Here is a post from a guest blogger, Michael, on a Soldier’s tips for fitness

5 Fitness Tips from  an Army Soldier to Stay Fit and Healthy

Traveling can teach you a lot of things. And if there’s someone whom you would always see during your travels, they are the army soldiers. Apparently, they travel anywhere from time to time. They get different assignments and posts which are inevitable. And it’s just suitable to wonder how they were able to manage their physical fitness and health.

Do they train always? Are there any restrictions when it comes to food consumption? How often they exercise?

These are only some of the probing questions that most people have for army soldiers. And it’s undeniable that they are physically fit and healthy because it’s largely part of the job. Nevertheless, here are some of their most helpful answers and tips that could help you with your fitness concerns:

  1.  Nutrition and Hydration

As a soldier, they get to have ready meals on hand. Apparently, they are being provided with sets of foods for the day. So, there are times that they cannot choose what food to eat and what not to. But, it is ensured that the food they consume will not be a factor that can deteriorate their physical strength and fitness.

Nevertheless, they make sure that the calories they are consuming are much lesser than the calories they burn. This means that there must be a control when it comes to eating. And while they are served with foods in the army, they make sure that they still follow their personal eating routines and practices.

These include the proper chewing, efficient vitamin and mineral consumption such as the best protein powder of today, and appropriate times of drinking water before and after a meal.

As for hydration, they give enough importance to this matter. Water is a very important factor in their fitness and health. In fact, it is much better for them to consumer lots of water than consuming lots of food.

 2.  Endurance and Strength

Endurance and strength are very important for every soldier in the army. So, they spend a great deal of time to improve these. Now, the best way to boost strength and endurance is to do resistance training on a daily basis.

Start with exercises that largely utilize the joints. These exercises would include squats and deadlifts. Once done with these routines, you can now move on to the additional exercises that will complement the primary sets. Lunges and pull-ups are great examples of these.

3.  Flexibility

Flexibility is also a matter of importance for army soldiers. When you are flexible, the chances of obtaining injuries are very low. Hence, soldiers pay attention to their flexibility too.

During the flexibility training, it is important that you find comfort first even you don’t reach yet your goal. Safety is still the priority. Pushing your muscles to stretch beyond its maximum capacity for flexibility improvement would only strain you. So, starting with a few moves is fine until you already find comfort in pushing yourself to the limit.

4.  Do quality reps over quantity

Soldiers would always go for quality over quantity. According to them, it’s useless to have hundreds of crunches if you are not doing it right. So, it’s better to have 3 repetitions of 20 quality crunches than pushing for 5 repetitions in one sitting.

And if you are really aiming for an effective fitness routine, you should do the same too. You must always keep in mind that quality is much more important than quantity.

5.  Prep meals to help hit caloric goals

As mentioned above, soldiers get to eat packed and readily-prepped meals. Although they cannot choose what foods to eat because of this, they would take it as a positive thing as well. According to them, it helps them fully control their food consumption. When they are given scheduled meals, they only get to eat what is prepared for them. So, this hinders the unwanted cravings and the munching of in-between meals.

Accordingly, if you want to control your calorie intake on a daily basis, you should prepare your meals beforehand. This will enable you to mind what you eat and control your hunger and cravings.

Now, these tips from soldiers in the army are very challenging to do. But, it will definitely show you results. Also, there are more fitness routines that they do aside from the ones given above. So, the next time you see a soldier on your travel abroad, try to approach them and ask for other tips too!

 

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Folks, here is another fitness post from our guest blogger Ryan of Ryan Fitness Goals

Ahh, the sun is shining and you’re sitting on a beach with a cocktail in hand. Life couldn’t get better, right? Suddenly, you feel dizzy and start feeling a lack of energy and focus so you run back to your hotel room and try to find a thermometer to measure if you have a fever or not. One of the residents has one and, well, you’re sick. How did this happen – you might ask. If you did nothing wrong, surely there’s no way to get sick, right? Wrong. Here’s why:

When we change environments, our bodies need some time to acclimate to the new, well, everything! If your immune system is extra strong back home, it might end up being nothing in the face of bacteria it has never faced before. This is a fairly common occurrence and it’s neither surprising nor impossible to deal with. Luckily, there are a couple of steps and secrets you can follow if you want to avoid getting sick for no reason. Without further ado, here are 5 secrets that will help you stay healthy while on a vacation.

