Epic Failures Can Lead To Extraordinary Success
7 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

Are you fit to serve?

MilitaryIf there were a terrorist attack yesterday on Sept. 11, 2011 and you were called to serve your country, city, community, and family, would you be "fit to serve"?  The 'weight' of our nation's health challenge now seems to be breaking the back our national security initiatives. 

An article by Christian Davenport and Emma Brown that appeared in the Washington Post said that about a third of all potential recruits can’t join the military because they’re too overweight and out of shape.

The article notes that to pass an Army physical fitness test, an 18-year-old male must be able to do 42 push-ups in two minutes, 53 sit-ups in two minutes, and run two miles in 15 minutes and 54 seconds.

“When you get kids who can’t do push-ups, pull-ups, or run, this is a fundamental problem not just for the military but for the country,” said Curtis Gilroy, the Pentagon’s director of accessions policy.

He says, “Many kids are not taking physical education in school; they’re more interested in sedentary activities such as the computer or television. And we have a fast-food mentality in this country.”

General Johnnie E. Wilson retired from the U.S. Army in 1999 and serves on the Executive Advisory Council of Mission: Readiness. Shortly after the launch of Michelle Obama's Let’s Move campaign, he offered this insight in The Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC):

“The tie between military readiness and nutrition is long-standing. In 1946, the population was so undernourished that many youth were unable to serve their country. Military leaders knew then that the country’s defense required action and pushed for a new school lunch program. This step did not end child hunger, but it did make a difference in improving child nutrition.”

He notes, “We all have a role to play to ensure that our children have the chance to live healthier lives. For those of us who have dedicated our lives to protecting our country, this is a national priority.” 

Preparing ourselves and our children and grandchildren to be "Fit to Serve" may seem to be a bit too much to think about right now in your journey but I believe it's good to know how unhealthy we are as a nation to provoke us into action.  

Maybe it isn't very realistic for you to think you'll be called on to serve your country in the military after a terrorist attack.  However, answering the question "Could I serve others in a state of emergency and am I leading the next generation to a healthier lifestyle to protect our great nation?" are two important questions to think about.  

Most of us have the ability to serve our family, friends, community and city by serving up better quality nutrition and portion sizes along with regular exercise and activity.  Are you staying committed to doing so to achieve the trilogy of optimal health (health body, mind and finances)?

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