Improve your health with activity, diet, sleep
October 3, 2013
Genes are not your destiny for health and diseases. Other factors such as physical activity, nutrition and sleep contribute to health and diseases. The Performance Triad Pilot program addresses these contributors for the cognitive and physical performances of Soldiers.
Our national security depends on eligible recruits being able to enlist in the Army. The prime recruiting age for Army recruits is between 17 and 24. Over the past several years, one in four of these potential recruits is overweight and ineligible to enlist in the Army. If these potential recruits are unable to join because they fail to meet the required height and weight standards, physical activity, nutrition and sleep are not only a national health challenge, but a national security issue.
It is not just the potential recruit who is overweight. This overweight problem is readily seen in the active force. Daily, Soldiers are being discharged because they fail to meet height and weight standards which may be contributed to lack of physical activity, improper diet and lack of sleep.
U.S. Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho's plan is to help Soldiers and the Total Army Family to become healthier through her "Performance Triad" of physical activity, nutrition and sleep. The goal of the Performance Triad is to improve individual performance and resilience through improved physical activity, nutrition and sleep.
These three components are recognized because of their impact on the physical performance of everyone, especially our Soldiers who we depend upon to provide our nation's security. While each component is independently important, optimal performance is achieved when all three are in harmony.
The Performance Triad is designed so everyone in the "Total Army" can practice proper physical activity, nutrition and sleep discipline. We want the Total Army Family to practice physical activity, nutrition and sleep discipline because we believe these disciplinary measures are best for their health -- not because they were ordered or it was suggested.
We want to be an Army that leads the way in a system for health not a health care system. By increasing Soldiers and families awareness in these three areas it is expected that their performance and resilience will improve, thus improving unit readiness.
Before the Performance Triad is employed Army-wide, the 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, was selected as one of three units to participate in the Army's Performance Triad pilot program which begins here Sept. 30. The two others units participating in the pilot program are from Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., and Fort Bragg, N.C.
These battalion-sized elements collectively have about 2,200 Soldiers participating for 180 days. Afterwards the results will be evaluated for execution Army-wide. Our goal is to have the Performance Triad implemented throughout the Department of Defense to improve the stamina of our Army Family and control the rising cost of health care.
Overall, the Performance Triad Pilot Program is to improve individual performance and resilience through physical activity, nutrition and sleep. When successful, it is expected this program will be adapted throughout the Army.