Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

A healthy lifestyle is integral to achieving my career goals

Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Talbott gets exercise and fresh air when taking dog Odin on long walks. Here, they're at Oceanside Pier in California. (Courtesy photo) Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Talbott gets exercise and fresh air when taking dog Odin on long walks. Here, they're at Oceanside Pier in California. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Vaccinations, physical fitness tests, weight and body fat measurements  – with everything the military mandates for service members to help ensure force readiness, it's easy to forget that these health and wellness requirements also benefit service members as individuals. Men, especially, may take the attitude of not doing anything beyond checking the boxes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual National Health Interview Survey, men ages 18 to 65 are more likely than women to use tobacco products and drink alcohol to excess. We're also less likely than women to seek advice from health care professionals.  

I'll admit I haven't always been as focused as I could be on health and wellness. In the past few months, though, I've been paying closer attention. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is integral to achieving my career goals. 

I enlisted in the Navy in my mid-20s and was assigned to surgical technician training and then training to become a urology technician. My experiences have led to the desire to become an officer in the Navy Medical Corps. I'm doing everything I can to get ready to apply to the Enlisted to Medical Degree Preparatory Program, or EMDP2.

Once I started digging into the program and seeing what the requirements were, it reminded me of what it means to be a sailor, and that I can't let physical fitness fall to the wayside. The program actually considers the physical fitness of candidates as part of the application process. 

I also need a bachelor's degree to apply. For six months, I commuted three times a week from Oceanside to San Diego to attend classes at National University.  Each commute meant sitting in traffic in my car for about two hours, and sitting in class for four and a half hours. Instead of making excuses about why I couldn't schedule a workout at the gym, I made a concerted effort to squeeze in exercise whenever and where ever I could. During breaks, for example, I'd find a quiet corner somewhere in the building and do pushups or squats. This is where I adopted the philosophy of, “If you think about working out, then do it right there and then.” 

My wife is a great cook who prepares healthful meals in large batches. So there's always something good for me to grab instead of fast food or vending machine snacks. But at some point, I realized I was eating right, but I was still eating too much. So I scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist. It was really eye-opening to see the size of daily recommended allotments for proteins, fruits and vegetables.  I've looked into other resources the military offers for nutrition and fitness.

Emotional health is also important. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, only about half of all people who need psychological help actually receive it. Further, men may be less likely to reach out. There's a stereotype that we aren't expected to share our feelings and should keep our problems to ourselves. As I've gotten older, I've learned that if something's bothering me, I need to speak up instead of keeping everything bottled up. One of my leaders once said, "If you ever need a day, just ask. Sometimes, you need a day." That definitely resonated with me. When I'm in a more senior leadership position, I'll take that stance as well. I haven't had to take a day yet but knowing it's available can do wonders. I appreciate that, along with the mental health resources available for military families. 

I have about six more months of classes before completing my bachelor's degree. The remaining coursework can be done online, so I won't have to deal with the physical and mental stress of a long commute. Still, I'll be busy, and I may find it challenging to keep sight of health and wellness on top of everything else I'm doing. But I've already learned the most important lesson of all: Fulfilling goals can't happen without a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

You also may be interested in...

Be proactive in looking for early signs of testicular cancer

Military health personnel giving and examination

While the diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, testicular cancer can usually be cured.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Holiday Observances | April Toolkit

DOD initiatives address the sexual health of our military

Image of a bacterium

STIs are important to identify and treat because they can impact service members’ health and readiness, as well as their ability to perform their duties.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Health Readiness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Women's Health

Special care given to families experiencing stillbirth or infant loss

A couple standing in front of a wall covered in notes

The cot is specially designed to give parents extra time with their baby.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Children's Health | Men's Health

A stronger tomorrow starts today during Men’s Health Month

Men running on the street

Although just a guess, there’s a sneaky reason why June is designated as Men’s Health Month.

