Healthy Changes for the U.S. Military

Becoming healthier isn’t just a New Year’s resolution for many U.S. civilians, but now it’s one for the army as well.   Military training sites all over the country are making healthier guidelines for soldiers.  The change began when the Army became worried about a decrease in the fitness of soldiers.

Mess halls will see juice and milk in place of soda and junk food will begin to disappear.

The U.S. Army’s website discusses the importance of making healthy choices saying both exercise and nutrition are key for maintaining total fitness.

Just like many Americans, an article by the Associated Press says many of the newer soldiers haven’t put too much thought into their own diet.  In a quote from Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, he backs this up by saying poor food choices aren’t just an army problem but a civilian problem they are receiving and fixing.

The first step is making diet changes.

Visually, most changes will be in eating areas.  In a similar story by Binghampton, New York’s news station, Fox 40 WICZ, they spoke with Dr. Helen Battisti who said the military believes a start to producing a quality recruit begins with the food.

Photo from Free Digital Photos

But this new program will go much further than just food; it will also change the soldier’s overall health and fitness.

“The ‘soldier athlete’ initiative is designed to prepare recruits with training methods similar to those of elite athletes – including greater use of professional trainers, physical therapists, and strength and conditioning coaches,” the AP article reports.

They also discuss how fitness will change.  The new system will concentrate on preventing injury, flexibility and mobility, coordination and aerobic endurance.

“Outdated exercises such as bayonet drills are being eliminated in favor or core strength workouts more commonly practiced in the aerobics studio.”

Currently, changes are being made to basic and advanced training sites.

In sites where new guidelines have been implemented, fewer injuries have been reported and soldiers are scoring higher on physical fitness tests.

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