7 Ways to Stay in Shape After the Military

1.  Set a clear goal.

If you wish to re-claim your fitness, the first thing you need to do is set a clear, realistic goal. Do you wish to lose weight, gain muscle or simply maintain your current physique? Define your goal before acting upon it, then create a comprehensive timeline that will help you stay on track. Remember, be realistic! After all, you have much more flexibility now and are, in fact, able to work on your own terms, so make use of it!

2.  Create a reasonable schedule.

How much time per week are you able to spend at the gym? What about running outside, hiking or simply going for a walk with family and friends? Are you able to stick to your newly-designed schedule long-term? Start slowly and work your way up. Develop a positive mindset around workouts and always look at training as a way of investing in your health rather than a source of unwanted pressure. One thing is for sure— your family and friends will appreciate you taking the time to pursue your true passion!

 3.  Choose your activities wisely.

Choosing to engage into activities that you really enjoy plays a big role in maintaining a constant workout routine. If you chose to pursue boxing as a form of physical activity, you will look forward to every single training. On the other hand, if you absolutely despise it, you are less likely to stick to your workout plan and more likely to “cheat.” You do not have to do certain exercises just because you remember how good they felt once upon a time. Do what you love and you will have more fun with it. Explore and be open to trying new things.

4.  Help others to get fit and stay fit yourself.

This is a big one! Find a fitness buddy and help them get fit. Teach them trick and tips that only you know and we guarantee that you will feel better about getting and staying fit yourself. In fact, did you know that military.com listed ‘fitness training’ as one of the most popular careers for veterans? In fact, fitness training is expecting its employment rates to increase by as high as 30 percent in the next year. This does not mean that you have to start a fitness center—simply get together with a few friends and discover new ways of staying fit together. Perhaps playing basketball with your son or teaching your daughter to play soccer will inspire you to be a better player yourself!

5.  Pay attention to your mental fitness.

It is not all about physical fitness! Take some time every week to honor your strong mind. Perhaps try meditating or read your weekly newspaper or that new Kindle book you got by a lake. Go for a walk or have a cup of tea in a natural environment, far from everyday distractions. Remember, a little peace goes a long way.

6.  Stick to a healthy diet

By this we do not mean kale and broccoli every day. Treat yourself, but remember to always do everything (yes, eating included) in moderation. Your body is guaranteed to feel better and so are your workouts. As you would know, fitness comes in a package and you should be mindful of all of its aspects.

7.  Understand that you do not have to excel or impress anybody but yourself

A lot of times veterans and former athletes can be harsh on themselves when they realize that their fitness level does not necessarily meet their goals…or their previous standards. And that’s okay! Take life at your own pace and enjoy the little things. Your kids will forever be proud of you and you should, too. Always strive to be the best version of yourself and remember that you are the one who defines what that means to you.

8. And last but not leastremember to enjoy getting back into shape.

It might seem silly at first, but it is what you’re good at and what you’ve dedicated a big part of your life to! After all, if you give up then there is no hope for the rest of us…

It is no secret that many veterans find it difficult to stay in shape after leaving the military. After years of hard work, physically and mentally demanding training and challenges that go beyond just the ordinary, it is finally time to take a deep breath and create a brand new workout schedule that won’t have you waking up in the middle of the night. And in trying to find another job, go back to school or simply spend enough quality time with family and friends, how do you ensure that your level of fitness is not compromised? Well, don’t worry if you are struggling to find the answer. We are here to help!

Here is what you can do to ensure that you get enough exercise and maintain both your physical and mental health!