Physical readiness training moves to afternoons: JTF Carson to switch to reverse cycle
By Sgt. William F Smith (4th ID)December 15, 2014
Joint Task Force Carson officials will move Soldier physical readiness training to the afternoon and adjust the daily work schedule to maintain the same number of hours for training each day, beginning Jan. 5, 2015.
Under the new schedule Soldiers will report to their assigned places of duty at 8 a.m. instead of reporting for physical readiness training (PRT) at 6:30 a.m. Unit physical readiness training across the installation will be from 4-5:30 p.m. On the first Friday of the month, which is payday activities for Soldiers on Fort Carson, report time will be 9:30 a.m. with physical readiness training from 2:30-4 p.m.
The reverse cycle duty day will enable delayed reporting in cases of inclement weather without sacrificing the ability for Soldiers and units to conduct physical readiness training. It will also decrease the time Soldiers spend traveling between home and their places of duty and reduce exposure to colder temperatures.
"The weather is typically warmer in the afternoon," said Lt. Col. Rob Price, 4th Infantry Division surgeon. "When it is warmer outside we see less cases of frostbite (and) frost nip, and Soldiers who suffer from exercise- induced asthma have less symptoms."
Price said there are other health benefits to the reverse cycle, including diet and nutrition, and advises Soldiers not to eat a large lunch before physical readiness training.
"With PRT now being conducted in the afternoon right before dinner, Soldiers will be able to practice and improve on their recovery nutrition," said Price. "When PRT was in the morning, Soldiers had to conduct personal hygiene and get ready for work, limiting their ability to get all the nutrients they needed within 30 minutes of working out. Soldiers will be able to improve the effectiveness of the training they receive because they will be able to intake the protein and other vital nutrients they need to fully recover."
Medical professionals said they also hope to see a decrease in the frequency of orthopedic injuries with the new schedule.
"Many of the problems we see in physical therapy are the result of preventable injuries," said Mark Blackley, physical therapist, Evans Army Community Hospital. "From an injury prevention standpoint, doing unit physical readiness training in the afternoon makes sense from a lot of perspectives, particularly in the winter months. We have seen a number of injuries from slipping on snow and ice; they are probably worse in the colder, morning hours.
"In those colder hours Soldiers have an increased chance or frequency of lower extremity injuries like a twisted ankle or knee. A bad ankle or knee injury can potentially lead to surgery, prolonged rehabilitation and sometimes the end of an Army career. If these could possibly be prevented then it makes sense to do whatever we can to do that."
People trying to access Fort Carson between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Monday-Friday can expect slight delays as this will be the general report time for all Soldiers and civilians who work on Fort Carson. In the afternoon, Magrath Avenue between O'Connell Boulevard and Specker Avenue will be closed for physical readiness training from 4-5:30 p.m.
Child Development Centers will remain open until 6:15 p.m. beginning Jan. 5, 2015. Morning hours will remain the same.
Soldiers are encouraged to consult their chains of command for more information.
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