 

Never Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast is always a bad thing, but it’s even worse when you do it abroad. See, when you wake up, your body slowly starts activating fully. Soon after you’re awake, you’ll feel the need to eat. Do not skip breakfast. Your body needs energy supplies and vitamins from the get-go, and by declining to give some to it, you’re causing your body to work slower to suit the current situation. You might lose a little bit of weight, but this comes at a price:

Your body will burn through anything, and that includes muscle. Additionally, skipping breakfast has been linked to issues with digestion. These problems can be even worse when you’re abroad, and your body is working extra hard to stay healthy and strong. Always eat breakfast; it doesn’t have to be anything too strong, but a relatively large meal should be considered.

Drink Bottled Water and Avoid Raw Food

This might come as a surprise to some, but, tap water from a foreign place can seriously harm you. This isn’t because their water is impure and dirty; rather, it’s because your body (again) isn’t used to such a change and difference. Bottled water is your best bet for staying healthy and avoiding indigestion and stomach cramps (in some cases, you might even get diarrhea).

Raw food is another big no – you can’t know whether that food is safe or not unless you’re an expert. Some traditional raw food (such as Japanese Sushi) is mostly safe, but if you want to try it, we recommend paying extra and going to a reputable restaurant (which adheres to safety standards and hasn’t had a history of guest illnesses).

Walking is your Secret Weapon

Walking improves the overall status of your immune system, as well as keeping you healthy and strong. You might feel fatigue due to traveling to a place that you just aren’t used to (and neither is your body), and it can also occur due to jetlag. In any case, there’s no better way to get back on track and help your body recuperate than walking. Avoid using the car or even a taxi; unless you’re in a hurry, a walk or two through the woods will do wonders for your health!

Stay Hydrated

 

Thinking of going somewhere cold like Iceland or Norway? Go for it, but, remember to stay hydrated! Even colder places affect our bodies, and it’s in your best interest to stay hydrated by drinking water whenever you’re thirsty. Avoid fizzy drinks and other similar beverages because you’ll need H2O more than anything. Again, our bodies can’t instantly get used to the outside; especially when the difference is so significant between your vacation location and home. If you’re going somewhere hot – pack extra bottles of water! You don’t want to end up dehydrated.

Additionally, make yourself some Kratom tea before going out! Kratom is a potent herb that can help you with energy issues. Check out Kratom Crazy for more info on this topic!

Pack Snacks

 

Snacks (not the junk food kind) are essential to staying healthy abroad. Some nuts and maybe even an apple or two are amazing choices because they’re packed with energy, and they’ll revitalize you like nothing else.

You will need some extra energy because you’ll end up tired quicker than at home (even basic tasks such as walking can be tiresome), so be careful!

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Getting ready for an upcoming vacation or a business trip? Well, make sure to follow the below-mentioned tips to spend healthy holidays, stay perfectly fit, and have fun.

Undoubtedly, regular exercise offers you loads of benefits. Not only it makes you feel better and energizes your body, but also it reduces your stress and anxiety. However, when you are traveling or on a vacation, your regular exercise regime may get hindered. In such situations, you are highly recommended to precisely follow these seven simple fitness tips to staying fit while you’re traveling. Rest assured that all of these tips are extremely easy to follow and do not require much time to accomplish them.

