Peak Performance Through Nutrition and Exercise

Anita Singh, Ph.D., RD, Tamara L. Bennett, M.S. and Patricia A. Deuster, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Department of Military and Emergency Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine

September 1999


Funding to develop this guide was received from Health Affairs, Department of Defense (DoD). Our project was one of many health promotion and prevention initiatives selected for funding. The selection of this project indicated a need for resources and materials that address the health and fitness needs of military personnel. We recognize that there are numerous books, tapes and websites dedicated to physical fitness and performance nutrition for the general public. However, our goal was to develop a comprehensive resource that is specifically tailored to address the unique physical fitness and nutrition requirements of Navy personnel. Our previous publications include "The Navy SEAL Nutrition Guide" and "The Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide". We hope that the nutrition and fitness information in this guide will help you achieve both your professional physical readiness and your personal performance goals. A companion guide for use by health promotion personnel is entitled "Force Health Protection: Nutrition and Exercise Resource Manual"


We would like to acknowledge the following for reviewing the book entitled "Force Health Protection: Nutrition and Exercise Resource Manual" on which this guide is based:

From Bureau of Medicine (BUMED):

CAPT Janee Przybyl

From Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS):

LCDR Sue Hite and LCDR Neil Carlson

From Navy Environmental Health Center (NEHC):

Ms. Mary Kay Solera, Ms. Sally Vickers and Ms. Diana Settles

From Navy Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP):

CDR Al Siewertsen, Ms. Pam Beward and Ms. Andrea Andrasi

From the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS):

COL Jeannette E. South-Paul

Our thanks go to the following individuals whose photographs appear in this guide: HM2 Jeanette Miller, HN Ellen Tate, HM1 (FMF) Rico Renteria, HM1 (SW/AW) Michael Mitchell, HM2 (FMF) Keith Avery, J02 Cerise Fenton, Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, and Dawn Schultz. Also, many thanks to HM1 (FMF) Otis B. Brown, the USUHS Brigade, and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) for allowing us to take pictures during the Navy PRTs and the MWR sponsored events. We also want to acknowledge Mr. Gene Jillson from Defense Visual Information Center for providing us with the Navy images that appear throughout this guide.

Cover photo from Defense Visual Information Center's "Defense Image Digest: Equipment and Weapons Systems" CD ROM, image file number DN-SC-93-06135.

Disclaimer: The opinions and assertions expressed herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as reflecting those of the Department of the Navy, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), or the Department of Defense.


As documented in enclosure (1) of OPNAV6110.1E, it is the responsibility of each service member to:

  • Maintain a lifestyle that promotes optimal health and physical readiness.
  • Develop a regular, year-round, fitness program of aerobic, flexibility, and muscular strength and endurance exercises using resource information and the assistance of the Command Fitness Coordinator (CFC) and recreational services departments.

This guide has been prepared to assist you in your efforts to gain or maintain a high level of physical fitness by combining sound nutritional and physical fitness practices. An overview of basic nutrition and physical fitness programs including aerobic conditioning and strength training are provided. Information for designing exercise programs for individuals at various levels of physical fitness is provided in this guide. Because deployment is part of a Navy career, the importance of nutrition and exercise in maintaining physical readiness when deployed is discussed in Chapters 10 and 12. Also, many people take nutritional supplements to enhance physical performance. The benefits and risks associated with using performance enhancing supplements is discussed in Chapter 14. In another chapter (Chapter 15) women's issues such as nutrition and exercise during pregnancy and lactation are discussed. Moreover, resources used to prepare this guide, including websites for various Naval Commands and Civilian organizations involved in health promotions, are provided in Appendix D.

Seek the assistance of health promotion staff in your command. They have the knowledge and experience to help you attain your health and fitness goals. We encourage you to use this guide and hope that the ideas presented in Chapter 17 (Adopting Healthy Habits) will enable you to form healthy eating practices and to exercise regularly.

Tamara L. Bennett, M.S., ACSM certified Health and Fitness Instructor Patricia A. Deuster, Ph.D., M.P.H., LN

Department of Military and Emergency Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine

September 1999

Table of Contents (Click on page numbers to view sections.)

