Skip to main content

Military Health System

How Good Diet and Exercise Prevent Injury and Disease

Image of Photo of group doing pushups. Diet and exercise are fundamental for overall physical and mental, health and can aid in warding off chronic disease. (U.S. Navy photo by Brian Walsh)

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Injury Prevention | Nutritional Fitness

Being healthy is important for service members' careers. It's also a key to long-term health and disease prevention for everyone in every facet of your lives.

But being healthy doesn't just mean you're physically fit. It means you live a balanced life, attending to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Both diet and exercise are essential to your overall health and allow your body to perform optimally.

"Diet and exercise help prevent disease and injury in many ways," said Aleisha Manson, a registered nurse at Kenner Army Health Clinic, in Fort Lee, Virginia. "Eating a proper diet high in nutrients helps the body in functional endurance and strength and ensures strong mental health."

For service members, this is part of the job.

"The military must be ready when called upon for action," she said. Service members must remain healthy to endure physical and mental stress, so "ensuring their bodies are strong and ready to go at all times" is key.

This is especially true for active-duty service members who "must remain resilient in order to 'rebound' when injuries occur," she said.

"A healthy body is conducive to resiliency."

Manson explained exercise helps maintain lean mass and cardio health. Consuming a diet rich in nutrients "helps prevent stress fractures and other anomalies that prevent military personnel from being ready for duty."

Likewise, keeping proper "physical and nutritional status helps the body combat disease," she said. "A stronger body is less likely to fall to disease."

In sum, "ensuring that the body is physically and nutritionally fit helps increase health, well-being, readiness, and resilience," she said. "It helps one's body fight illness and preps the body for health over time."

For example, when the body is healthy, "it has the reserve and resilience to fight or heal when attacked by an injury or illness," she said.

And during the aging process, "the longer the body is maintained in a healthy state [the better it] will help to prevent chronic disease," she said.

Even if there is a chronic disease that runs in your family, "a good diet and exercise will support long lasting health," said Manson.

As diet and exercise "arm" the body and mind to respond and perform better, this also means you're better able to delay or prevent certain chronic conditions.

Some of these include "diabetes, atherosclerotic coronary diseases bought on by high cholesterol, such as angina, strokes, and heart attacks," said Manson. "Most commonly, hypertension can be delayed, which can have repercussions in strokes, liver and kidney diseases."

Similarly, there are strong correlations between exercise and mental health. "Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function," according to a National Institutes of Health report.

Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal, according to the report.

The report recommends mental health professionals emphasize and reinforce the following health benefits from regular exercise to their patients:

  1. Improved sleep
  2. Increased interest in sex
  3. Better endurance
  4. Stress relief
  5. Improvement in mood
  6. Increased energy and stamina
  7. Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness
  8. Weight reduction
  9. Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness

For more information on a roadmap to military wellness and peak performance, check out the Human Performance Resources By CHAMP Total Force Fitness.

You also may be interested in...

Tips for How to ‘Train Right’ and Avoid Injuries During Sports and PT

Article
10/13/2021
Military personnel in physical threapy

Physical training, recreational activities, and sports are key to service members’ health but musculoskeletal injuries due to sudden incidents and repeated stress or overuse are the biggest health problem in the U.S. military.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness

Fort Knox dietician reveals personal staples for healthy family meals, picky eaters

Article Around MHS
10/8/2021
Vegetables displayed at a grocery store.

Making sure everyone in the family is eating healthy can sometimes be overwhelming and oftentimes, families aren’t sure where to start.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Momentum builds as Army implements Holistic Health and Fitness

Article Around MHS
10/5/2021
Soldiers prepare to exercise.

The Army’s implementation of Holistic Health and Fitness, or H2F, has made significant progress over the past year as the Army’s primary investment in Soldier readiness and lethality.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness

Regular physical activity is important for health and performance

Article Around MHS
9/29/2021
A Coast Guardsman works out at Coast Guard Air Station Savannah.

Those who get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week have a much lower risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease—the top killers of Americans every year.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness

Finding time for fitness during the work week just got easier

Article Around MHS
9/29/2021
A person works out the gym.

