Tag Archives: staying fit

Will Run for Food

By 1st Lt. Brittney Piche
Dietetic Intern, Department of Nutritional Medicine
Brooke Army Medical Center

What if I told you that you would have to run for two hours to burn off the calories in a piece of red velvet cheesecake? Would you still eat it?

Many restaurants have made the nutrition information of their menu items readily available for display in the restaurant, on the menu, or on their website. With all of this information available, why does the number of overweight and obese Americans continue to rise?

Recent research from Texas Christian University suggests that instead of displaying the nutrition facts of foods, people are more likely to make lower-calorie choices if they know the amount of exercise needed to burn the calories consumed. Maybe it’s time we attack the calorie issue from another angle. If people knew how much physical activity it would take to compensate for their food choices, we may see them reaching for the fruit cup instead of the curly fries.  Based on my experience with patients at BAMC, some of the most commonly consumed fast-food items and their physical activity demands are listed below:




Exercise Needed*

Crispy Chicken Sandwich


1 hour aerobics class
Bacon &Cheese Burger


3 hours of bicycling (<10mph)
Chicken BLT Salad


2 hours of light rowing
6” Roast Beef Sandwich


1 hour of golf
Fruit Cup


10 minutes of kickboxing
Medium Curly Fries


1 hour of roller skating
Mayonnaise Packet


30 minutes of walking (3mph)
Medium Oreo Shake


2 hours swimming laps
Medium Cola


1hour of light weight lifting

*Exercise calories based on 155-person

 Surprised at these numbers? It may be time to make some changes to your fast-food choices, or time to buy some new gym clothes!  If you need special assistance with weight loss, call the BAMC Outpatient Nutrition Clinic at 916-7261.

An Introduction to Yoga

By Beverly Benson
BAMC RN/Health Promotion Educator
Army Department of Preventive Medicine


Beverly Benson teaches a lunchtime Yoga class in the Pediatric conference room at San Antonio Military Medical Center. U.S. Army photo by Robert T.  Shields
Beverly Benson teaches a lunchtime yoga class at San Antonio Military Medical Center. U.S. Army photo by Robert T. Shields

I’ve heard it said many times, “Yoga? Tai Chi? Isn’t that a bunch of hocus pocus, weird meditation mumbo-jumbo?”  The answer is a resounding NO!

While yoga originated hundreds of years ago as a Hindu discipline that teaches “the suppression of all activity of body, mind and will …” it is now, in general, considered “a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.” It has been “Westernized” and can include any, or no, form of spirituality.

In general, it is a focusing of the mind inward and clearing it, and the body, of negativity and stress. There are multiple varieties of yoga from a meditation and breathing only version (Yoga Nidra) to more intense Bikram or Hot yoga. All forms of yoga focus on clearing the mind and proper breathing.

Similiarly, T’ai chi is a Chinese system of exercise, developed over 2,000 years ago, incorporating slow, smooth body movements in order to achieve a state of relaxation in mind and body. Although it was originally a self-defense martial art that has over 100 separate movements, it has been reduced in the more popular versions to 18-37 moves. Like yoga, there are also several “sub-sets” of T’ai chi, but all focus on body position, clearing of the mind, or meditation, and breathing.

Both of these practices have been shown through research to improve the body’s response to stress and cause a reduction in inflammation and pain. Since there is a focus on clearing the mind of negative thought focus and deep breathing, practicing yoga or T’ai chi on a regular basis may also help build resilience to life stressors.

There are several offerings of yoga on Fort Sam Houston and Brooke Army Medical Center. You may consider trying one of the classes, or try a class in your area or at one of the Fitness in the Park sessions (www.fitcitySA.com) around town. NAMASTE!

BAMC Dietitians Can Guide You to Better Health

By Lt. Col. Marybeth Salgueiro
Registered Dietitian, BAMC Department of Nutritional Medicine

Ads_NNM13_v1Did you know Brooke Army Medical Center has dietary experts on hand who can help you make positive lifestyle changes for good health?

Here at BAMC, we have a staff of 18 military and civilian registered dietitians assigned to the Department of Nutritional Medicine. All are food and nutrition experts who translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. 

RDs work in hospitals, schools, clinics, food service management, education and research.  Most of our staff has advanced degrees and many hold special certifications in areas such as nutrition support, diabetes education, pediatrics, weight management and sports nutrition. 

Whether you are interested in losing weight, improving physical performance, or have a special dietary need, we are standing by ready to help you make positive lifestyle changes for good health. 

Continue reading BAMC Dietitians Can Guide You to Better Health

Staying Fit: Hit the Gym, Not the Snooze Button

By Beverly Benson
BAMC RN/Health Promotion Educator
Army Public Health Nursing

rope climb
Sgt. 1st Class Mike Atkins tries out the rope climb at the track behind the Warrior and Family Support Center. The track, which is open to Wounded Warriors, their Families and BAMC staff, features equipment for a variety of upper and lower body exercises. U.S. Army photo by Marsha Huffman

Increased stress and worry often bring on insomnia, which gives ammunition to that guy on your shoulder who says: “It’s okay. Just roll over and go back to sleep. You don’t need to get up early. You’re tired. You can do it AFTER work.”

So, giving in to that lie, you hit snooze or turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

Dragging into work, late because you hit snooze yet again, your stress level is already up from all of the stressors you worried about during the drive in. And now the stress you normally have at work has been increased due to budget cuts.

Needless to say, at the end of the day you are exhausted (cue the shoulder guy) so you say, “I’ll go home and take a short nap on the couch then I’ll go for a walk.” You wake up at 9 p.m. …”Oh, I’m tired and just going to bed. I’ll get up in the morning” The next morning is “wash, rinse, repeat” and so goes the week.

If this sounds familiar to you, here are five tips to help you get back on that train and into your healthier routine.

Continue reading Staying Fit: Hit the Gym, Not the Snooze Button