It is important to talk about fitness and health because as we talked about in week 2 it can disqualify you from military service. But it is also important to not only talk about being healthy physically but also focus on the importance of good mental health. In this episode, I’m talking to a former guest, Ashleigh Magee, about not only her business helping women with fitness and health but also about her own experience in the Navy.
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Height and Weight Standards
There is a lot of discussion around height and weight standards. They are currently based on a BMI system that has shown to not be favorable to all types of body types. This system can lead to you being physically healthy but not according the “standard.” Hopefully, discussion around this topic will continue and we will see changes. This topic has come up in multiple episodes throughout the series, especially when we talked to Alison about her experience working to lose weight after gaining muscle for the Army Combat Fitness Test in Week 3, Preparing for Basic Training.
Physical Training in the military
But even though there is still a height and weight standard that hasn’t seen updates the military physical fitness test has changed for all the branches in some way or another in recent years. Where the standard used to be push-ups, sit-ups, running, and pull-ups (for Marines). Now we see a huge change with the Army creating their Combat Fitness Test. The Navy is replacing sit-ups with planks, and the Air Force offers new options to substitute various exercises. The Space Force is even doing away with a yearly test and working to track health throughout the year. Make sure to find your branch’s current physical fitness requirements, I have provided links current as of publication.
- Air Force
- Coast Guard
- Marine Corps
- Space Force Guidance still coming, and currently fall under Air Force standards. A new system expected in 2023.
Staying healthy in the military
But being healthy is more than working out and meeting the physical fitness test requirement standards. It also is about making good choices about what you put into your body. Depending on your location it can limit the options available. But if you have access to fruits and veggies make sure to eat them along with a well-balanced diet. I loved Ashleigh’s advice of having a few easy-to-make meals that you can make in a hotel room. She mentioned being able to use a rice cooker, instant pot, or crock pot. You can learn more about the resources she offers here.
Mental Health in the military
But physical health is just one piece of your overall fitness it is also important to make sure you focus on your mental health. Being in the military can be challenging. You might be living far away from home. Dealing with the stress of a high-ops tempo job or deploying overseas or on a ship. And even the normal stress of being in a relationship, and raising a family can cause a drain on your mental health. It is important to use the resources available to you through your mental health office.
Connect with Ashleigh:
Want to learn more about joining the military, check out the whole series here