Americans have become more and more aware of their health and wellbeing in recent years, and "healthy living" and "active lifestyle" have become ubiquitous phrases in everyday life and in the media. Despite the growing awareness of the need to train and eat well, many people do not know how to start or lack the motivation to do so.
The skyrocketing costs of healthcare for individuals, families and governments are in part directly attributable to a lack of exercise and poor eating habits. But the price we pay is far greater than a tax. The national security of our nation is potentially at risk as more and more qualified applicants are trained and serve in our military. But the risk does not stop here.
Our citizens across the country may also be put at risk on a daily basis as cities, communities and countries face the same challenge of finding qualified candidates to serve as first responders to officers, firefighters and paramedics. It is likely that, with some exceptions, the pool of candidates for both our military and first responders will be one and the same. This aggravates the problem given the lack of qualified applicants.
In its 201
- Obesity among active service workers increased by 61% 2002 and 2011 (CDC, 2017)
- Service members have a 47% higher likelihood of musculoskeletal injury if they are overweight or obese (Cowan, et al., 2011).
- By the year 2030, 64% of the potential recruits will not be due to their weight Qualify for the Service (Healthy Base Initiative, 2015)
The need to get America moving is indeed great, and well-trained exercise professionals and health coaches are an integral part of the solution. It is of utmost importance to anchor good habits in youth. This is an area where you can make a big impact. Participate at the community level by volunteering at a school or community center, and maybe doing some youth activities. This can help to grow your business as families, parents, or employees may become paying customers – and this can make the "word of mouth" move work.
You might consider dropping by a recruiting office or a fire department or police station for an informal discussion with staff about your desire to help and discuss their needs. Or, create a unique program for high school and college students who are considering a career in the military or as first responders to help them improve their fitness, strength and endurance.
Helping to prepare our future military and first responders will provide the satisfaction that you feel as if your knowledge and skills in health and fitness are not just for the individual; Protecting citizens across the country from a multitude of threats to their safety and well-being. It will allow you to be proud of the ability of your community, its citizens and our country's ability to defend, protect and serve our country.
Learn more about what ACE does in our Advocacy Center.