NS Newport Community
Command Fitness Leaders Encourage Sailors to Get Fit
Story by SN Steven Young on 01/14/2019
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Jan. 9, 2019) A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not to do something, and one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get in better physical shape.
For Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), the fitness team is in place to assist them in improving overall health and achieving fitness goals.
“Physical fitness plays a vital role in overall health,” said Chief Hospital Corpsman David Long, the command fitness leader aboard George Washington (GW). “Exercise helps reduce stress, and decreases risks from obesity, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases. It makes you feel better, think more clearly, and live longer.”
Long’s passion for fitness derives from his experience with Fleet Marine Force and expeditionary warfare commands. In those types of environments, being physically fit isn’t just desirable, it is mandatory.
“Most of my Navy career has been in communities where [physical training] is part of the culture because your physical strength and endurance can be the difference between life and death on the battlefield,” said Long. “From the [Chief of Naval Operations] on down, we talk about a focus on warfighting and being ready for combat. If your body isn’t strong enough to withstand the stress of firefighting, damage control, and carrying your shipmates, you have to train it to be stronger.”
George Washington implemented command-wide physical trainings (PT) sessions in May 2018. Since these sessions began, they have set a standard for the physical expectations of Sailors while also serving as all-hands calls to allow the commanding officer dedicated time to address the crew.
“I feel that the command PT sessions have been very effective,” said Rosalio Nieto, the Fit Boss aboard George Washington. “The captain was able to address the crew many times in 2018. On top of that, we have created the culture of command PT once a month; it is who we are. Since the beginning of command PT, I know of two departments and four divisions who have started their own PT sessions because of its influence.”
With the new year in full swing, George Washington’s fitness team is introducing new methods to improve command PT and push Sailors to reach their peak fitness.
“George Washington’s fitness team will be continuing their group [fitness enhancement program] sessions Monday through Friday from 6-7 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. at the Huntington Hall field,” said Nieto. “Even though these PT sessions are mandatory for some, we encourage any Sailor to come out and get a good workout in. I personally will be running circuit training workouts during lunch and after work as soon as the leave period ends. This will be in preparation for the Deep Six Challenge’ that I will be kicking off at the end of January. This six-week challenge will be to promote body weight and fat loss while educating Sailors on how to keep it off.”
Regardless of your current fitness level or fitness goals, there is always room for improvement. Sailors are urged to stay physically fit to be at the top of their game personally and professionally. This all starts with the decision to get in better shape, and the focus to stay dedicated to your fitness goals.
“Don’t be afraid to break your bad habits and make changes to your lifestyle,” said Long. “Military life is stressful. To cope with the stress, and to be tough enough to fight and win battles requires strength. Regardless of your job title, strength starts with health, discipline, and teamwork three things you can develop through exercise. You can join us during [the fitness enhancement program], command PT, or the GW Run Club. Talk to your departmental fitness leaders about doing PT as a small team. Alternatively, find something you like to do such as martial arts, gymnastics or hiking, and make time to do it with your friends and family.”