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:
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.
Find your healthiest weight
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.
Make exercise a priority
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.
Learn about your family’s medical history
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.
Take advantage of time you have with your doctor, ASK QUESTIONS!
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!
Make time for your family and friends
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.
Minimize your stress
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.
Write your goals down and make them public—get buy in!
Talking to others about your goals, even if they’re not participating with you, helps you achieve your goals and stick to them.
Ask for help
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!
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.