Let’s talk about how to stay healthy during a PCS move.
It’s the life of a military spouse. Your spouse receives orders so you are tasked with everything from orchestrating movers to finding a new home. Suddenly, your health goes into the toilet. Not this time!
More than nothing fitness
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends you get 150 minutes if cardiovascular activity each week.
They also clarify this activity can happen in a single duration or in multiple sessions throughout the day.
So, as you move your life from one duty station to the next, rather than your exercise being a 30 minute session it may look more like 15 minutes in the morning and 15 at night or 10 minutes in the morning, 10 mid day, 10 in the evening.
This is okay! In fact, you’ll get similar fitness benefits.
Don’t ever think a short amount of time isn’t enough. Something is more than nothing.
If you added up the number of 10 minute sessions you skipped, how many hours would you have?
Nourishing your body
As a health professional, if you are at a healthy weight I don’t typically recommend you track every morsel you put into your mouth. It leads to unnecessary stress, which can lead to weight gain.
That said, PCS season is a time to track your food. Why? Put simply: you’ll stay on track.
You can use a free app like MyFitnessPal to track your macronutrients or caloric intake for the day.
Whether you are in a position to buy groceries or hitting a drive through, this app will allow you to enter your intake and balance with expenditure using a connected movement device like Apple Watch or FitBit.
Need to lose weight? The paid version ($79 annually) is enough to keep most people accountable. We are more likely to utilize programs we pay for.
I also like Weight Watchers Blue for the same reason: it doesn’t eliminate foods, so you can stick to the plan as you’re on the road, waiting for household goods, or fully transitioned to your new Post!
Coping with stress
It is stressful to move.
I know, you’ve done it a dozen times. Doesn’t matter- it’s still stressful. You need a coping technique you can do anywhere and at anytime.
Here are some ideas you can use:
• roll breathing
• prayer or meditation
You’ll notice exercise isn’t on this list and that’s by design. Yes, movement is great. That said, you’ll want something else you can do without needing to plan timelines or environments.
Everything in the list above can be done anywhere and at anytime.
Challenge: write out your PCS wellness plan
Research shows we are more successful when we write things down. I challenge you to write down what you are committing to in the areas of nutrition, fitness, and coping with stress.
As an example, mine may say: I intend to record all of my food in MyFitnessPal, exercise for 30 minutes a day cumulativelyin 2-3 sessions, and do morning thoughts each day in a journal.
Have orders? Don’t table your health and wellness goals. Remember more than nothing fitness, tracking, and coping and you’ll already know how to handle PCS like a boss!
Comment below with the tips & tricks I missed! I’d love to update this list for next summer.