7 Simple fitness tips to staying fit while you travel

1. Always start with a healthy breakfast

Never forget to start your day with a healthy breakfast. In fact, starting your day with a healthy breakfast is utmost essential when it comes to accomplishing your specific fitness goals. Breakfast is considered to be one of the essential meals of the day. Starting a day without healthy breakfast is same as driving a vehicle without filling up its fuel chamber or gas tank.

When you wake up in the morning, the glucose and blood sugar level of your body is at the lowest point. Please note, glucose is the primary fuel for your brain & central nervous system. That’s why you must eat a healthy and balanced breakfast to ignite your glucose and blood sugar level. A good breakfast will prevent your body from being tired, irritable, and exhausted by mid-morning. Otherwise, you will probably observe some of these effects, such as lack of alertness, low blood sugar, longer reaction time, and decreased work productivity etc.

2. Do mobility work

As we age, we tend to lose our mobility. Working on your mobility aspects will help you break through the plateaus, improve your posture, and promote a better health cum fitness level. Mobility work will even allow you to maximize your progress when it comes to increasing the size of your core muscles, developing movement skills, and building strength.

The best part is — these mobility based workouts are very easy to perform and do not require any gym equipment. For example, you can try performing the following mobility workouts, such as slides, hip flexor stretches, and deep squat holds.

3. Always have a water bottle with you

Are you drinking adequate water? If not, then please make sure to carry a water bottle with you. Adequate water content is quite important when it comes to maintaining the fluid balance of your body. Plus, it even helps regulate your body temperature, digest food, and transport essential nutrients into the body.

Water should be your perfect go-to drink whenever you’re feeling thirsty. Instead of having sugar-filled drinks, please ensure to drink plenty of water. As a result, it will automatically reduce your intake for empty-calories. Thus, always keep a reusable water bottle with you whenever you’re traveling.

4. Pack healthy travel snacks

While you are traveling, you may often end up making bad food decisions. Please note, the food you consume is directly related to your overall health and fitness level. Following a healthy diet is truly important when it comes to attaining your fitness goals.

Thus, instead of having artificial and preserved food while you’re on a trip, pack some healthy travel snacks for a quick bite. Protein bars, dried fruit, and trail mix are some great choices that you can carry during any trip.

5. Make fitness a part of your travel plan

Fitness should be an integral part of your travel plan. For example, if you prefer to perform some morning workouts, then use Google and search on the internet if there’s an adjacent park (that’s ideal for brisk walking and early morning jogging).

Alternatively, if you want to undergo a “sweat training session” within the facility of a gym or fitness center, then make sure to check if your hotel includes a well-equipped gym or not. Apart from that, you can even perform a plethora of simple yet helpful exercises that do not really require any special equipment. These workouts can be easily performed within the comfortable and convenient atmosphere of your hotel room, such as pilates and yoga.

6. Walk instead of ride to stay fit while traveling

Do you know the benefits of regular walking? Well, it helps you maintain a healthy weight. It even prevents various conditions, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Furthermore, regular brisk walking strengthens your muscles and bones. On top of that, it improves your mood, balance, and coordination. Hence, in order to stay fit and healthy (while traveling), you are requested to walk for short distances instead of riding a car.

7. Every hotel has a fitness center – use it

Nowadays, almost every hotel features a gym cum fitness center that’s loaded with various instruments and equipment. So, if you are staying at such a hotel that has a fitness center, then make sure to take advantage of it. Visit the gym and practice some of your favorite workouts (like walking on a treadmill, weight lifting, and more).

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Courtesy of one of our readers, and occasional contributor, Chuck.  Here are four Delta Have One On Us drink coupons.  They expire on 15 Dec, so make sure you are flying before then.  Same rules as before, simply reply to this post and I will randomly draw names and email the vouchers to those lucky few.

 

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Here is our annual list of all the various free meals that veterans can get.  I wanted to get this out a few days in advance so you can plan for where you want to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – or all three!  Use this as an excuse to take a veteran to a meal to thank him or her for their service.  If you know of other meal deals, please post them as a reply.

