Be ORE ready! Top 10 tips
7/1/2012 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- It's the middle of the week, and you've just heard through the grapevine there's a base exercise soon approaching.
Whether it's your first or tenth exercise, we all know how important it is to stay prepared and ready for a recall. However, knowing a few tricks of the trade will help ensure your next exercise goes as smoothly as possible.
Lucky for you, we just happen to know a few (or 10) that'll keep you a little more focused, prepared and confident.
So here they are, Kunsan's Top 10 list for exercise preparedness:
1. Plastic bags over boots. Ever wonder how some people get their cover boots on and off so fast? Plastic shopping bags over their combat boots before putting on chemical boots. Save a few the next time you get back from the store and keep them with your gear. It'll save you some time at the end of the day.
2. Baby powder in gloves. The last thing you want to do is fight with your chemical gloves when donning your gear. Sprinkle a little baby powder in them to keep them from sticking (or smelling).
3. Separate cloth to clean gas mask. Repeated wearing of your mask can cause a buildup of sweat and germs, keeping a separate wash rag or cloth to clean your gas mask will help prevent that. Pour a little water from your canteen and wipe clean between uses.
4. Exercise. This is obviously easier said than done, especially considering the gym is closed during base exercises. But committing to as few as 10 minutes a day will help keep strong blood circulation to muscles and help prevent fatigue. Don't believe me? Look it up for yourself. Try a few simple sets of pushups and sit-ups, jogging up and down a staircase, or deep breathing and stretching movements.
5. Eat your fruits and vegetables. We know it's tempting to head straight for the freezer section when storing up a few days' worth of food, but don't forget to stop by the produce aisle. All those processed foods, while convenient, aren't giving you the energy you need. Make an effort to have at least one fruit or vegetable in your bag as a snack, such as an apple, orange or celery.
6. Hydrate! For the obvious reasons of course. Most forget (or don't know) that caffeine depletes the body of water. So along with those extra energy drinks, remember to also up your water intake and prevent dehydration. No sense in making yourself feel even more fatigued.
7. Catch some quality ZZZs. We get precious few hours between most shifts during exercises. We're all eager to rush home and jump on the computer, watch TV or play video games, but commit to limiting your time to these activities so you're able to secure a full night's rest. Studies have shown that staring at the bright lights of a monitor before bedtime can make it hard for users to fall and stay asleep. So if you must, limit your nightly social media dose and hit the sack instead.
8. Make a game out of it! With all that is going on during an exercise, it can often feel like information overload, causing you to forget more than you remember. No better way to learn the bare necessities than making a game out of it. So sing it, write it, draw it, or just quiz each other and sooner or later those "simple bare necessities" of military life will be stuck in your head (just like this song).
9. Avoid snacking when you know you're not hungry. We all do it - it's hour who-knows-what and out of sheer boredom you reach for those cookies, chips, candy ... whatever, and start snacking ... STOP! All that extra sugar might give you a small burst of energy but will only cause you to be even more tired than before you ate it. Not to mention, the human body expends a great deal of energy during the digestion process, which can cause fatigue when you are trying to stay awake.
10. Peppermint gum/mints. Keep your breath fresh and your teeth clean with a burst of peppermint that will also give you a little extra physical activity to keep you awake.
So there you have it, Wolf Pack. Not exactly award-winning advice, but hopefully you've gained a few tips to make your next exercise a little bit smoother. See you out there!