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Alerts

FDA warns consumers about caffeine powder. 

FDA advises consumers to stop using any supplement products labeled as OxyElite Pro or VERSA-1. Please see the following advisories: FDA -10/08/13, FDA - 10/11/13 and CDC - 10/08/13.

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Announcements

New article on reporting side effects of supplements
Just published in The New England Journal of Medicine: A recent article brings up dietary supplement issues you need to be aware of and discusses how dietary supplement side effects could be monitored better. A PDF of the April 3rd article is available free online.

3rd International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance
August 18-21, 2014
The ICSPP delivers innovative scientific programming on soldiers’ physical performance with experts from around the world.

DMAA list updated for April 2014

Fueling Performance Photo Campaign
Share photos of how you fuel your performance and be featured on our Facebook page!

Dietary supplement module
Earn continuing education credits (if eligible) for this two-hour online module.

Operation LiveWell

Performance Triad

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Filed under: Fitness

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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.

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Keeping fit while deployed at sea

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Marines and sailors rely on creativity and enthusiasm to keep fit while at sea.

Aircraft carrier close up

Keeping physically fit is an important part of a military career. Aboard the USS Kearsarge Marines and sailors merge creativity and enthusiasm to push their physical fitness to even higher peaks. The October 05, 2010 edition of Military Health System News has an article on how Marines and sailors aboard the USS Kearsarge find ways to supplement their physical training while at sea.

Read the full article here.

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Which is better: 30 minutes of swimming or running?

HPRC Fitness Arena:
The Globe and Mail (Toronto) has an interesting piece on which activity is better for you – swimming or running?

Athletic man swimming

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) has an interesting piece on which activity is better for you - swimming or running? The conclusion, according to the article, is that swimming is good for muscles, joints and some (but not all) cardiovascular risk factors. But to get the full benefits from aerobic activity, include some land-based exercise in your routine at least once or twice a week.

Read the full article here.

 

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Army plan aims to change the way soldiers eat and drink

HPRC Fitness Arena:

Soldier eating

The September 27, 2010 edition of Army Times has an article that focuses on to the Army's new focus on training soldiers to eat and drink healthier items that not only prepare him for strenuous physical activity, but also fuel him throughout the endeavor and aid in his recovery afterward.

Read the full article here.

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Study indicates better results by periodically alternating training program

HPRC Fitness Arena:
It has been known to trainers that alternating higher intensity and lower intensity training sessions is the most effective means for conditioning athletes. As reported in the September 20, 2010 edition of the Tauton Daily Gazzette (Tauton, MA), recent research indicates that it is not necessary to train at high-effort levels every exercise session.

It has been known to trainers that alternating higher intensity and lower intensity training sessions is the most effective means for conditioning athletes.

As reported in the September 20, 2010 edition of the Tauton Daily Gazzette (Tauton, MA),  recent research indicates that it is not necessary to train at high-effort levels every exercise session. In other words, a combination of higher intensity and lower intensity exercise is recommended for a sensible and successful fitness program. The full article can be accessed here.

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Soldiers speak out in support of CrossFit

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Last week, Wired Magazine ran an article on high intensity fitness programs that are being studied and evaluated in a review of high-intensity fitness programs by the Consortium for Health and Military Performance, or CHAMP, at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Last week, Wired Magazine ran an article on high intensity fitness programs that  are  being studied and evaluated in a review of high-intensity fitness programs by the Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.

In response, Wired has published a follow up article that offers a view of CrossFit from a soldier's perspective.

 

 


Functional Movement screening might be a better assessment of total fitness.

HPRC Fitness Arena:
When you’re in the military, being fit is part of the job – that has never changed. Neither, it seems, has the Physical Readiness (PRT) Test.

Are PRTs still accurate assessments of physical fitness levels?  The days of calisthenics and running several miles for exercise are gone. Comfort Zones and gyms on- or off-base are filled with exercise toys such as cable cross machines, Roman benches, kettlebells, and miles of cardiovascular equipment. Most military personnel are exercising with the latest technology, or at least with free weights. Shouldn’t PRTs utilize the most current knowledge of functional exercise and movement?

