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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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Family matters post-deployment

HPRC Fitness Arena:

Social support after deployment significantly decreases symptoms of PTSD and depression, a recent study found. Individuals who have emotional support from family, friends, coworkers, employers, and community members had less PTSD and depression. Warfighters who received social support immediately following deployment reported substantially reduced symptoms.

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Buy the right running shoe

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Some tips from MedicineNet to help you find the right running shoe.

To ensure that your running shoes fit properly, take care to shop at the end of the day when feet are largest, and take your running socks with you!  Review these tips from MedicineNet for more suggestions to buy the best shoe for you.

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Family matters on the homefront

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A study of National Guard reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, identified five stressors experienced by family members.

A study of National Guard reserve troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families, identified five stressors experienced by family members: worrying, waiting, going it alone, pulling double duty, and loneliness.

What helped these families most? Keeping busy and involved in activities at home, using technology to stay in touch, and staying connected to each other on a daily or weekly basis.

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Work out with a friend

HPRC Fitness Arena:
A little friendly competition with a friend benefits you both.

Working out with a friend can ramp up performance and help you reach your fitness goals by helping you stick to your regimen and providing a source of friendly competition. Taking a friend along for a run or other workout will help you both.  Click here for more information.

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Exercise has mental benefits.

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Exercise works wonders!

It not only helps you maintain a healthy weight and look better, but it also improves your mood and energy level while decreasing anxiety.  As little as a 10 minute walk will provide benefits (APA article). For more detailed information and more tips visit the American Psychological Association (APA).

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Staying fit on a budget

HPRC Fitness Arena:
There are plenty of low-cost alternatives to expensive gyms that can help you lose weight and build muscle without breaking your budget. Read on for a few examples.

Count your steps! Get a pedometer and see if you close you can get to 10,000 steps each day.

Jump rope – it not only gets your body moving but it's also a great family activity to share.

Start a fitness group. Having a buddy and working out together is a lot of fun. You can create your own fitness groups and include fun activities such as walking, hiking, running, using exercise DVDs, and playing at the park with children.

Join a local adult recreational sports league and play sports like soccer, basketball, and softball, and make new friends, to boot.

Simple exercises like push-ups, dips, crunches, and stretches can be done in a few minutes. Set aside time every day to be active.

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Strengthen your core with a few core moves

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Improve your performance with core moves.

A strong core can enhance balance and stability and may even improve your performance. For more reasons to strengthen your core,  here are seven from the Mayo Clinic. Additionally, visit the Mayo Clinic’s slideshow for core strengthening exercises.

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Family matters on the homefront

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Tips to help decrease the stress before deployment.

Harmony on the homefront helps ease deployment stress on Warfighters and their families. One Army spouse shares her tips for decreasing stress during deployment:

  1. Gather important documents before deployment.
  2. Identify possible problems and discuss them ahead of time.
  3. Tape an enlarged photo of the deployed parent in the car, and don't lose sight of the big picture, which as she describes as "come home safe and sound, to an intact family."

Click here to read the full article and see more tips.

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Questions raised on the effectiveness of toning shoes

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Toning shoes are exercise shoes that have a uniquely shaped rocker type sole and extra cushioning to alter the wearer’s normal walking gait. They are the latest trend in fitness footwear, but is all the buzz and manufacturer’s claims too good to be true?

Toning shoes are exercise shoes that have a uniquely shaped rocker type sole and extra cushioning to alter the wearer’s normal walking gait.  Manufacturers of toning shoes claim that wearers can tighten and shape their lower-body muscles just by walking in the shoes. They are the latest trend in fitness footwear, but is all the buzz and manufacturer’s claims too good to be true? Proponents of toning shoes cite that “instability of the shoes” forces the user to activate muscles that otherwise would not be used with regular exercise shoes. Additionally,  advocates for the shoes claim that by wearing toning shoes, you can change your posture and take pressure off aching, overused joints. However, a growing share of medical skeptics say no independent studies have shown benefits from these types of shoes over traditional pairs.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), in conjunction with researchers from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, released results of a study comparing the effects of wearing toning to traditional running shoes. Seems the claims may not be true.

Read the press release from ACE here.

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Warming-up provides much needed benefits

HPRC Fitness Arena:

You may be anxious to get your workout started, but take the time to warm up and you'll avoid injury and perform better. Click here for more information on why you should stretch. To review warm-up and stretching techniques, see Chapters 4 & 7 in the Navy Seal Fitness Guide.

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