Physical Fitness

5 Essential Energy-Boosting Nutrients to Fuel Your Workouts

Veterans sometimes find it difficult to maintain the same level of fitness they enjoyed while actively serving their country. Military meals are well-balanced with sufficient calories to fuel the body. Once back in civilian life, it becomes the job of the veteran to manage their micronutrient and macronutrient intake. They must also assure they get the exercise they need. Here are some nutrients that can help fuel your next workout.


Protein is an absolute necessity to maintain optimal levels for health. Protein is needed to repair muscle fiber that is torn while engaging in high-intensity workouts. Experts do not agree on how much protein is needed but one rule of thumb is to eat 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Up Fitness explains, “everyone’s health and diet needs are tailored to their body, and their goals. That being said, an increase in protein generally tends to lead to people feeling full and not wanting or craving foods outside of meal times.”

Animal protein is an excellent way to satisfy your protein needs. Foods like beans, peas, and lentils are available to veterans that do not eat meat. Some men worry that soy products may reduce testosterone levels, but evidence-based studies do not support this.


Veterans who need to lose a few pounds of body fat would do well to learn how to put their body in a state of ketosis. When in ketosis, your body converts the fat stores of your body into ketones that can be used as fuel for workouts.

Ketosis can be reached by eating a low amount of carbs and increasing the healthy fats consumed. Diet Doctor explains, “by eating low amounts of sugar, your body naturally produces more ketones, which provide the body with energy. The ideal is to get your body into a position where it burns fat 24-7.” Examples of good fats to consume are coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.

Vitamin B

It is quite possible that B vitamins will be the most important vitamins for veterans looking to stay healthy and active once their active duty is completed. According to Age Immune, “B vitamins are used for energy production, red blood cells formation, body defense mechanism, and neurological support.” A well-balanced diet that includes whole grain, fruits, and vegetables will provide the needed B vitamins for energy production.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary to maintain the health of bones and teeth. This fat-soluble vitamin becomes more important as individuals get older. Individuals with Vitamin D deficiencies may also find they do not have the energy to fuel workouts. According to Theralogix, “Vitamin D doesn’t only help in muscle development, but it also assists in maintaining better blood sugar control, improves testosterone levels, and can even improve your mood.” The sun is the best source of vitamin D, but supplements and fortified foods can also satisfy your vitamin D needs.

Exercise, Water, and Sleep

These three elements are not often viewed as nutrients. However, all individuals need to maintain an adequate amount of these elements to maintain optimal health. When adequate exercise is partnered with sufficient sleep and water consumption, hormones are balanced and the body has the fuel it needs for workouts and tissue repair.

It may seem difficult at first for the veteran who seeks to maintain optimal fitness levels. However, getting the right nutrition and remaining active can help them achieve this goal. The five nutrients discussed in the article are must-haves for veterans wishing to maintain fitness levels.

For future health events and virtual runs which go to help veterans, make sure to check out our events page! We are announcing new races and other events soon, so keep an eye on that page!

Physical Fitness

Stress Reduction Strategies You Can Implement Today

Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain often resulting from demanding circumstances. If you were a military veteran who served in a war zone, then you definitely experienced stress. It can also be caused by circumstances in daily life where you are finding it difficult to cope. While deep cleansing breaths often help short-term, here are some longer-term solutions to help alleviate stress.

Exercise Frequently

Researchers suggest that even five minutes of aerobic exercise can help lower your stress level. They also say that getting about 45 minutes of exercise four or five times a week can help keep stress away. The reason is that when you exercise, hormones are released into the bloodstream that helps you to feel better. Go ahead and head out the door for that brisk walk or go to the nearest gym to see if it works for you.


Many people find that journaling helps in lowering their stress level. Positive Psychology Program explains, “journaling/expressive writing has been found to: boost your mood/affect, enhance your sense of well-being, reduce symptoms of depression before an important event (like an exam), reduce intrusion and avoidance symptoms post-trauma, improve your working memory. The process helps a person release their emotions. In turn, many find that journaling helps them look at situations realistically allowing them to come up with workable plans. While you can find books that will help you journal by asking specific questions, many find that getting a notebook and starting to write works best for them.

Declutter Your Life

Decluttering your life often helps to lower stress levels. You need to start by getting rid of the things that no longer bring you joy, then organize the things that you decide to keep. Start with one area of your home where you find very little emotional attachment. Declutter it first before moving on to another area. It is like a snowball; once you get started, you will pick up more and more momentum. Donate items to your favorite charity.

All Storage Online recommends, “if you still have too many things, then get a storage unit or ask a friend to use their attic. Many families and individuals don’t understand how detrimental it can be to live in a cluttered or messy home. By giving up some of your low use or no-use items you can feel good about serving your community as well as creating a more welcoming home.” Remember that seeing the same messes and clutter everyday can take a toll on your mental health.


Volunteering is a great way to relieve stress. Discovering how blessed you are regardless of your circumstances allows you to let go of things that are causing you to feel stressed. Oftentimes, volunteering helps you build a support community allowing you to look at problems in new ways. Volunteering can also give you something else to think about instead of the same old problems.

Stress can have horrible effects on the body. Use these four ideas to help lower your stress levels today. The results will help you better cope with challenges in life.

Veteran Lifestyle

Mindfulness- It’s not just meditation

What is Mindfulness?
“Kind attention to the present moment, without interpretation or judgment.”

Mindfulness involves an undivided attention that is given to what you are experiencing without criticism. Being mindful requires you to engage your mind in the present moment and acknowledge your bodily senses, thoughts, feelings, and emotions without any particular judgments to that awareness (Pande, 2016).
The act of controlling your emotions plays a crucial role in mindfulness by reducing repetitive negative thoughts and worry, and, therefore, has been shown to lower rates of depression and anxiety (Desrosiers, 2013). By bringing kind attention to one’s thought patterns, we can shift our emotions by reducing negative thoughts, worry, depression, and anxiety, while increasing focus. Mindfulness practices have been shown to produce positive psychological benefits. For example, research has suggested that mindfulness improves resilience, which enables mindful individuals to respond better to difficult situations (Pande, 2016). Research has shown that mindful individuals are more open-minded, creative, and able to cope with difficulties(Pande, 2016). Study results have demonstrated that resilience is associated with mindfulness and life satisfaction, which highly suggests that improved resilience can positively impact your well-being(Pande, 2016). Improved resilience can also enhance social relationships, which is another factor that influences well-being (Davis, 2012).
Additionally, research has suggested that different styles of mindfulness practices produce different brain activity patterns (Desrosiers, 2013). Mindfulness meditation, for example, has been shown to stimulate the middle prefrontal brain associated with being aware of your own thought process (Desrosiers, 2013). In order to gain all the benefits of mindfulness, it is encouraged to explore different types of practices to achieve enhanced mindfulness (Desrosiers, 2013).
For full references, articles, and guided mindfulness practices, get started with the free  Stanford Well for Life’s Mindfulness Challenge and find out how they can optimize your well-being!
Key Terms:
Mindful– Conscious or aware of something, focusing one’s awareness on the
present moment
Emotion– A natural state of mind–such as fear, love, disgust– derived from one’s
circumstances, mood, or relationship with others
Bodily Senses– Feelings or sensory experiences that are most intimately
associated with one’s body, such as aches, tickles; feelings of pain and pleasure, of
warmth, or fatigue
Bodily Awareness– The consciousness of the presence of our body and the
sensation of bodily posture and state, such as the position and movements of our
limbs, the contact of our clothes to our skin, muscle pain in our legs, or the
feeling of thirst