Physical fitness is a huge part of army training – as well as your life in the army. No one is born fit. Fitness is something that you have to work at, and achieving your optimum level of physical strength is a sign of mental strength, discipline and determination.
Plus, there are more benefits to fitness than you might realise, which makes it an essential part of army training. If you're physically fit, your body can cope better with the demands of the job.
Not only that but exercise strengthens the links between your muscles and your brain, improving your reflexes and allowing you to make split-second reactions.
Mental and physical strength is essential for the army, but training is tough and it can be hard to stay motivated. Here are some of our ideas to help you to stay focussed and enjoy your training.
Running, Swimming and Cycling
Running may be the core part of fitness training, but there are plenty of other cardio-vascular activities to add some variety to your routine.
Varying your training programme will not only keep you motivated but improve your muscular fitness.
For example, cycling uses slightly different muscles to running, so it can give you a new challenge. Swimming on the other hand allows you to have a full body workout, yet without the impact of running.
The repetitive impact of putting one foot in front of the other can put pressure on your knees, ankles and hips, so it's good to alternative between this and a more fluid form of exercise. A splash in the pool can give your heart, lungs and muscles a workout, while letting you joints rest and recover from your previous run.
Adding a bit of variety like this will not only help you to stay motivated, but it will improve your fitness, while allowing your body to rest and recover. This triathlon-style approach is great, but you can't overlook the importance of running – try to keep this as the key feature of your workout.
Team sports are a great way to stay fit and motivated. From football to basketball, team sports allow you to work together and compete. This element of camaraderie and competition is what will push you to keep boosting your performance. It's also great fun – you can develop hand-eye coordination, tactical thinking and team work, whilst running nearly non-stop throughout the game.
As well as competing as a team, it's also good to train to become the best you can individually. Combat sports like boxing and fencing are popular in the army, offering the perfect mental and physical workout. You could also try racket sports like tennis, squash or badminton.
With an emphasis on discipline and controlled aggression, martial arts are perfectly suited to army training. Sports like Karate and Judo build strength, confidence and fitness. Plus, there's the added benefit of improved flexibility, which you don't get in many other sports.
A hugely important part of army training, adventure training can take you across the world, into extreme environments. From skiing to kayaking, adventure training takes you into the great outdoors and tests your strength, courage and determination.
It also helps to develop fitness, with many of these sports requiring excellent stamina and endurance. Plus, the risks involved in more extreme sports allow you to develop teamwork and leadership skills, as well as mentally prepare yourself for the very real risks in the battle field.
As you can see, PT training doesn't have to be a slog. With enough variety, as well as finding sports you feel passionate about, you can easily stay motivated and on top of your game.
Being a soldier is an inherently risky job, and the training can be risky too. Putting your body through a tough training programme can result in injury. Soldiers get injured in training every day – whether they're skiing down the mountain or playing football on camp. That's why it's essential to invest in personal injury and accident insurance. With a job as physically demanding as the army, insurance is vital to securing your future finances.
Do you know of any fun training activities which help you to stay motivated? Share your ideas below.