(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by Lt. j.g. Rochelle Perry
USS Halsey (DDG 97) Public Affairs
PHILIPPINE SEA — Maintaining a physically fit lifestyle for Sailors aboard a deployed U.S. Navy warship can be challenging. For Sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class, guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), participation in the command-wide “Sail into Shape” weight management challenge program encourages wholesome eating, healthy lifestyle choices and solid exercising habits.
The more than 70 Sailors participating in the weight loss challenge choose teams, and an assistant command fitness leader serves as their coach to assist them in safely meeting weight loss goals. During the competition, participants are encouraged to track caloric intake, log their workouts, and record their workout progress. The challenge lasts a total of 90 days with weigh-ins conducted every two weeks.
“My goal as a coach is to make fitness a lifestyle, not just a 90-day challenge,” said Operations Specialist 1st Class Darius Mitchell.
“I will show them the science behind burning fat while, at the same time, showing them how to eat healthy and make good food decisions. Teams should be having fun with fitness,” he said.
The program is designed for recreation and enjoyment but also plays an important role in helping maintain Navy physical fitness standards to ensure the command’s overall mission readiness.
Chief Operations Specialist Marcus Allen, Halsey’s command fitness leader, said focusing and understanding healthy eating habits is the key to success in maintaining a fit and active life.
“We’re hoping to change lifestyles, build self-confidence, and give people healthier habits they can use for the rest of their lives,” said Allen. “Keeping good health is important in performing your job and carrying out your duties as a Sailor.”
The fitness teams have come up with motivating and interesting ways to stay in shape. From running laps around Halsey’s gun deck to group exercises on the aft missile deck, Halsey Sailors are determined to keep a fit and active routine during deployment.
“My personal goal is to lose 23 pounds and being part of a team really builds the camaraderie and motivation I need to lose weight,” said Yeoman 1st Class Margaret Royal, who has already lost six pounds.
“I can’t wait to do our next weigh-ins. Overall, this program encourages teamwork and based on the 17 teams we have, it’s awesome that the command is coming together to achieve their goals,” Royal added.
On Nov. 10, the competition ends, and closing ceremonies will be held at which time winners will be announced. The winning team will receive special liberty and fitness equipment prizes, courtesy of the ship’s morale, welfare and recreation program.
Cmdr. Linda Seymour, Halsey’s commanding officer, said the “Sail into Shape” program is a great morale booster and motivator for Sailors during deployment.
“Achieving physical fitness helps us maintain our mental and spiritual fitness, making us sharper warfighters,” said Seymour. “I am amazed at the enthusiasm for the competition and inspired by the innovative workouts our teams do at sea every day to stay fit to fight.”
Halsey is deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.