WWP’s physical health and wellness programs play an important role in helping warriors maintain positive mental health.
SEATTLE (June 28, 2017) – One of the major challenges many wounded veterans face when returning to civilian life is maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. That’s why Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) hosts physical health and wellness expos around the nation, not just to get warriors moving again but to connect them with other local warriors who share their life experiences.
“Even though I may be nervous about meeting new people in the beginning, I quickly feel at home and at ease when I am around other veterans,” said Army veteran Charlene Reilley. “Even if they are a different branch, we can all still relate in some way or another and have fun being ourselves. We can push each other to improve and be resilient. Once I got out of the Army, I stopped working out daily, for the most part. I would hike, kayak, and walk my dog, but nothing like the daily physical training first thing in the morning in the service. I ended up gaining weight and found myself being more stressed in a negative way – my temper got shorter and shorter.”
WWP’s physical health and wellness programs play an important role in helping warriors maintain positive mental health. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, 29.6 percent of survey respondents expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns.
At the expo in Seattle, warriors were challenged to use their own body weight for resistance training with TRX workout straps. TRX, or total-body resistance exercise, is an increasingly popular workout method invented by a U.S. Navy SEAL. The exercises were difficult, but doable because they were specifically designed to accommodate injuries. Warriors also learned modifications for home workouts.
“I am unable to use free weights due to my injuries, so I typically use machines, but the TRX straps are a great tool I can take with me on my bike rides and incorporate into my exercise routine,” said Army veteran Bruce Cooper. “I am trying to do the things I did before I was deployed, and I’ve accomplished that with the help of the Wounded Warrior Project. I have started riding cycles again, and learning workout modifications enables me to do things I otherwise couldn’t. I am starting to kayak, rock climb, and bow and rifle hunt again. I am learning to scuba dive, and if I take breaks and use walking sticks, I can even hike. It’s amazing how much of a difference it’s made in my life.”
When the event was over, warriors walked away with a bigger fitness toolbox than when they arrived – but also new friends that they can lean on in their community.
“I can get to my next fitness level and know I have the support to get it done,” said Rosa Marcias, a Marine Corps veteran. “Meeting other veterans with some of the same fitness goals as I have gives me a lot of optimism for my health goals. I feel like I can do it – and I would encourage other veterans to try it. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeing what Wounded Warrior Project can do for you.”
To learn more about how WWP’s veterans programs and services connect, serve, and empower wounded warriors, visit newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org. To find photos from this event, click on multimedia, then images.
Contact: Mattison Brooks – Public Relations
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org.