U.S. Navy photo by Joe Schmit

10 Tips on how to #LiveHealthy in 2016!

Photo provided by Force Master Chief Terry  Prince
Photo provided by Force Master Chief Terry Prince

Navy Medicine’s top Sailor, Force Master Chief (FORCM) Terry Prince, transformed his life in 2003 by dropping unhealthy habits and successfully completing an Iron Man triathlon in Hawaii. Today he continues to practice the healthy lifestyle changes he made for the Iron Man and motivates those around him to live a healthier life.

Here are his top 10 tips for Sailors, Marines, and their families to live healthy and stay healthy in 2016:

  1. Quit Tobacco

Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg
Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class James Stenberg

The damage that any form of tobacco has on your body is tremendous and negatively affects your health in more ways than you can imagine. Check out these resources from QUIT TOBACCO and Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center to help you kick the habit.

  1. Find your healthiest weight

Photo by Sgt. Edward Garibay
Photo by Sgt. Edward Garibay

Being overweight or underweight can be detrimental to your health and quality of life. Find a healthy way to gain or lose the weight you need to be at your best.  Check out these healthy recipes from DOD Live Well to help you manage your weight.

  1. Make exercise a priority

U.S. Navy photo by Joe Schmit
Photo by Joe Schmit

Exercise will improve your overall health. It also helps with your mental health, not to mention the confidence you gain from taking care of your body. Making fitness goals a priority between two or more people is a great because you’re able to hold each other accountable and stick to your goals instead of falling off the wagon because no one’s watching. Whatever you do try to get 30-60 minutes in every day.  Check out this 31 day challenge from Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center.

  1. Learn about your family’s medical history

Photo by Lt. j.g. Adam Demeter
Photo by Lt. j.g. Adam Demeter

Knowing your family health history is important when setting goals for your health. Talk to your family and talk to your doctor. Know your risks and learn what preventative measures you can take to stay healthy. Check out the CDC’s family health history resources.

  1. Take advantage of time you have with your doctor, ASK QUESTIONS!

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Shawn J. Stewart
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Shawn J. Stewart

Ask your doctor what you could be doing to live healthier and commit to making those changes. Also take advantage of your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) or physical exams and schedule all of the available screenings. It’s important to know what’s going on with your body. You only have one!

  1. Make time for your family and friends

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke

Set aside time to spend with the people you truly care about, having that quality time allows you to reset and focus on your goals.

  1.  Minimize your stress

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin Peeler
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin Peeler

Sit back and analyze the stressors in your life. Focus on ways to alleviate or eliminate that stress. Are you taking on too many projects? Do you need help in certain areas you’re not asking? Take inventory of your daily activities and try to de-stress. Also make sure you’re making time to take care of yourself and do things you enjoy. See where you fall in the stress continuum with this graphic from Navy Operational Stress Control.

  1. Write your goals down and make them public—get buy in!

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anna Van Nuys
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anna Van Nuys

Talking to others about your goals, even if they’re not participating with you, helps you achieve your goals and stick to them.

  1. Ask for help

Photo by 1st Class Petty Officer Todd Schaffer
Photo by 1st Class Petty Officer Todd Schaffer

Know that you’re not alone in anything, whether its fitness related or anything else affecting your wellbeing; when you need help ask for it! Look out for your fellow Sailors and Marines remember #EverySailorEveryDay. If you or someone you know needs help check out these resources from 1 Small Act.

    10. Recognize that some days will be better than others and that’s OK!

Photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth
Photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth

The reality is, any type of lifestyle change is going to be challenging, but nothing worth having comes easy. Some days will be easier than others.. You’ll perform better some days and not so well on others but what’s important is just getting through today. Start your journey, and continue to challenge yourself. Remember if you put your heart, mind, and strength into anything you do, nothing is impossible.