DVIDS – News – COVID-19 presents challenges for heart health and fitness



A healthy heart is a prerequisite for a fully trained fighter or fit recipient. Without a healthy heart, a soldier cannot be expected to accomplish tasks such as loading 155mm rounds into a busy rack, or a recipient may huff and puff while walking up the stairs.

“A heart at rest stays at rest, while a moving heart stays in motion, to paraphrase the old axiom,” said Lt (N) Cmdr. (Dr.) Olamide Oladipo, chief of cardiology at Navy Medical Center-San Diego (NMC-SD).

Due to the intermittent shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall health of military personnel and beneficiaries has been affected over the past year, he noted. A more sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and therefore death.

The military is addressing this problem through the Aging Warrior study, which aims to examine cardiovascular risks in men 40 and older and women 52 to 55 years of age with a risk factor for heart disease, such as l ‘hypertension, Oladipo explained. After a CT scan, study participants will receive preventative drugs or other procedures if they have early signs of cardiac atherosclerosis (a narrowing or blockage of heart vessels).

As for fitness, NMC-SD has “taken a more holistic approach; we treat the whole person “among active duty personnel and beneficiaries,” said Melissa Palacios, nurse and head of the health and wellness department of NMC-SD’s Naval Medical Readiness Training Command. “We’re looking at concurrent diagnoses that affect a person’s heart health,” such as diabetes, sleep apnea, obesity, stress, PTSD.

“We’re doing this through more virtual classes, group exercise programs, fitness trackers, and apps that help monitor heart rate, food intake, medication, and sleep hygiene, for example.” , she said, also noting the negative impact COVID-19 has had on grassroots effectiveness in physical training and meeting the fitness needs of beneficiaries.

“Getting moving can have a profound impact on lowering blood pressure, building muscles, controlling weight, reducing stress and reducing inflammation, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease,” said Palacios. “We encourage our active and beneficiary members to not only participate in aerobic activities such as swimming, dancing, cycling, brisk walking or cycling, but also to identify opportunities in their daily lives to intentionally become more physically active. , like going up the stairs. “

The ideas behind physical training have also changed in the military. At Fort. Leonard Wood in Missouri, the unit’s physical training “was previously very focused on the Army physical fitness testing events (push-ups, sit-ups and running),” said Army Maj. Brett Dougherty. , physical performance service line manager, General Leonard Wood. Army community hospital. “However, over the past few years this goal has slowly changed to incorporate more resistance training, particularly functional lifting, and that change has accelerated with the introduction of the Combat Aptitude Test of the army that examines the body in a more functional way. “

Functional lifting is an exercise that helps troops perform daily activities, such as changing heavy tires, more easily.

The military follows the FM 7-22 October 2020 Fitness and Performance Guidelines, which include five areas of combat fitness: muscle strength, muscle endurance, aerobic endurance, explosive power, and anaerobic endurance. The guide features exercises, stretches, progressions, and sample schedules on how to train for Army Fitness Tests and General Fitness. It includes aerobic exercise, strength and resistance training, agility, flexibility and balance.

FM 7-22 also provides advice on nutrition, sleep hygiene, mental well-being, and general well-being of soldiers, all of which are integral to overall heart health.

Physical fitness is therefore much more than laps performed, push-ups done, crunches crunched. It is a holistic framework of physical and mental fitness which means being able to exercise while avoiding injury and enjoying a longer lifespan. And, when it comes to fitness, a healthy heart is paramount.

Date taken: 02.01.2021
Date posted: 03.04.2021 10:32
Story ID: 390207
Site: we

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