An Ode to Military Moms

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She knows all the words to the Army, Marine, Navy, or Air Force fight song. She knows how to put together a care-package better than Fed-EX. She knows how to use Skype and FaceTime like a pro. She knows the desperation of stalking her child’s journey through boot camp on the official company Facebook page. It’s the only line of communication between her and her child and she doesn’t mind sifting through thousands of pictures of other kids at the chance of seeing a picture of her Soldier in training. She knows the joy of seeing her child travel the world: Germany, Korea, the UK, or maybe even the highly coveted Italy or Hawaii. She’s happy her child can see things she hasn’t seen, visit places she hasn’t been, and live dreams she’s only imagined for her child. She’s even more excited when her child returns back to the continental U.S. and she can conveniently text or call without having to deal with different time zones, international phone plans, calling cards, or scheduling conflicts.

She’s got a sacrificial heart, willing to give her child up to her country. She sees the greater good. Even if she doesn’t understand what’s happening immediately. She trusts, she supports, she loves. Seeing her child experience the loss or injury of a comrade, she also knows the pain of seeing her child hurt. Thinking of the lost and injured comrade’s family, friends, and parents, her heart grows bigger, with more compassion. Hearing about her own child’s war stories, her heart grows anxious, yet patient. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms of children who serve.

She’s married to a Soldier. Sometimes he’s home for Mother’s Day and sometimes he’s not. Therefore, sometimes, she plans her own Mother’s Day, by herself (not unlike many civilian moms). On Sunday, she might not be pampered. She might not wake to breakfast in bed. But, she will be joyful knowing her children are a gift she shares with her husband. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms who are married to service members.

She wears the uniform with pride and strength. She’s spent many Mother’s Days with her family and many far away. If away from home, she might call or Skype with her child. Then again, she might spend Mother’s Day working through the night without any special meal, without the technological capability to talk to her family. She might remove a picture of her child from her uniform pocket and smile. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms who also serve our country.

She’s spent Mother’s Day thinking about the dreaded call telling her that her child was hurt while overseas. Heart racing, she is thankful her child is alive and here for another day. She hurts for her injured child, but she is proud, she is strong, and she will be her child’s rock through his/her recovery. She will help her child heal mentally and physically. She will watch her child grow, again. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms of children who were injured while serving.

She’s spent Mother’s Day grieving the unbearable loss of a child as a result of service to their country. Her pain cannot be erased. Her child cannot be brought back. She feels alone in her day, even though she’s surrounded by those who love her. She is reminded not only of her loss, but of all the wonderful things about her child. She thinks of her child gallantly fighting for his/her country, and the heroic life her child so selflessly sacrificed out of love, too. A daily reminder of the love and sacrifice of military moms who have received a folded flag.

To all military moms, we thank you. Happy Mother’s Day.

What is the Army Performance Triad?

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The Performance Triad is a comprehensive plan that encourages Soldiers to make healthy choices regarding their physical activity, nutrition, and sleep habits. The Triad focuses primarily on activity, nutrition, and sleep because these components all interact to influence performance and health.

Nutrition

Whether training to be a Soldier Athlete or striving for a higher level of personal fitness, it is important for Soldiers to stay hydrated and fuel their body with the right food for the right job. It is especially imperative to build an eating strategy that will complement the requirements of each individual mission. Focusing on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole wheat carbohydrates is fundamental to building a healthy plate.

Activity

Practicing a safe and effective fitness routine is essential to prevent injury and overtraining, maintain physical readiness, and improve overall health. But, physical activity encompasses more than just PT or exercise at the gym. Moving more (at least 10,000 steps/day) throughout the entire day has been linked with improved health outcomes such as reduced blood pressure, improved glucose levels, and maintenance of a healthy weight.

Sleep

The adverse effects of chronic sleep loss include poor mental and physical performance, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and increased risk of obesity, to name a few. Barriers such as noise, light, and dietary choices may interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Add the diverse, demanding lifestyle of a Soldier in the mix, and things only get more complicated. Practicing healthy sleep habits can be the key to ensure clear thinking and optimal performance. Sleep 8 to be great!

Army H.E.A.L.T.H. has Arrived!

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Army H.E.A.L.T.H. (Army Healthy Eating Activity Lifestyle Training Headquarters) has arrived!  And we’re here to help Soldiers, veterans, and their family members lose weight and/or prevent unnecessary weight gain, become more mentally and physically fit, and develop better sleep habits.  Here’s a little bit more about who we are and what we do.

Information at Your Fingertips

The Army H.E.A.L.T.H. website/mobile application offers custom nutrition and fitness plans based off of the user’s individual characteristics and needs.  This custom feature is especially helpful for Soldiers who wish to improve their APFT scores, reduce/maintain body fat, or achieve a higher level of fitness, but do not have access to traditional resources that are available in Garrison.  The portability of Army H.E.A.L.T.H. ensures that the tools you need are available 24/7, wherever you are in the world.

Backed by Science

The Army H.E.A.L.T.H. program is based off of more than 20 years of research examining the dynamic factors affecting nutrition and fitness in the military.  Our team consists of civilian and military professionals with backgrounds in psychology, neuroscience, nutrition, biology, business, communication, and computer science.  We are former collegiate athletes, military spouses, registered dietitians, Soldiers, software developers, and clinical psychologists.  What do we all have in common? A passion for helping Soldiers and their families live healthier, more physically active lives.  Check us out here.

Army Strong

We understand the unique demands of military life, and it is our mission to guide you on your path to be the best version of yourself!  Army H.E.A.L.T.H. is Army Strong!