Happy February: Goal Check!
Just a month ago you could not read anything online or in print that did not have the word "resolution" in it. Now, that word has been tossed to the side like many of your gym memberships and diets. So how do you get back on track? This week I have the Surgeon General of the Navy assisting in this effort discussing the article he posted back in January: A Message from the Navy Surgeon General: Be a partner in your health in 2016
In the Navy-wide letter, the Navy Surgeon General, Vice Admiral C Forrest Faison III stated Navy Medicine's mission for 2016:
"In part, Navy Medicine we are entrusted to provide you the best care our nation has to offer. We honor that trust by making sure you are healthy and on the job. We will continue to do this in 2016 by focusing on health not health care – but we need your active participation in order to succeed. As we start the new year, I encourage each of you to become a partner in your health and commit to living a healthy lifestyle. By making that commitment, you can help prevent health problems before they occur."
The Surgeon General breaks down the need for military personnel to start a daily exercise program in three important areas:
Whether you are military, retired, or civilian, you have to do something every day for your body. The basics of walking, stretching, and general movement is usually sufficient for basic health goals. However, the Surgeon General of the Navy ties your fitness and health to the well-being of the ship or command you are attached to. Vice Admiral Faison states quite bluntly, "If you lack physical health the readiness of your unit or ship is at risk."
If you are looking for a fitness routine to get started, see the 45 Day Plan for Beginners and get on it! Re-start it if you need to get back on the wagon after an unsuccessful January. I highly recommend you treat yourself like a beginner if you are coming off of long illness, injury, or have not exercised in several months to a year or more.
Your ability to come back strong and fully functioning after normal daily stresses or an extremely traumatic event is what the Surgeon General is trying to promote here. Military-wide, you will see this word as we are now nearly 15 years at war, and there are great programs within Military Medicine to help. Efforts to destigmatize getting help when you think you need it have improved over the last decade. This requires a full-court press from you, your buddies and shipmates, your command, and your family. Know when someone in your circle needs help and talk to them or get assistance within your command structure. See tips for easy ways to reduce stress – Dealing with Stress – Building Resilience.
Healthy Behavior Choices
We all have habits that we could stand breaking. Once you have built some good habits with daily exercise and healthy eating, perhaps you can tackle some of the bad habits like smoking, drinking to excess, or other detrimental things you do. There are many cessation programs within the military that can help you with breaking these habits if going "cold turkey" is not working for you.
The biggest thing for active duty military members to realize is that what they do, or don't do, matters. Your fitness may one day be the difference between you or your buddy surviving an accident or enemy attack. It is that serious as the Surgeon General closes:
"Your health impacts the Navy and Marine Corps mission above the sea, below the sea, on the sea, and on the battlefield. Make your health a priority and take the steps to become a partner in your health in 2016. Navy Medicine is invested in your health; we have the tools and resources to help you achieve your health goals."
If you are active duty or dependent in the Navy or USMC, see more information at the Navy Medicine website.
See links below for more details on making 2016 a full year of healthy choices, not just a resolution that lasts a few weeks in January. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.