Why a physical performance strategy?

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The physical performance of our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen is an essential component of operational readiness. Research indicates that to perform at your best, your body must be trained and fit, properly fuelled, well-rested, and free from injury.

What are we trying to accomplish?

The BALANCE Strategy will guide Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) efforts to enhance the culture of fitness in the Canadian military and improve physical performance and operational effectiveness.

These goals can be attained by focussing on Performance 4 (P4) behaviours that affect physical performance: 

  1. Physical activity
  2. Performance nutrition
  3. Proper sleep
  4. Preventing injury

What’s in it for me?

Over the next few years, you will notice a more supportive environment to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle. There may be new food options, improved fitness facilities, or policies that take into account your general wellness. One such example is the new FORCE Rewards program that helps motivate members to challenge themselves and rewards fitness in the Forces.

What can I do?

  • Personal changes can include: cycling or walking to work, getting an extra hour of sleep every night, eliminating junk food from your diet, proper warm-up to avoid injury.
  • Touch base with your local PSP Fitness or Health Promotion teams. Let them know what you’d like to see at your location to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • From a leadership standpoint, help foster a culture of fitness and wellness around you. This could include: new bicycle racks, walking paths on bases, policies that support healthy, safe, and active living.  Lead the change and be a champion!

What makes us think this is going to work?

Informed by previous efforts, and based on best practices in behavioural sciences, this strategy contains many elements that set us up for success, including:

  • Involvement at all levels, at all stages of development and implementation;
  • Base and wing-level steering committees equipped with best practices to take on initiatives at the local level;
  • A mix of individual responsibility and CAF accountability in the adoption and maintenance of the performance behaviours;
  • A roll-out plan that considers that your behaviour is shaped by many aspects of your environment and the influence of those around you; and 
  • A series of actions at the national and local levels, with a detailed evaluation plan. 

We need you!  Set the example and support these initiatives to improve physical performance and operational effectiveness for the CAF. Fitness is part of the military lifestyle and we want the CAF to be a fit, operational force that continually challenges itself and that is an example to others.

How do I learn more?

Visit: www.CAFconnection.ca/BALANCE or your local PSP Office.

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