Note the date of each deal as they are not all on 11 November and several have specific times.  Be prepared to show an ID verifying you are eligible.  Pretty easy for those of us still serving, but veterans should show a Driver’s License with veteran status on it, or a VA card, even a DD214 should do.  Most of the time, they just take your word for it, but you don’t want to be called out in a restaurant because you couldn’t prove it.  Enjoy!

Denny’s – 0500-1200, 10 Nov., Free Build Your Own Grand Slam Breakfast

IHOP – 10 Nov., Free Red, White, and Blue pancakes

BJ’s Restaurant – 10 & 11 Nov., Any meal under $12.95 is complimentary along with an alcoholic drink worth up to $6 if you are over 21.

Spaghetti Warehouse – 10-12 Nov., BOGO free on any entrée. You need to print out the coupon on their website. http://www.meatballs.com/

Applebee’s – 11 Nov., Free meal from special menu

Black Angus – Opening – 1500, 11 Nov., Free top sirloin steak dinner and non-alcoholic beverage

Bob Evans – 11 Nov., Free select menu items

California Pizza Kitchen – 11 Nov., Free items from special menu

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse – 11 Nov., Free 8 0z. steak dinner

Chevy’s – 1100-1400, 11 Nov., Complimentary Fresh Mex 3-item Combo

Chuck E. Cheese – 11 Nov., Free cheese pizza

Cici’s Pizza – 11 Nov., Free pizza buffet

Cracker Barrel – 11 Nov., Complimentary Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake

Dunkin’ Donuts – 11 Nov., Free donut

Famous Dave’s BBQ – 11 Nov., Free two meat combo

Friendly’s – 11 Nov., Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner

Green Turtle – 11 Nov., Free meal up to $12 or $12 off a more expensive meal

Hooters – 11 Nov., Free meal

Logan’s Roadhouse – 11 No., Free American Roadhouse Meal. Not valid in CA, NC, SC or Augusta, GA.  Note that vets always get 10% off throughout the year.

Little Caesar’s Pizza – 1100-1400, 11 Nov., Free $5 lunch combo

Menchie’s Frozen yogurt – 11 Nov., Free 6 oz. yogurt

Mimi’s Café – 11 Nov., Free items from special menu

Mission BBQ – 11 Nov., Free sandwich and slice of cake (while it lasts). On a personal note, try to eat here at noon on any given day and watch what happens!

On the Border – 11 Nov., Free combo meal

Outback Steakhouse – 11 Nov., Free Bloomin’ Onion and beverage

Outback Steakhouse – 12-16 Nov., military members get 20% off

Outback Steakhouse – 17 Nov. onwards, Military, police, and fire get 10% off

Ponderosa Steakhouse – 1600-close, 11 Nov., Free buffet

Red Lobster – 11 Nov., Free appetizer or dessert

Ruby’s – 11 Nov., Free adult entrée

Ruby Tuesday – 11 Nov., Free appetizer

Shoney’s – 0600-1100, 11 Nov., Free All You Care to Eat breakfast

Sizzler – Before 1600, 11 Nov., Free lunch and beverage

Texas Roadhouse – 11 Nov., Free special veterans lunch

TGI Fridays – 1100-1400, 11 Nov., Free lunch

UNO – 11 Nov., Free entrée or individual pizza

Village Inn – 11 Nov., Free Inn-Credible breakfast

White Castle – 11 Nov., Free breakfast combo or Combo Meal #1-6

Wienerschnitzel – 11 Nov., Free chilidog with small fries and small Pepsi

World of Beer – 11 Nov., Free beer or $5 off check

Golden Corral – 1700-2100, 13 Nov., Free dinner

Country Cookin’ – 1400-2000, 14 Nov., Free meal

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Not sure why Chipotle picked 1700-closing on 7 Nov for their Veterans’ Day Deal, but it is here and you should take advantage of it.  Open to any military (active, guard or reserve), veterans, and even military spouses.  Buy one burrito, bowl, salad, or taco and get another one free.  I will generously offer to take my wife out for dinner tonight…

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Getting out of town for the long weekend by going down to Williamsburg, Virginia.  The wife wanted steak for dinner and we saw an Outback restaurant that she wanted to go to.  Walking in to the establishment, I saw this poster.

