Fort Drum soldiers take a new approach to physical fitness

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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) — Introduced in late 2020, H2F, also known as Holistic Health and Fitness, is the Army’s latest effort to improve the overall physical readiness of its soldiers.

In Fort Drum, the program is housed in a gymnasium that has been affectionately nicknamed “the owl’s den”.

” It was great. It’s a super family culture. As soon as I arrived from day one. Super welcoming. Everyone here is great,” said Sgt. Ben Yandell, Alpha 110 Company.

The motto of the 10th Mountain Division is Climb to Glory and at H2f Owl’s Den they take it literally.

What sets H2F apart is the holistic approach, which focuses on addressing all aspects of health equally to improve overall fitness.

“That confidence and that better sleep and that better nutrition and the better stress levels that the soldier experiences always equates to better performance,” said Mark Taysom, program director.

H2F is divided into 5 categories called domains. Mental, physical, spiritual, nutritional and sleep. The program involves at least one expert from each field.

“I will say this is your fitness plan for going to ranger school, let’s say. But then here is the dietitian who is going to walk you through how to plan a meal plan that will also help you pass ranger school. Then we will take you to the athletic trainer to deal with any injuries you may have,” Taysom said.

He says a secondary goal is to eliminate the idea that exercise is punishment.

“Teaching soldiers to care for and value their bodies rather than seeking to subjugate them is a fundamental culture shift that needs to happen,” he said.

The program was also used at Forts Bragg, Bliss and Lewis. It is now planned to implement it nationwide in the coming years.

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