Most New Year’s resolutions aim to improve unhealthy habits.
Fitness, nutrition and mental health are three parts to an improved bill of health that Soldiers and civilians can pursue in 2020.
Kirstan Carpenter, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation fitness coordinator, said it’s not a good idea to overdo it in the gym following a holiday hiatus.
“Those (who) are more active should exercise four to five days per week, for at least 60 minutes, in medium-to-high intensity sessions,” she said. “Beginners or those recovering from injury should follow a doctor’s advice and start with a moderately intense 30-minute (workout), two to three days a week.”
Gradual increases in difficulty are better as they prevent injury, Carpenter said.
“As you progress, add a day to your routine, weight for lifting or duration of time,” she said.
While Soldiers prepare for the upcoming Army Combat Fitness Test, they can take advantage of fitness services FMWR offers, such as reserving the Alpha Warrior Battle Rig, she said.
“Davidson Fitness Center as well as Specker Gym offer mainstream personal trainers to provide facility tours, equipment demos and basic fitness routines,” she said. “Any of our highly trained group fitness instructors are happy to assist with class breakdowns, suggestions or modifications.”
Readjusting to situations can be difficult for the brain, too, Army Wellness Center officials said.
“Creating a goal or a plan of action to meet your goal is one of the most important steps to accomplishing change,” said Anna Schwartz, a supervisory health educator at AWC. “Unfortunately, this is probably one of the most neglected steps.”
She suggested that those looking to reach their self-made objectives use the SMART acronym.
“It stands for specific, measurable, attainable/applicable, realistic and time-bound,” she said.
Actively acknowledging obstacles standing in the way of changing habits are imperative to fulfilling goals, Schwartz said.
“Identify all barriers,” she said. “Then, create solutions to overcome those barriers so that you can still move toward your overall goal.”
Trying to eat better in the new year can be equally, if not more, challenging.
Just as adjusting your workout regimen too quickly may produce poor results, making sudden, radical changes to your diet isn’t a good idea either, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The following are tips from the CDC:
— Create a list of eating habits. Keep a food diary for a few days. Write down everything eaten and at what time.
— Highlight the habits on the list that may be leading to overeating.
— Create a list of “cues” by reviewing the food diary to become more aware of when and where the urges occur to eat for reasons other than hunger.
— Think, “Is there anything I can do to avoid the cue or situation?”
— Replace unhealthy habits with new, healthy ones.
— Eat only when truly hungry instead of when tired, anxious or feeling an emotion besides hunger.
— Plan meals ahead of time to ensure a healthy, well-balanced meal.
— Reinforce new, healthy habits and be patient.
The Nutrition Care Division at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital has board-certified dieticians available for one-on-one meetings with no consultation required.
To contact Davidson Fitness Center, call 573.596.4359. For the Army Wellness Center, call 573.596.9677. For GLWACH’s Nutrition Care Division, call 573.596.1762.
(Editor’s note: Heather Kline, GUIDON volunteer, contributed to this article.)