Anything to do with the military has my attention.  I asked the waitress and she gave me some made-up answer.  However, to her credit, she asked the bartender who corrected her.  She came back to me and said she lied to me.  Sam Adams has created a deal with Outback for a pay-it-forward free beer deal.  Buy a $5.95 Same Adams and they will hand you a beer shaped card to write an inspirational message to the Soldier.  The card is then placed up on the bar and a fellow veteran can come along and cash in the card for a free beer.

Here is the card I bought.  Looks like the others have been cashed in.

So if you are headed to Outback, take advantage and look for a free beer.  Or if you are a leader like me, who appreciates everything military members do every day, pay $5.95 to buy them a well-deserved beer!

Posted by glenn | 2 Comments

Disclaimer:  The following editorial is my personal opinion and does not represent the official position of the U.S. Government or military.

There has been a lot of blogger hate about the upcoming ban on anything larger than a phone for ten Middle East/ North African cities.  Frankly, people that use their laptops all the time are justly the most upset, however, this doesn’t represent the typical traveler.  At least my observations are that people use their devices 90% for entertainment, not work  (including me).  They can go back to using the seatback IFE and it won’t be the end of the world.  There is such a thing as sacrificing for the greater good.

The bottom line is that people with a lot more information than us have determined that this was a real threat and we need to do all we can to prevent a terrorist incident.  I have seen several bloggers state that the threat is “non-specific” and therefore we should not take these steps.  If the threat was specific, we would have the host country arrest the individual or introduce him or her to an up close and personal demonstration of American technology.  Terrorism is typically a non-specific threat which is the entire reason we have security checkpoint, body scanner, and x-ray machines, including for luggage.

We have seen successful airplane bombings recently with the downing of the Russian airliner over the Sinai and the attempted downing of the Somali airliner that could have succeeded if the bomber knew enough to get a seat next to a structural member instead of the aluminum skin.  In both instances, it was found that the bomber had help from the local ground staff or security.  So we hear that Al Qaeda is working on a manually-detonated electronics-based bomb.  Why would we poo-poo this report and not act?  You really want to wait until hundreds of people die in a bombing and then act?  This is like the neighborhood that complains about a dangerous crosswalk, but the city only takes action and installs a light after someone is killed.

Courtesy of the U.S. Army, I am an explosives expert.  Some bloggers have written that they don’t understand why an iPhone is OK since it is essentially a mini-computer.  Or how they could put three phones together and they would be as powerful as a laptop.  They must be thinking that somehow the computer inside is going to take over the plane in some sci-fi movie-like incident.  The terrorists are looking for volume to hide powerful explosives like C-4 or Semtex.  That is why the focus is on battery compartments.  In the past the security folks could simply ask you to power up a laptop to demonstrate the battery was in place.  This is conjecture, but what if Al Qaeda was found to be working on a way where part of the battery was left in place to power up the laptop for five minutes, but the rest of that space was an explosive?  A pound or two is plenty of power to cut a structural member if placed correctly. And back to the question on three iPhones together?  You can’t put a rubber band around three firecrackers and think it is the same as an M-80.  Just not how explosives and expanding gases work.

Others have said they don’t understand why a laptop in the hold is OK, but not in the cabin.  Well besides saying that the threat was a manually-detonated device, the terrorist would have no idea where their laptop would end up in the hold.  Explosive force diminishes by the square of the distance it is away from the area to be impacted.  Thus if a bomb is 1 foot away from the aircraft surface and exerts a certain explosive force, a bomb 2 feet away would have 1/4 of that force.  You cannot randomly hope for the location of a small explosive.  Remember we are only talking about a pound of explosive, not the whole suitcase-full that brought down Pan AM 103.

