After service, many veterans find it difficult to adapt to the routine of civilian life. Whether it’s adapting to a standard 9-5 job, easing into family life, or maintaining a fitness routine, it can be difficult to resume life as usual after serving in the military.
While there’s a lot to tackle after coming home, staying fit and active will go a long way toward improving your overall health and happiness. Here’s a look at tactical fitness and what every veteran should know about staying in shape after completing military service.
Understand the Challenges
People go into the military at the peak of fitness. Through boot camp and beyond, you work hard to hone your body to be a useful tool in the field—one that can serve you and others when you need it most. In these circumstances, it’s easy to keep up with the rigors of maintaining physical fitness. But what happens when you return to civilian life?
It’s common for veterans to fall out of the military routine. When entering civilian life, there’s less structure and pressure to exercise daily and focus on fitness. This factor alone makes it difficult to stay in shape. Without a solid routine, it’s easy to get distracted and stop working out altogether.
Embrace New Fitness Demands
If you feel like you’re lacking the motivation to workout after leaving the military, then you may be interested in exploring other physically demanding careers. Treating your body as a tool that needs to be trained and maintained for your work may make it easier to stay motivated. In fact, many veterans choose to enter law enforcement, security, firefighting, etc., since these careers have both a physical and live-saving component to them.
These careers have different fitness needs, and vets should know what to focus on when working within these careers. Differences include factors like endurance, strength, work capacity, and stamina. You can train according to your own unique needs in these different areas.
If you were disabled during your service, this can make staying fit harder — but not impossible. You may not be as physically capable as you were before the injury, but you can still stay active, which will also help improve your morale and sense of purpose. Do whatever you can to find new things you love and ways to stay engaged, whether that’s sport fishing and hunting or taking up landscape photography. Some states like California offer discounted sport licenses and state park passes to disabled veterans.
Exercise with Intent
When you train for tactical fitness, you’re essentially training your body to be effective in the field. With every workout routine you complete, you need to work out with the intent of sculpting the most useful and effective body possible.
The best way to train for the field is by making it as close to a real-life situation as possible. To that end, you should train with tactical gear and move like you would in a real combat situation. This level of training will prepare you for actual interactions you could face in the field.
The human body can do great things when you put some work into it. After serving in the military, you’ve likely already seen all the amazing things your body can do. Make sure that you keep your body fit. Pursuing a career that emphasizes tactical fitness is a rewarding and effective way to maintain your fitness.