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Men’s Health Month: A reminder to focus on physical, mental well-being

A doctor looking into a soldier's ear

Tips for preparing to talk to your doctor

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Total Force Fitness

Female, male service members, veterans recover from concussion differently

At an informal celebration at the AFWERX Vegas Innovation Hub earlier this month, U.S. Air Force personnel took delivery of four helmet designs that may each represent the next generation of fixed-wing aircrew equipment. In just nine months, the AFWERX innovations process generated tangible products for further Air Force testing and development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Nathan Riddle)

Female veterans may have a harder time performing some mental tasks after a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Women's Health | Men's Health

HPV vaccine age limit raised by FDA to age 45

1/14/2020 Recent CDC and FDA guidance recommends that men and women up to 45 years of age get vaccinated to protect against the Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection and can cause certain cancers and genital warts. More than 14 million new HPV infections occur in the U.S. each year, and about 80 percent of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases image)

HPV shot protects against a host of diseases in men, women

Recommended Content:

Conditions and Treatments | Health Readiness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Women's Health | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations

Men’s preventive health screenings essential for readiness and a lifetime of good health

Hospitalman Payton Dupuis, a native of Mill City, Oregon, checks veteran Joseph Levette’s blood pressure at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s internal medicine clinic. “Men’s health is a vital part of the mission,” stated Dupuis. “We need a healthy workforce to succeed.” (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

An apple a day helps, too

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health

2019 Men's Health Case Studies


This chart summarizes case studies of adult male patients in different life stages

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Sexually transmitted infections on the rise in military

Some sexually transmitted infections are on the rise in the military. To increase awareness, members of Team McConnell attend a briefing on STIs at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Myrick)

What you need to know to stay safe

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Men's Health | Women's Health

Mail-in colon cancer screening may end colonoscopy for most

Army Medicine logo

The best test is the one the patient will do

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Women's Health

Experts: Carbs are not the enemy in health, wellness battle

Navy Ensign Ted Johnson completed the Marine Corps Marathon while following a ketogenic diet, but now he's back on carbs. (Courtesy photo)

Shift focus away from any specific macronutrient, experts say

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Nutritional Fitness

Nine tips for Men's Health

Many of the major health risks that men face can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy lifestyle can start with one small choice.

Many major health risks can be prevented by lifestyle choices

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Take Command of your health during Men’s Health Month

Take Command of Your Health

Men’s Health Month is a great time to focus on taking preventive steps and making small changes to your lifestyle

Recommended Content:

Men's Health

Absolute and Relative Morbidity Burdens Attributable to Various Illnesses and Injuries, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016

Did you know  … ? In 2016, essential hypertension accounted for 52,586 encounters for health care among 29,612 active component service members in the U.S. Armed Forces. Of all cardiovascular diseases, essential hypertension is by far the most common specific condition diagnosed among active duty service members. Untreated hypertension increases the risks of subsequent ischemic heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), and kidney failure. CHART: Healthcare burdens attributable to cardiovascular diseases, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2016 Major condition: •	For all other cardiovascular the number of medical encounters was 70,781, Rank 29, number of individuals affected was 35,794 with a rank of 30. The number of bed days was 4,285 with a rank of 21. •	For essential hypertension the number of medical encounters was 52,586, rank 35, number of individuals affected was 29,612 with a rank of 35. The number of bed days was 151 with a rank of 86. •	For cerebrovascular disease the number of medical encounters was 7,772, rank 79, number of individuals affected was 1,708, with a rank of 96. The number of bed days was 2,107 with a rank of 32. •	For ischemic heart disease the number of medical encounters was 6,629, rank 83, number of individuals affected 2,399 with a rank of 87. The number of bed days was 1,140 with a rank of 42. •	For inflammatory the number of medical encounters was 2,221, rank 106, number of individuals affected 1,302 with a rank of 97. The number of bed days was 297 with a rank of 72. •	For rheumatic heart disease the number of medical encounters was 319, rank 125, number of individuals affected 261, with a rank of 121. The number of bed days was 2 with a rank of 133. Learn more about healthcare burdens attributable to various diseases and injuries by visiting #LoveYourHeart Infogaphic graphic features transparent graphic of a man’s heart illuminated within his chest.

This infographic documents healthcare burdens attributable to cardiovascular diseases among active component, U.S. Armed Forces in 2016.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | Heart Health
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.