The new Army Civilian Fitness and Health Promotion Program now encourages employees to focus on fitness while at work.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness

What is a "healthy" weight-loss eating plan, anyway?

Article Around MHS
9/28/2021
A female soldier poses with an apple in her hand.

Weight loss sounds simple: take less “energy in” (fuel from food and drinks, measured in calories) and use more “energy out” (calories burned through daily physical activity and exercise).

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Occupational Safety

Video
9/24/2021
Occupational Safety

Occupational Safety. It is everyone's responsibility to be aware and take care of yourself when it comes to workplace environments. Whether you work from home, in a hospital or clinic, or are out in the field, take precautions and preventive measures to ensure your welfare to be able to continue to serve our beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

Injury Prevention and Occupational Health | Injury Prevention

JRTC, Fort Polk promote health, fitness for civilian workforce

Article Around MHS
9/23/2021
Luewana Hannon (left), community ready and resilient integrator, provides information to Georgia Louis (right) during the education and information fair at the Join Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk Army Community Service, Sept. 20.

The Civilian Fitness and Health Promotions Program hosted an education and information fair at the Join Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk Army Community Service, Sept. 20.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness

Food Safety Month: Commissaries Join Other Agencies in Highlighting Foodborne Illness Prevention

Article Around MHS
9/13/2021
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Spc. Crystal Vice, a veterinary food inspection specialist with Public Health Activity Fort Carson, checks the expiration date on a peanut butter container Oct. 13, 2020, at the Fort Carson Commissary. Food inspectors randomly check food and other items before they’re put on the shelves for sale. (Photo by Eric E. Parris)

During Food Safety Education Month in September, DeCA joins the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service, the Department of Health and Human Services and other organizations in reinforcing foodborne illness awareness and prevention.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Public Health

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Stay Hydrated for Optimal Performance

Article
8/10/2021
A soldier takes a drink from his canteen.

Proper hydration is key to optimal performance.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness

Ask the Doc: AO2 Energy

Article
7/26/2021
AO2

Dear Doc: Me and the guys in my shop drink A LOT of caffeine. I'm not much of a coffee guy, but I do drink two or three energy drinks a day. I drink a lot of water too, and I'm young and in good shape, but sometimes I feel like I'm a little too reliant on these drinks. I sometimes short myself on sleep only because I know I can have an energy drink or two and be fine for most of the day. Is that a problem? Should I cut back? What are the impacts on my health? Are some forms of caffeine (coffee or tea, for example) better or safer than others? I'd rather focus on this while I'm young and healthy instead of keeping it up for a decade before I realize it's caused a real health problem. -AO2 Energy

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Ask The Doc

AJ-Maste Yoga: Tips for a Healthy Deployment

Article
7/13/2021
Military personnel doing a yoga pose

Yoga comes in many forms and fashions, and has proven health benefits.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Total Force Fitness

Ask the Doc: Fitness Freaking Out

Article
5/26/2021
Integrating healthy snacks like fruit into kid’s diets will teach them healthy eating habits. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sabrina Fine)

Dear Doc: It seems like every time I go to the commissary, my daughter, 6, and son, 7, tend to gravitate toward the sugary cereals and frozen pizzas, and always want candy bars and sodas at the checkout. As far as I know, and as has been proven by their regularly scheduled check-ups, they are both in great health. The mother in me wants to give them what they want, but the former college athlete and current fitness freak in me is afraid that this might become a problem. For me, eating healthy has become a normal part of my life, and I've come to enjoy things that are healthy and taste good. Aside from tricking them, what can I do to get my kids to eat (and enjoy) more healthy foods? — Fitness Freaking Out

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Ask The Doc

Ten ways parents can help kids make good nutritional choices

Article
4/27/2021
Image of a colorful plate outlining the portions and serving sizes of each type of food.

Nutrition is a key element of Total Force Fitness, but it’s just as important to encourage kids to make smart nutritional choices.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Month of the Military Child - Celebrating Military Kids | Children's Health | Nutritional Fitness
<< < ... 6 7 8 > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 8
Refine your search
Last Updated: January 25, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery