some of them. Trust me I don’t hold back- LOL. Also, sharing some funny stories and answering questions anyone has for me!