1 Energy Balance and Body Composition 1

Energy Balance 1

Estimating Energy Needs 2

Body Composition 4

Fat Distribution 4

2 Overview of Nutrition 6

Energy Providing Nutrients 6

Vitamins and Minerals 10

Water 14

3 Eating for Optimal Health and Fitness 16

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 16

The Food Guide Pyramid 17

Food Labels 19

Selecting Nutrient-Dense Foods 20

Vegetarian Diets 20

Eating Out 21

Snacking 21

Nutrition Throughout Life 22

4 Overview of Physical Fitness 23

What is Physical Fitness? 24

FITT Principle 24

Fuel Used During Exercise 26

Exercise Sequence 26

Training and Detraining 27

5 Cardiorespiratory Training 28

Cardiorespiratory Physiology 28

Benefits of Cardiorespiratory Exercise 29

Aerobic Exercise Guidelines 29

Training Design and Progression 33

Walking and Running Gear 35

Walking 36

Running 37

Swimming 40

7 Strength Training 42

Strength versus Endurance 42

Benefits of Strength Training 43

Determinants of Muscle Size 43

Strength Training Guidelines 44

Equipment 48

Types of Workouts 49

8 Calisthenics 50

Calisthenic Guidelines 50

9 Flexibility 54

Benefits of Stretching 54

Flexibility Exercises 55

10 Training in Confined Spaces 58

Aerobic Conditioning 59

Strength Training 59

Workout Design 65

Morale During Deployment 66

11 Nutrition for Exercise 67

Carbohydrate Needs 67

Protein Needs 69

Vitamin and Mineral Needs 70

Fluid Needs 70

Nutrition for Exercise Recovery 71

12 Deployment and Altered Climates 72

Acclimating to Altered Environments 72

General Nutrition Issues 73

Physical Activity Concerns 74

Hot Environments 74

Cold Environments 74

Altitude 75

13 Training and Overuse Injuries 76

Injuries: Treatment and Prevention 76

Return to Duty 79

Overtraining Syndrome 79

14 Supplements and Performance 80

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements 80

Nutritional Ergogenic Agents 81

Ergolytic Agents 83

15 Training Issues for Women 84

Pregnancy and Lactation 84

Female Athlete Triad 86

16 Age and Performance 88

Changes in Metabolism and Body Composition 88

Nutritional Needs 89

Countering Age-Associated Changes in Fitness 90

17 Adopting Healthy Habits 92

Setting "SMART" Goals 92

Reaching Goals 94

Maintaining Healthy Habits 95

Appendix A: Ideas for Healthy Food Choices 97

Appendix B: Sample Workout 100

Appendix C: Strength Exercises 103

Appendix D: Resources 109

Glossary 113

Index 117

List of Figures (Click on page numbers to view figures.)



Energy Balance: Intake vs. Output




Symptoms of Dehydration




Food Guide Pyramid




How to Read a Food Label




The Fitness Continuum




The Physical Activity Pyramid




Recommended Exercise Sequence




Measuring Heart Rate at the Wrist




Target Heart Rate Zones




Three Traits of a Good Running Form




Factors that Affect Muscle Size




Exercises for Various Muscle Groups




Anchoring Elastic Tubing




The Female Athlete Triad


List of Tables (Click on page numbers to view tables.)

Table 1-1. Estimate Your Activity Factor 3

Table 2-1. Determining Your Protein Factor 8

Table 2-2. Requirements and Functions of Vitamins 12

Table 2-3. Requirements and Functions of Minerals 13

Table 3-1. Portion Sizes Equivalent to a Serving 18

Table 3-2. Suggested Servings Based on Total

Daily Caloric Intake 18

Table 4-1. Training vs. Detraining 27

Table 5-1. Examples of Aerobic Exercise 32

Table 5-2. Various Training Strategies for Speed 33

Table 6-1. Outline of a Walking Program 37

Table 6-2. Beginning a Jogging Program 38

Table 6-3. An Intermediate Running Program 39

Table 6-4. Swim Program to Build Your Distance 40

Table 7-1. Free Weights vs. Resistance Machines 48

Table 8-1. Calisthenic Exercises Arranged by Muscle Group 51

Table 9-1. Static Stretches 55

Table 9-2. Dynamic Stretches 57

Table 10-1. Exercises to Perform in Confined Spaces 61

Table 10-2. Circuit Training Workout 65

Table 13-1. Injuries, Treatments, and Prevention 77

Table 13-2. Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome 79

Table 14-1. Claims and Risks of Ergogenic Agents 82

Table 14-2. Ergolytic Agents and Performance 83

Table 15-1. Nutrition and Exercise Guidelines for Pregnancy 85

Table 16-1. Age-Related Changes in Fitness 90

Table 17-1. Some General Nutrition and Fitness-

Related Goals 94

Table 17-2. Steps and Actions To Take To Reach Your

SMART Goals 95

Table A-1. Healthier Food Selections 97

Table B-1. Sample Workout 100

Table C-1. Examples of Common Training Mistakes 108

List of Worksheets (Click on page numbers to view worksheets.)



Calculate Your BMR




Calculate Your Estimated Energy Requirement (EER)




Calculate Your BMI




Calculate Your Waist-to-Hip Ratio




Calculate Your CHO Requirements




Calculate Your Protein Requirements




Determine Your Maximum Fat Limit




Calculate Your Daily Water Requirement




Calculate Your Water Loss Limit




Determine Your Target Heart Rate




Calculate Your Daily CHO Needs




Calculate Your Protein Needs




Nutrition Tracking Guide




Aerobic Exercise Log




Strength Exercise Log

Body Composition

In this chapter you will learn about:

  • Energy balance.
  • Estimating energy needs.
  • Body composition and body fat distribution.

Maintaining a healthy body weight and body fat percentage through sound dietary and exercise practices helps to ensure optimal health, fitness, and physical performance. All of these issues are relevant in maintaining military readiness and force health protection, and in promoting optimal health of military personnel. This chapter introduces you to the basic concepts of energy balance and body composition.

Energy Balance

Energy balance is the difference between the number of kilocalories (kcals or Calories) you eat (intake) and the number of kcals you burn (output).

Figure 1-1. Energy Balance: Intake vs. Output

Intake = Output, i.e., energy balance.

0 kcal Weight Maintained

Figure 1-1. Energy Balance: Intake vs. Output

Intake = Output, i.e., energy balance.

0 kcal Weight Maintained

Intake > Output, i.e., positive energy balance.

Intake < Output, i.e., negative energy balance.

Intake = 2000 kcal Output = 3000 kcal Weight Loss

Figure taken from FI Katch and WD McArdle. Nutrition,Weight Control, and Exercise, 3rd Ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1988.

Intake > Output, i.e., positive energy balance.

Intake < Output, i.e., negative energy balance.

Intake = 2000 kcal Output = 3000 kcal Weight Loss

Figure taken from FI Katch and WD McArdle. Nutrition,Weight Control, and Exercise, 3rd Ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1988.

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