This fact surprised me. I always associated military service with rigorous training exercises and soldiers with extremely good physical fitness.
But these days, it even seems that soldiers are putting on weight.
Recent studies have shown that obesity in the US military has doubled since 2003.
If obesity wasn’t such a problem in the United States, this would seem almost humorous. So what can servicemen and women do to fight obesity?
What’s causing the obesity?
Stress and return deployment are cited as reasons for military obesity. Stress leads to stress eating and depression, which has a tendency to reduce the amount of exercise that a soldier does in a day.
Also, since Iraq is currently being occupied, US soldiers are spending less time engaged in rigorous exercise. Many of the daily routines of soldiers fail to burn calories.
Obesity doesn’t stop in military service
Soldiers continue to experience stress and depression after military service. Deployment can be very stressful, given the potentially hazardous environment that soldiers are often deployed to.
Also, there are times when soldiers are very heavily criticized for their involvement in a war, leading to feelings of shame or guilt. Many soldiers wonder if their participation in the war was truly justified.
Military deployment can also lead to post traumatic stress syndrome, which can create even more stress. But besides the stress and the depression that can be caused by military service, soldiers also often develop bad eating habits that carry over when they return home.
These habits must be broken when the soldier has more time to exercise and more freedom to choose healthier meals. Though soldiers will have more time to fight obesity when they finish their tour of duty, soldiers are better off avoiding weight gain in the first place.
Fitness anywhere kits
Fitness anywhere kits have been developed for soldiers deployed far away from gyms. These kits mostly rely on resistance cables that are attached to stationary objects.
Soldiers use these cables to provide resistance to their muscles, aiding in strength training. These kits aren’t only for the military. Anyone can order a fitness anywhere kit.
These types of exercises can be very diverse. Running can be varied by crossing your feet over each other, running backwards, side stepping and lunging.
Pushups can be varied by placing your hands closer together or farther apart as well as placing your hands far in front of you.
The number of aerobic exercises that are possible are far too numerous to count. Just be sure to find a safe place to exercise and only exercise if you can remain hydrated.