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Welcome to the HPRC Blog. We've got lots of information here, from quick tips to in-depth posts about detailed human performance optimization topics.

HPRC Fitness Arena: Total Force Fitness

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Overweight recruits make it tough to fill military ranks

HPRC Fitness Arena:
There have been a rash of articles in the news recently focusing on soldier fitness (or lack thereof).

KENS Channel 5 in San Antonio, TX has posted an article on their website that reports that, according to the military, the number of prospective recruits are just too fat to enlist, which is making it difficult to fill their ranks.

The article cites a non-profit group called Mission Readiness, made up of retired senior military leaders, who feel there is a solution to the problem.

The group has a three-point approach that would solve the obesity problem for prospective recruits:

  1. Get the junk food and high-calorie beverages out of our schools.
  2. Increase funding for the school lunch program.
  3. Support the development, testing and deployment of proven public-health interventions.

Read the full article here.

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Have your children drink more water for good health

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Your child may not be drinking enough water to stay healthy.

Dietary data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005-2006) for children between ages two through 19 suggest that children may not be drinking enough water for optimal health. The study also found that children and adolescents may be getting as much as two-thirds of their total water intake with their main meals. Try replacing non-nutritious beverages like sodas with nutritious beverages (or better yet, plain water) at meal time. This  could have a positive impact on the diet, weight, and health of your children.

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Army recruit goes from couch potato to Warfighter

HPRC Fitness Arena:
A former couch potato turned disciplined army recruit gets into fighting shape.

Runner's legs

The October 14 edition of the Recordnet.com (Stockton, CA) has an interesting piece showing how one army recruit (as well as a self-described former couch potato ) was able to loose 50 pounds in order to get ready to report for duty at Fort Benning, GA.

Read the full article here.

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Key elements to make remarriage work

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The American Psychological Association offers strategies to make blended families work.

The American Psychological Association offers strategies to make blended families work:

  • Have your own identity separate from your spouse and children.
  • Maintain some autonomy in relationships while building togetherness through intimacy and identity.
  • Maintain time for a rich sexual relationship that is safe from work and family intrusions.
  • Be flexible in dealing with issues - life is unpredictable.
  • Use humor to keep perspective.
  • Remember how you felt falling in love and keep those images and feelings alive.

See the American Psychological Association site for more information.

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Studies look at the effect of running has on your knees

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The October 13, 2010 Health section of the New York Times has an article discussing recent research on knees, arthritis and vigorous exercise.

Man with radiating knee pain

The October 13, 2010 Health section of the New York Times has an article discussing recent research on knees, arthritis, and vigorous exercise.

There's no question that physical activity over time takes its toll; however, your body is capable of adapting to it. The question is whether this adaptation is healthy.

Read the full article here.

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High-intensity versus long, steady workouts for losing weight

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The Montreal Gazette examines this burning question.

Woman running on treadmill

The October 12, 2010 edition of the Montreal Gazette examines the science of fat burning and asks the question - is there a workout guaranteed for  weight loss and fat burning?

Read the full article here

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Who wants to wear "toe shoes"?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Vibram’s line of FiveFingers shoes, or VFFs (also known as toe shoes), has become the most controversial item in military running.

Vibram’s line of FiveFingers shoes, or VFFs (also known as toe shoes), has become the most controversial item in military running.  Army officials have banned them from the PT test over worries they might give some soldiers an unfair advantage. The Navy has also nixed them while Air Force and Marine Corps leaders have given the OK for them to be used. A recent article in Army Times.com take a closer look at the toe shoe controversy and provides current policy stands for the service branches.

Read the full article here.

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Avoiding the "weekend-warrior" injury syndrome

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Are you putting yourself at risk by training too hard on the weekends?

Man with cast on his leg

Each day, more than 10,000 Americans visit emergency rooms for sports and exercise-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those who get injured are getting hurt due to being inactive and then suddenly taking on a major exercise program, such as training for a half-marathon – hence the weekend-warrior syndrome. Physorg.com has an article that provides common sense tips for avoiding the weekend-warrior pitfall of doing too much, too fast, too soon.

Read the full article here.

What’s a health claim?

A recent FTC complaint against POM Wonderful products had us wondering what exactly a health claim is.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently filed a complaint against POM Wonderful products due to deceptive advertising. POM Wonderful has claimed that its products will reduce (or treat) heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. The FTC says that these claims are not supported by scientific research.

So, what’s a health claim and what’s considered acceptable advertising as such?

A health claim statement has to have a food substance, food, or dietary ingredient, and a health condition or disease. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain health claims that, based on scientific evidence, show a link between a food or supplement and a health condition or disease. Health claims cannot state that a food product or supplement can treat or cure a disease. It may claim to minimize a disease risk; for example, a product advertised as low sodium can state the approved claim that “diets low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a disease associated with many factors.”

Health claims shouldn’t be confused with structure/function claims. These claims do not have to be approved and reviewed by the FDA, yet they must be truthful in stating that a substance maintains structures and/or functions of the body.  We see these claims on many fiber-rich products, like “fiber maintains bowel regularity,” or a dairy product stating that “calcium builds strong bones.” Unlike health claims, structure/function claims cannot be linked to a health-related condition or disease.  Also, an important point to keep in mind: if a dietary supplement label makes a structure/function claim, it must also state this disclaimer: “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

There are also nutrient content claims.  These describe the amount of a nutrient in a product.  Descriptions such as free, low, high, and rich in are used, or other terms that describe the nutrient content to that of the content in another product, such as reduced, lite, less, or more.

Manufacturing companies want consumers to buy their products.  We, as consumers, must be savvy as we try to choose products that are healthy for our families and us. False health claims are used on food products as well as dietary supplements. They claim to help us lose weight, cure diseases, and prevent memory loss. The FDA has not approved claims that focus on the treatment of diseases. They have, however, set forth regulations to authorize health claims after the scientific evidence has been presented and reviewed.

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Eat at the table with your family

HPRC Fitness Arena:
There are many reasons to sit down for a meal with your family.

Eating with your family around the table is an effective way to bond, communicate, and even eat healthier! So, turn off the television and put all cell phones away during dinner time to improve family dynamics and health.

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