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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.

Supplements may boost energy but strain troops' hearts

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Military doctors are worried that certain energy supplements could lead to heart problems in U.S. troops.

According to a recent  article in Stars and Stripes, Military doctors are worried that certain energy supplements could lead to heart problems in U.S. troops, particularly those serving in combat zones.

Click below to access the article.

Supplements may boost energy but strain troops' hearts

Read about recent nutrition and health findings

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The USDA publishes a newsletter with their latest nutrition and health information.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition researchers publish a quarterly online newsletter with reports of discoveries from their laboratories. They also provide information on agricultural issues and health findings important to all of us. Click here to read about these recent nutrition and health findings.

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Get fit on the job: Part II

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More tips for working out at work.

Fitness is so important to your mental and physical health. Consider scheduling exercise into your work day; put it on your calendar! Keep packable tools like elastic tubing and bands at your desk. You can easily strengthen your chest, upper back, shoulders, arms, and legs in just a few minutes, two or three times a week. All without leaving your office! For ideas, click here: ACE GETFIT: Time saving tips for on-the-job fitness

Developing healthy sleeping habits while deployed

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Filed under: Deployment, Sleep
Sleep can be just as important to your mission as having enough food, water and ammunition.

For a warfighter, sleep can be just as important to the mission as having enough food, water and ammunition. Realwarriors.net has a great piece on the common myths about sleep and six tips to improve sleep habits while settling into a new routine away from home.

Click below to access the article.

Developing Healthy Sleeping Habits While Deployed

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Get fit on the job: Part I

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If you can't find time to exercise, try getting fit at work.

Can’t find time to fit exercise in during your day? Then get fit at work! Consider biking or walking to work, if practical. If not, walk around your workplace before or after work, or during work breaks, for 20-30 minutes. Lunchtime walks with a friend are fun and a stress reliever. Use the stairs rather than elevator. Check out this link for more terrific ideas: ACE GETFIT: Time saving tips for on-the-job fitness

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Save your knees with a few simple tips

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Prevent knee injury with these tips.

Try these tips from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease to prevent knee injury while you exercise:

  • Avoid bending your knees past 90 degree when doing half knee bends or squats.
  • Avoid twisting your knees by keeping your feet as flat as possible during stretching.
  • When jumping, land with your knees bent.

Source: Handout on Health. Sports Injuries. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease.

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When to exercise and when to just stay in bed

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Exercise can help fend off illness, but what if you're already sick?

It's true that exercise can help prevent the common cold by strengthening your immune system, but you should be cautious if you are considering an intense workout when you do fall sick. Some recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are to:

  • Exercise moderately when the cold symptoms are confined to your head,
  • Stay in bed if illness spreads beyond your head - don’t “sweat out” your illness, and
  • Resume your exercise program slowly as you recover.

Check out ACSM’s guide, Clearing the Air on Exercise and the Common Cold for more information.

What serving sizes look like

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How to eyeball a serving size for better eating

Do you know what a serving size is for different food groups?  Here are a few helpful tips for standard serving sizes:

A one-cup serving of cereal or other grain is about the size of your fist; one medium fruit is about the size of a baseball; a half-cup serving of ice cream is about half a baseball; three ounces of meat, fish or poultry is the size of a deck of cards.  For more helpful hints on serving sizes click here.

Exercise smart to prevent injuries

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Some tips to keep you from hurting yourself while exercising

Since injuries can occur in physically active individuals, here are a few tips to help you stay injury free:

  • Warm-up and cool-down after exercise;
  • Use proper form;
  • Spread activity throughout the week, not just the weekend;
  • Wear appropriate safety gear;
  • Increase intensity and time gradually, and
  • Cross train to prevent overuse injuries.

Click here for more information: Handout on Health. Sports Injuries. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease.

Is it time for your sneakers to hit the road?

HPRC Fitness Arena: Physical Fitness
How to know when it's time to get new sneakers.

According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), your sneakers are ready to be replaced after three to six months of regular use, or approximately 350 to 500 miles of running. Looking at the wear patterns can provide good indicators that your sneakers need to be replaced.

When the time comes to replace your sneakers, ACE has specific suggestions to help you find the perfect, and affordable, pair. They suggest that you buy sport specific shoes, test for stability, try on shoes at the end of the day when feet are their largest, and allow room for socks. Although some sports scientists will advise you to consider your foot type when purchasing sneakers, there is conflicting scientific evidence on this recommendation.

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