“Functional movement” is defined as real-world biomechanics of body movement. Sit-ups and push-ups are not functional; they show strength and/or flexibility, but not true overall fitness.

Gray Cook’s Functional Movement Screening (FMS), however, assesses the quality of seven functional movements to determine a persons’ symmetry, grading each movement (21 being a perfect score). FMS might be a better assessment in terms of a person’s total fitness level. Most studies using FMS have evaluated the prediction of injury rates based on the level of symmetry (for example: Military Joe shows rotary stability in the left shoulder but not in the right – the asymmetry of his shoulders most likely predicts injury when climbing walls in theater).

An unpublished study by COL Francis O’Connor, MD on injury prediction in Marine Corps Officer candidates (MC) found that those who scored 14 or higher (out of 21) had a lower injury rate. A study on NFL players also had similar findings.

Should the military re-evaluate its PRTs in terms of functional movement or should it stay with its current program? Contact us here at the HPRC if you have thoughts to share.

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Go to “workout hour!”

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Hanging out with your friends doesn't have to be unhealthy.

Hanging out with friends may include habits that oppose your health goals. Instead of skipping out on quality time with them, invite them to participate in an activity like a group cycling class that will get everyone moving. A healthy social life contributes to good health, so get the group moving!

A strong country stays fit

HPRC Fitness Arena:
Why aren't there more of us out there exercising?

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health showed many years ago that individuals who exercise regularly die less from all causes. Although vigorous exercise, like running, produces greater gains, all that’s needed for good health is regular exercise. Regular physical activity has a positive effect on all of your body systems – it improves your mood and decreases anxiety, improves cognitive function, makes you stronger, and reduces your risk for many diseases like stroke, cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer, and adult onset diabetes. Even so, public health data from the Centers for Disease Control still shows that obesity and physical inactivity among adults in our country is high.

We at the Human Performance Resource Center are not only concerned with the total fitness of our Warfighters, but of all Americans. And like in many offices across the country, we work at desks, and fitness is something we have to carve out time for. But still, we do, as one of our staff members reports.

A few weeks ago, I went running with my super-tough Airborne Army son, a jumpmaster and SSG who’s been deployed many months over the last four years. When we last ran several years ago prior to his initial boot camp experience, I could outdistance him. Fortunately, that didn’t last long – six years and many runs later, this is no longer the case. The stories abound, and are hilarious. Like when he returned from his first 15-month deployment to Iraq: I had been running a lot and wanted to impress him with what good shape I was in. We hadn’t even made it out of my neighborhood, or hit the hills yet, and I was sucking wind. At that point he looked over and said, “Hey, Ma…we walkin’ or runnin’ today?” Fast forward to our five-mile run a few weeks ago in the midday July heat. I straggled back, having taken only a couple of one-minute walk breaks to catch my breath. Of course, he beat me back, and his greeting was, “Ma, you can do better than that!” But I know that underneath the teasing, he’s proud that his 50-year old mother is out that running with him, eating his dust. My response is, “Why aren’t there more mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, sons, and daughters out here running with their Warfighter?”

So I challenge you: if we expect our Warfighters to be in optimal condition because their role, protecting our country, demands it – don’t we also have a responsibility to ourselves, our loved ones, and our country, to improve our health and reduce our healthcare costs? It doesn’t matter what you do to stay fit, only that you do something. Walk the dog, play outside with the kids, join an adult sports league, or go for a run – the possibilities are endless.

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Choosing your next pair of running shoes

HPRC Fitness Arena:

Recent research challenges the notion that flat-footed runners need motion-control shoes while high-arched runners need well-cushioned ones. In a recent military study, assigning shoes based on the shape of the arch of one’s foot did little to prevent juries. Previous studies by scientists in Canada and Australia found similar results. When you go to the footwear store on your next visit, listen to what your feet tell you. Choose a pair that fits and feels right!

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