Military and Police

How Do Soldiers Stay Fit While Deployed?

One of the questions I often get when asked about my military service is how soldiers keep fit during deployments. It’s well known that there is a heavy physical fitness component to serving in the military, particularly in combat arms jobs like the infantry, reconnaissance, and artillery.

When soldiers are deployed to a combat zone or even to the field for training, it’s very likely that there will not be a gym nearby. This requires us to improvise to keep our fitness levels high. Bodyweight training becomes an incredibly important form of fitness for these conditions. But how do you make push-ups and sit-ups harder? One thing my platoon did during our Iraq deployment in 2008 was to use our body armor for added weight when doing push-ups, pull-ups, and air squats.

There are always ways to make weight-training tools with what you have. We often used a .50 cal machine gun barrel and sandbags to create resistance. It wasn’t always pretty but we found a way to get our workouts in and many of us returned from that deployment in the best shape of our lives. It’s almost a given that you’re going to take a physical fitness test when you come back and a few of us achieved perfect scores only a month after returning from a fifteen-month deployment full of austere living conditions and heavy combat.

I took my experience from this deployment and started Fittest Travel, a blog that serves as an information source for frequent travelers in need of assistance in keeping a good fitness routine while on the road. I also wrote a book called “Fit For Travel: Your Guide to Losing Weight and Feeling Great While Traveling” that aims to help people stay fit while traveling.

If you’re someone who travels a lot and is looking for help staying fit, check out Fittest Travel and feel free to reach out to me on social media via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or through email: [email protected]

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Castellano

Christopher Castellano is a U.S. Army Veteran. He currently serves as a firefighter in New York City and, in his spare time, also operates Fittest Travel.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

Watch The Drew Berquist Show

Everywhere, at home or on the go.

WATCH NOW