1. Take care of yourself so you have the energy to take care of EVERYTHING else. You are the Total Force Family and your HEALTH is essential to the success of the mission!
As a Family member, Retiree, or DA Civilian you are an essential part of the Total Force Family. Life as part of the Total Force Family has its triumphs and stresses. But the strength of the nation is the Soldier and the strength of the Service member is the Family. The Total Force Family can live healthier, more balanced lives with proper sleep, activity, and nutrition. Feel better and reduce stress by being a leader in your community—inspire yourself and others around you by reaching your P3 goals.
2. Share your GOALS! Set a S.M.A.R.T. goal and start today
Set a goal and be SMART about it! S – Specific M – Measurable A – Attainable R – Realistic T – Time-bound. Did you know you will complete your goal 75% of the time if you make a S.M.A.R.T. goal, tell someone about, and give them weekly updates? The Total Force Family Challenge has a number of easy, weekly challenges to help motivate you to perform at your best. Challenge yourself each week and pick one—if the going gets tough, don’t quit—seek out the help of Family and friends or other resources!
- Set your goal and share it with a friend.
- Reach out to professionals if you get discouraged—try the fitness center, Army Forces Wellness Center, or MWR.
3. Food is fuel. Don’t work out on an empty stomach and re-fuel 30-60 minutes after your workout.
Your body is a machine that requires high-quality fuel to perform optimally. Plan out what you will eat for the week, make a shopping list, and be prepared! You need to eat a healthy snack with easy to digest carbohydrates about an hour before you plan on working out. Good examples are a whole wheat toast with jelly, banana, apple or yogurt. Replenish yourself, build strength and muscle by eating a healthy snack 30-60 minutes after your workout. Chocolate milk or apples and cheese are great and easy examples!
- Buy nuts and dried fruit, package into single serving baggies, stash in your gym bag or desk for great pre-workout snacks.
- Save some leftovers from dinner, pack up some protein and vegetables for a post-workout snack.
- Forgot to pack food? Grab a banana, peanut butter crackers, and some chocolate milk from the Express or convenience store.
4. Think outside the BOX and inside your ENVIRONMENT.
Take a look around you—the environment that surrounds you influences the choices you make each day. Change it up to create new habits so you can stick with them. Place your sneakers in a visible place to remind you to go for a walk when you first get home. Replace the box of crackers or bag of chips with a big bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables for easy grabbing in your kitchen. Keep your counters clear, have pre-cut fruit or veggies on the middle fridge shelf, and locate snack foods in an inconvenient cupboard.
5. Do a 6-week, 12 week or 26-week P3 Challenge—no matter where you work or live!
Health happens where we live, work, and play so create a network of support and encouragement around you to optimize your chance for success!
Want to empower the Family Readiness Group? Your co-workers? Get a group together and share the P3 challenge ideas. Create competitions between different groups at your office or in your community using the Total Force Family Challenge guide available in this site's Download Center. Friends and Family provide support when the going gets tough, but together your community can perform at their best!
- Use the Total Force Family Challenge to create a healthy competition in the FRG, your office, a club or coffee group, or within your own family.
- Connect with a local running group or join a yoga class—find a group that works for you.
6. Don’t fear the GYM! Include 2 or more days of resistance training and 1 day of agility training session per week!
Build strength and toughness by focusing on the Essential Seven movements. Strength training is essential to being optimally fit! Use these seven foundational movements to work all your major muscle groups and most exercises can be done at home without the need for equipment! Also take advantage of all the resources on your post or base like the fitness center or the Armed Forces/Army Wellness Center. The Armed Forces/Army Wellness Center can evaluate your fitness level and coach you through your individualized plan. It doesn’t matter if you are a Service member, DA Civilian, or Family Member—they are there to support your health and fitness!
- Schedule a visit with the Army Forces/Army Wellness Center.
- Make an appointment with the trainer at the Gym on post—learn how to lift properly.
- Bring a friend—having a workout partner is essential to success.
7. Be INFORMED!
Free P3 materials are available in the download center. There is so much material to choose from for Service members, Spouses, DA Civilians, and kids! Download the monthly calendar of the 26-week challenge!
8. Get your GREENS! Eat at LEAST 8 servings of fruits and vegetables PER DAY!
“8 is great!” Making ½ your plate fruits and vegetables can go a long way in reaching this goal. Why should you do this? For your performance and health, of course! Fruits and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, and studies continue to show they help you build physical, cognitive, and emotional strength! Love fruits but can’t stand the taste of green stuff? Spice it up—you’ll be surprised how delicious vegetables can be if they are prepared with fresh herbs and spices.
- Add a handful of green to your morning smoothie—spinach is a nutritional powerhouse and the taste is easily hidden when blended with frozen fruit and 2% milk or almond milk.
- Need recipe ideas? – check out our page for fantastic meals and other recipes the whole family will love.
- Visit the local farmers market for seasonal, fresh, and tasty local produce.
9. Get MOVING! Aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise + 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.
80% of adult Americans do not get even the minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise much less the 75 minutes of vigorous exercise that includes those heart pumping intense full body workouts that get your heart beating and gives a metabolic “after burn.” Check out Aerobic Activity Goals for what counts as “Moderate” vs. “Vigorous” exercise. Set goals to meet your targets to achieve 150 minutes of moderate exercise. Include a brisk walk and as the foundation for sustained performance and personal health! Moving a little each hour, about 10 minutes, adds up quickly and will keep your energy up and your mind focused all day!
- Challenge the kids to a quick game of soccer/basketball/freeze-tag when they get home from school.
- Gather friends and family for a walk around your neighborhood or park or plan a hike near a lake—make this your next FRG meeting.
- Take your kids and the dog out for a walk around the block after dinner.
10. SLEEP is your silver bullet! To perform at your best—you and your brain need 7 to 8 hours of sleep EVERY night!
Only 40% of Americans get the optimal sleep of 7-8 hours each night. In order for your brain to process what you have learned, read, seen, or experienced during the day the body needs to SLEEP not just rest because sleep improves the way your brain processes information. Students who get 30 minutes more sleep each night earn a letter grade higher score than their peers who sleep less. Create an optimal sleep environment—dark, quiet, and cool!
- Set a bedtime - backwards plan so you get at least 8 hours
- Go caffeine free 6 hours before bedtime
- Turn off all the lights in the bedroom and remove electronics—this includes cell phones, TVs, and computers