WASHINGTON, DC -- Starting Monday, service members won’t have to leave the comfort of their own room to get fit. For the first time, the Pentagon Channel will air a fitness show, “Fit for Duty.” The show takes viewers through a high-energy, 30-minute workout led by service members with expertise in fitness training.
"Fitness is as much a part of the military as the uniform," says retired Master Sgt. Jim Langdon, who serves as the Pentagon Channel's director of operations and programming, as well as executive producer of the new show. “All the services go to great lengths to entice their troops to stay fit. We wanted to help, too."
Fitness instructors on the show represent each branch of the military and were selected after a nationwide call for auditions was launched through advertisements on the Pentagon Channel's Web site, e-mails to public affairs officers across the country and word of mouth.
"I thought it sounded like fun and a good idea because it isn't built around just one service or one absolute fitness nut," says Marine Corps Sgt. Clint Reynolds, a martial arts instructor selected for the show. "I feel fitness should be part of everyone's life. Now I am not saying you have to run a billion miles every week, live off of grass and bark or anything, but you should keep yourself healthy so that you feel better physically and emotionally, live longer and enjoy life more."
In developing exercise routines for the show, Reynolds says he faced some hurdles.
"I hope service members and civilians alike watch the show, so they can see all the services in action and the difference between them all, but in the same light see that regardless of those differences we are working as one team to make sure we are up to the challenge of protecting our great nation," Reynolds says.
Navy Cmdr. Dr. Dave Keblish, an orthopedic surgeon and head of sports medicine at the U.S. Naval Academy, hosts a segment on the show called “Train Smart, Stay Strong" that teaches service members effective methods to prevent career-ending injuries.
"I tend to think of fitness as having three main pillars: aerobic conditioning, flexibility and strength," says Keblish, who believes proper fitness workout habits learned early in a military career are paramount. "If more service members looked at fitness this way and learned a bit more about avoiding common orthopedic injuries, I feel we would have a healthier and less disabled work force.”
"Fit for Duty" is just one of many lifestyle shows the Pentagon Channel plans to air. A cooking show called "Combat Kitchen" is in the works featuring the "Grill Sergeant."
"Fit for Duty" debuts June 18 on the Pentagon Channel. It will also be available via podcast and video on demand at www.pentagonchannel.mil.