Top 7 Fitness Tips for Army Soldiers

Listed below, I want to share my top 7 fitness tips for Army Soldiers.  We all know that Army Soldiers are required to maintain a high level of physical fitness.  Unfortunately, many Soldiers cannot pass the APFT or Height/Weight, especially in the ARNG and USAR.  And other Soldiers simply want to improve their APFT Score.  Whether you are in great shape, or need a complete fitness makeover, I can offer you seven pointers that will help you improve your level of fitness significantly.

# 1 Get More Sleep

One of the best things you can do for your health is get more sleep.  Most Americans are sleep deprived, getting less than six hours of sleep each night.  I recommend you try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.  Everyone’s body is different, so you might need more or less than that.  Figure out what your optimal amount of sleep is and do what you can to get that much sleep every night.

# 2 Watch Your Diet

We are a nation that lives on fast food and junk food.  One of the quickest ways to improve your fitness is to get control of your diet.  Even if you go to the gym every day, it will be hard to get in shape in your diet is bad.  Try to eat more vegetables and less junk food.  Consider talking with a dietitian to develop a meal plan that meets your needs.  At a minimum, try to eat less sugar, less carbohydrates, and less caffeine.

# 3 Consider Taking Supplements

Most Soldiers would benefit from taking a multi-vitamin and other supplements.  For most of us, our diet does not provide the right amount of nutrients our body needs.  I recommend you visit a local vitamin shop, such as GNC, and get one of the multi-packs for men or women.  These “multi-packs” have an assortment of supplements that will give your body that added boost.

# 4 Change Up Your Routine

When you do the same exercise routine over and over, your body plateaus.  For instance, you’ve probably met people who run on the treadmill every single day, but can’t seem to lose weight.  Every couple months change up your exercise routine to confuse your muscles.  Do a combination of cardio, strength training and stretching exercises.

# 5 Work Out With a Buddy

It’s a proven fact that when you work out with a buddy and have someone to be accountable to, there’s a good chance you won’t “miss” your workout.  Find someone in the gym or ask one of your friends to be your workout partner.  This will keep you motivated and make your workouts more enjoyable.

# 6 Incorporate Weight Lifting Into Your Routine

Strength training is an important component of fitness.  If you want to lose weight, build muscle and get in shape, you should lift weights at least two days per week.  Lifting weights will help you burn fat and lose weight.

# 7 Practice Doing Sit Ups, Push Ups and the 2-Mile Run

Don’t forget to train for the APFT.  The best way to do that is to practice doing sit ups, push ups and the 2-mile run.  Each week, make sure you practice these events at least once.  And take a “diagnostic” APFT once a month to evaluate your progress.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading my top 7 fitness tips for Army Soldiers.  Please know that “fitness” is a lifestyle.  It’s not something that will happen overnight.  To get in shape and stay in shape takes a game plan, persistence and discipline.

Do you have any tips that have helped you with your APFT scores? If you want to share them, or if you have any questions, please post them below. Thank you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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4 thoughts on “Top 7 Fitness Tips for Army Soldiers”

  1. As someone else pointed out in the comments, drinking water throughout the day is one of the easiest things you can do keep your body ready to take on the rigors of a vigorous work out.

    From the blog post I’d say that sleep is rightly placed at number one. Without a significant amount of sleep, the body only runs at minimal capacity. Sleep is the thing that everyone needs in order to be healthy and a lack of sleep can cause even the most athletic of people to become unfit.

    Also, run…..everywhere.

  2. I’ll suggest a couple of additions. As a footnote to #7, when training for the 2-mile run you should at least occasionally run more than two miles. Having the conditioning to run 3, 4, or 5 miles will also mean that you can push harder on the 2MR and finish faster. Also, I’d like to add #8: drink plenty of water every day. It’s good for your general overall health (you even think better when you’re properly hydrated) and it will help greatly with weight control.

    1. Good points Daniel. Staying hydrated is critical to your health. Also, I like your idea of running longer distances from time to time. Mix in 3, 4, 5 and sometimes a 10 mile run into your exercise routine. This will help build up your stamina and endurance.

      Chuck Holmes

    2. I agree, Dan. I personally do three days of cardio…one day is a “FAST” day where I run 1/4 and 1/2 mile sprints at paces that exceed my 1-mile time goals. Then, another day I will run 2-miles at a little under my last PT test time (to decrease my time). Last I like to finish up with a nice 20-30 minute run at a moderate pace which exceeds 2-miles…just to build up that endurance.

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