MADISON, Wis., Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wisconsin! The University of Wisconsin Badgers hosted a physical training program event for a group of wounded veterans at their state-of-the-art facilities. During the gathering, warriors were challenged to push themselves and learn more about the correct techniques for weight training and nutrition.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) sponsored the program opportunity as part of its offerings designed to help injured warriors discover new ways to live healthy and active lifestyles. In a WWP survey of the wounded veterans it serves, 32 percent of veterans expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and depression. Programs like this highlight the importance of managing mental health through physical activity.
"When I arrived I was greeted warmly by the university staff," said Army veteran Ryan Zimmer. "I've been involved with WWP since 2011, but this was an event where I didn't know anyone. I was excited for the chance to meet other veterans in my area and meet some more staff from the organization."
The practice field was the first stop for Ryan and the other warriors, where they had the opportunity to tour the facilities and meet some of the University of Wisconsin Badgers football players.
"You could tell they were just happy to see us," Ryan said. "The players and coaching staff were extremely gracious hosts and so welcoming, and they really made us feel special. It was pretty incredible."
The trainers got down to business soon after the tour, giving Ryan and the team demonstrations of how to do each exercise. Stations were set up in a rotation so warriors were challenged to tackle different muscle groups and learn the right techniques for various workouts.
"The staff split us into small groups as we went station to station," Ryan said. "We had to work through pushups, ball slams, bicep curls, crunches on exercise balls, and band pull-aparts. The workout facilities were amazing. The trainers and staff were exceptional, making sure we were safe and able to do the exercises. If I was unable to do a stretch or exercise, they would adapt the movement to something I was able to do."
WWP recognizes the wounds of war can take their toll on even the toughest warriors, and that each wounded veteran's challenges are unique. That is why WWP staff work hard to meet warriors wherever they are in their recoveries.
Upon completion of the workout, Ryan and the other wounded warriors sat down for a specially designed lunch to replenish their energy. As they ate, they socialized and listened to WWP staff explain the various other programs and services that are available free of charge thanks to generous donors.
Ryan learned something else very important during this part of the day – to listen to his body.
"It had been such a long time since I worked out, and the fast pace was definitely intense," Ryan said. "On the other hand, it was great to be able to see that I can still work out as long as I take my time and not overdo it. I learned a lot of really helpful tricks about listening to my body that will make this easy, while still getting the results I want."
Through WWP's health and wellness programs, wounded veterans can reduce stress and depression while participating in fun, active, and educational activities. WWP provides health and fitness services that include weight training, yoga, cycling, outdoor activities, and nutrition workshops. Along with the benefits of living active lifestyles, warriors have the chance to bond with other wounded veterans and families to discover they are not alone in their recovery. To learn more, visit https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project