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HPRC at the DoD/USDA Family Resilience Conference

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Representatives of the HPRC, DCoE, and USUHS presented a workshop on a new model for military family fitness at a conference in April.

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (Resilience and Prevention Directorate), Uniformed Services University, and the Human Performance Resource Center ran a three-hour workshop introducing the Military Family Fitness Model at the DoD/USDA Family Resilience Conference last week (April 26-29) in Chicago, IL. The workshop focused on describing the newly developed process-oriented, multi-level model for total military family fitness, including how service members and their families, leaders, policy makers, and program managers can achieve and maintain family fitness (following the Total Force Fitness paradigm). Key aspects of the model were also described, such as family stressors, strengths, resources, and outcomes.

Deep breathing, guided imagery, mindfulness, and cognitive restructuring were taught as practical skills that can help control family members’ stress. Guidelines were also given for family communication and problem-solving skills designed to enhance family functioning and resilience. A military case study was presented to allow participants to practice the application of the Total Family Fitness model.

To see a copy of the workshop that was presented, click here; for more complete information, please read the abstract of the presentation.

DCoE's (Defense Centers of Excellence) report [PDF] on the Family Conference can be read here.

To learn more integrative mind-body strategies, visit HPRC's Mind Tactics domain and the Defense Centers of Excellence newly published paper on Mind-Body Skills for Regulating the Autonomic Nervous System.

To learn more family strengthening strategies, visit HPRC's Family & Relationships domain.

Presenters of the model were COL Stephen Bowles, Ph.D. (USUHS), Colanda Cato, Ph.D. (DCoE), Monique Moore, Ph.D. (DCoE), and Liz Davenport Pollock, MS, LGMFT (HPRC).

Acknowledgements: Force Health Protection and Readiness, Psychological Health Strategic Operation; Military Community & Family Policy; Air Force Air Education and Training Command; Military Family Research Institute; and Defense Centers of Excellence.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

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Military spouses are adaptable, committed, courageous, the backbone of the military family and the key to the success of the Warfighter's military performance.

The military celebrates the Friday before Mother’s Day every year as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. In 1984, former president Ronald Reagan initiated this event to acknowledge and honor the commitment, courage, and sacrifice of the wives and husbands of our nation’s service members. Military spouses are the backbone of their families and are key to the success of the Warfighter’s military performance. President Barack Obama reflected in his 2010 Military Spouse Appreciation Day speech, “At the heart of our Armed Forces, service members’ spouses keep our military families on track.”

The Military Family Resource Center reports these statistics about military spouses and/or families:

  • Almost 60% the active-duty force has family responsibilities of a spouse and/or children.
  • 93% of the spouses of active-duty members are female.
  • 54% of the spouses are 30 years of age or younger; 72% are under age 36.
  • 56% of active-duty spouses are employed. 14% of active-duty spouses are Armed Forces members themselves.
  • 43% of active-duty members have children; the average number of children for active-duty members who have children is two.
  • Among active-duty members who have dependents, the average number of dependents is almost 2.5.
  • More than 50% of the children of active-duty members are seven years of age or younger.

(Source: 2008 Demographics: Profile of the Military Community, published by the Military Family Resource Center.)

For more information about President Obama’s speech, see:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-military-spouse-appreciation-day

Navy fitness through NOFFS

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This Navy fitness program focuses on basic and performance nutrition alongside physical training exercises designed to target operational tasks and reduce injuries.

The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series (NOFFS) provides the Navy with "best in class" physical fitness and nutrition performance information for both Sailors and Navy health and fitness professionals. NOFFS instructs individuals on how to train effectively and safely and how to make healthy nutrition choices in both shore-based and operational environments.

Based on worldwide mission requirements, which require the Navy to intensity its operational tempo, it’s imperative for Sailors to be physically fit. Physical fitness is an essential component of operational readiness and the ability to meet deployment schedules. Sailor resiliency and durability are the primary goals of the development and distribution of NOFFS.

The purpose of NOFFS is to provide a complete physical training program that will eliminate the guesswork for:

  • The individual Sailor who is participating in his/her personal physical training program
  • The Navy health and fitness professional who is interested in obtaining a ready-made comprehensive and biomechanically balanced individual or group physical training program.

    The goals of NOFFS are to:

    • Improve operational performance
    • Provide basic and performance nutrition guidance.
    • Decrease the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal injuries associated with physical training.