The wife and I are planning a future trip that will take us through one of these cities and I was debating if we should still take it,  but really I can do without my laptop for one trip.  I would much rather feel secure that we are trying to defeat a terrorist attempt.  The terrorist threat will be the likely cause of reduced air traffic on these carriers, not the fact that they can’t use their laptop.  Frankly, I would be much more concerned with my electronics being stolen or damaged in luggage than worry that I will only have IFE.

Just one man’s opinion, but I felt I needed to make a counter-argument that I did not see anyone else making except in main stream media.

Glenn

Posted by glenn | 18 Comments

I saw on DTS, that they are going to make changes to the Joint Travel Regulation (JTR) which is the bible by which all our travel and payments are based.  It was recently highlighted in this newsletter from the Defense Travel Office.  Nothing in the JTR changes significantly, according to them, but the volumes (one for military and the other for Govt civilians) are streamlined and better organized.  Both will be effective 1 April 17.  To keep up with the latest Travel Reg changes and see if they affect you, check out this site.

Here are some of the key changes in my view:

  • Encourage more use of restricted airfares.  These are the that normal people buy for vacation and involve a change fee if your plans get altered.  More importantly, if you get this type of ticket, it requires ticketing within 24 hours, unlike the typical GSA fares.  Saves the Govt a lot of money to use these, but beware of the restrictions if you go this route.  Here are their suggested tips for using restricted airfare:

restricted-ticket

  • Update and simplify the myriad of allowances that are now part of travel.  Personally, I hope that means not having over a dozen different Per Diem for most states.  Foreign locations can be even worse in trying to determine which Per Diem applies to your location.
  • Gets rid of the term Commercial Travel Office (CTO) in favor of Travel Management Company (TMC).  Not understanding the benefit here, but get used to the change.

In addition to the above, the Integrated Lodging Program Pilot (ILPP) has expanded again and covers some new large areas such as San Antonio and Quantico.  I am not sure why this is still a “pilot” program as it is covering about half my travel these days.  I have found that most of the time it still directs me to use commercial lodging rather than the IHG-run military hotel on post/base.  But that can change with even a one day shift in orders as I found on my upcoming trip to Ft. Hood.  Just go with the flow here, but as with GSA fares, change the hotel they mandate if you have good reason to.  Earning points is NOT a good reason…

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Traveling creates experiences and memories that you will remember for the rest of your life. These moments are what make life more meaningful, especially if spent with your loved ones. It’s not all a walk in the park though. Aside from the cost of travel that you need to consider, there’s also the common problem of many travelers, which is the preparation of the things to bring.

This is one of the most stressful parts because you need to make sure that you got everything you need, including your documents, cards, cash, clothes, shoes, etc. However, there are ways on how to resolve these concerns, making your travel preparation a more convenient one. To avoid missing anything, take note of all the items you need to bring several days or even weeks before your travel.

Do the packing days before, instead of the night before. With this, you will not feel pressured because of the time crunch. Plus, this will give you more time to search for the items you need or purchase them if you don’t have them at home.

You don’t want to lose your way on your destination. So, save Google maps for offline access. With this, you can still use it and find your away around even if there’s no Internet connection.

We have created an infographic that shows more practical tips to make not just your travel hassle free, but the preparation as well.

Check out the amazing image below and get everything ready for your trip like a pro:

7 Travel Hacks You Need to Know Before You Go

Do visit us at http://personalincome.org/ for more interesting finds about different careers and salaries, work productivity, as well as those about budgeting and finances.
Hope all of you enjoyed this guest post by Sarah. Please visit her site if you liked it.

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Congrats to four winners – Chris Pepin, Christopher C., Janet, and Nick.  I have emailed each of your a code for a free pass to the Alaska Lounge.  They expire 12/31 so use them on your next trip and post a note in the comments or send me an email on your experience there.  Have fun printing pancakes!

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