By Ann Bermudez June 4, 2013
Most organizations hire, promote, and retain people for the "software" in their minds, all that intelligence, wisdom and genius that resides between the ears. However, that software will simply lie dormant unless it's properly powered up by Activity, Nutrition and Sleep (ANS).
Lt. Col. Christine Edwards, deputy program manager dietetics, discussed "Food For Thought -- Fueling the Strategic Leader" to staff members participating in the volunteer 'Fit to Win' work group at the U.S. Army Medical Command Headquarters, Joint Base San Antonio, TX, May 8. Edwards focused on inspiring and motivating strategic leaders to 'power up' and sustain their cognitive sharpness through proper nutrition, i.e., eating every 4-5 hours and to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
According to Edwards, the right fuel, in the right amount, at the right time improves: health to sustain performance, decision making and risk management, strength to perform, and mental endurance and focus.
"When you eat right, sleep, and stay active, you will find it easier to lose body fat, which ultimately reduces your risk for chronic disease," Edwards said. You will find it easier to maintain a more steady level of energy and focus for cognitive tasks. You will feel stronger and more capable, less prone to soreness and fatigue."
The Performance Triad is the Surgeon General's initiative and vision to improve the health of Soldiers and Civilians to optimize performance and improve resilience through changes in behaviors and attitudes related to ANS. MEDCOM has put together a volunteer program for all headquarters staff to help and support those striving to improve their health and reach their goals. The group meets periodically to provide pertinent information, serves as a support group for those involved, brings SMEs to meetings to discuss ways to improve, and shares what has not worked for individuals.
Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho attended the presentation and was proud of the grassroots effort to get staff members thinking about health.
"We have to celebrate all of the small successes because we are worth investing in," she said. Horoho encourages others to consider Performance Triad initiatives at their own locations.