      NOFFS provides Sailors with an evidence-based performance tool that will address injury prevention by physically training the movement patterns of operational tasks. Rather than focusing specifically on the physical readiness test (PRT), NOFFS emphasizes how to specifically improve the functional performance of a Sailor during daily operations. This includes lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, aerobic/anaerobic demands, and body movement skills requiring balance, agility, and coordination. The focus of the project is to optimize operational physical performance and fueling for Sailors while preserving Navy combat power.

      For more information about NOFFS and other Navy Fitness initiatives, visit www.navyfitness.org.

      Lazy Cakes: Brownies – or something else?

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      With added melatonin to help you relax, this is no typical brownie.

      Lazy Cakes Relaxation Brownies claim to “have relaxation built into every bite.” One brownie (half is the recommended serving size) contains 3 mg of melatonin, a hormone made by the body but also available as a supplement that is often used to treat sleep disorders and jet lag. Selling these brownies as a dietary supplement allows the manufacturer to avoid FDA regulation for foods and beverages. The label warns consumers not to drive or operate heavy machinery and to consult your physician if you are taking medication or are pregnant or nursing; it also says the product is recommended for adults only. Buyers beware…this is no typical brownie.

      Army revamps its yearly physical fitness tests

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      The U.S. Army retools the yearly physical fitness tests with more practical exercises geared to really getting soldiers in fighting shape.

      The U.S. Army has retooled its yearly physical fitness test with more practical exercises geared to finding out if soldiers are in fighting shape. Along with other changes to the current test, troops will be required to run an obstacle course while dressed in full combat armor and dragging 180 pounds‹the equivalent of a human body.

      The new Army Physical and Combat Readiness Test is being introduced at eight installations, and if all goes well, will be rolled out Army-wide on October 1st.

      Click below to access the article.

      Army swaps sit-ups for combat-ready drills in new PT tests

      Are military mess halls hurting our Armed Forces?

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      Slate.com has an opinion piece on the Army's "Soldier Athlete" food program that was initiated last fall.

      Slate.com has an opinion piece on the Army's "Soldier Athlete" food program that was initiated last fall in cafeterias at Fort Jackson in South Carolina; Fort Sill in Oklahoma; Fort Knox in Kentucky; Fort Benning in Georgia, and Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri—the five bases where the Army's 10-week basic training sessions take place.

      Click below to access the article:

      Unhealthy military mess halls are hurting our armed forces.

      New York Times: "Serious dangers" of alcoholic energy drinks

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      A recent New York Times article reports that scientists are worried about highly caffeinated beverages like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster and Full Throttle, which are popular among teenagers and young adults.

      A recent New York Times article reports that scientists are worried about highly caffeinated beverages like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster and Full Throttle, which are popular among teenagers and young adults.  According to the article, the often bizarre combination of ingredients in these drinks prompted three researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Queensland in Australia to examine what is known — and not known — about the contents of these beverages, which are sold alongside sodas and sport drinks in supermarkets, drugstores and highway rest stops.

      Click below to access the article.

      Scientists See Dangers in Energy Drinks

      First Lady takes health initiative to Army base

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      First lady Michelle Obama called on parents, schools, workplaces and the military to combat America's obesity epidemic in a recent visit to Fort Jackson.

      First lady Michelle Obama called on parents, schools, workplaces and the military to combat America's obesity epidemic in a visit to Fort Jackson this past Thursday. As America's waistline has grown, finding young people fit enough to serve in the military has become a problem, U.S. Army officials told Obama during her three-hour visit.

      Ms. Obama is promoting the "Let's Move!" program to combat childhood obesity. And she met with Army personnel, from privates to a three-star general, to find out how the military is dealing with the problem and how solutions might be transferred to the general population.

      Click below to access the article

      White House initiatives to support military families

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      The White House has announced new initiatives to support military families in four key areas: overall well-being, education and development of military children, career advancement opportunities for military spouses, and improved childcare.

      Recently, the White House announced new initiatives to support military families in four key areas: overall well-being, education and development of military children, career advancement opportunities for military spouses, and improved availability of quality childcare. Multiple agencies have partnered to support these efforts with the following goals:

      • Focus on suicide trends to offer targeted preventive training and counseling to meet the mental health needs of military families;
      • Offer child care resources;
      • Combat homelessness;
      • Expand communication across rural communities;
      • Expand career opportunities for military spouses;
      • Expand access to financial aid and needs of military students; and
      • Expand facilities to help military families recover, integrate, and support their youth during and after deployment cycles.
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        Treadmills vs. elliptical machines – which is better?

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        A look at two gym favorites.

        Treadmill Elliptical Machines

        Reuters.com has an article that examines the advantages and disadvantages of treadmills versus elliptical exercise machines.

        Read the full article here.

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