News | Aug. 16, 2016

Army wellness manager on resilience: choice to live healthy is yours

By Michael Tuttle DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

There’s an epidemic within the United States and the population’s behavior is the cause, an Army Wellness manager told Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support employees Aug. 11.

The leading cause of death today is heart disease, said Todd Hoover, the Army’s Wellness Center Operations program manager. And 616,000 die per year from the preventable disease.

“It’s not a viral infection that’s causing it. It’s behavior,” Hoover said.

The percentage of obesity among adults has increased 13 percent from the late 1980s to 2009-2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s because the body doesn’t know it’s living in the 21st century, Hoover said. The energy requirements today are much less than they used to be.

In the 1900s, it took a full day’s work to cultivate and gather 1,700 calories, Hoover said. Now it doesn’t take much effort to pick up food at the market or drive through a fast food restaurant and consume 1,700 calories within minutes.

Hoover was invited to speak to employees as part of DLA Troop Support’s efforts to develop workforce resiliency. Resilience is a core DLA value and is defined as the ability to function well in the face of adversity.

“I lived resilience,” Hoover said.

Hoover was referring to an event in Atlanta last September when he developed intense pain in his back just before he was about to give a wellness speech. He walked off the stage, laid on the floor and said it felt like the building was crushing his spine.

Hours later, Hoover had emergency open heart surgery to repair his aorta. A test wouldn’t have picked up the potentially deadly condition and doctors told him it was a miracle to be alive.

Doctors also told him he survived because of his choice to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

“The only reason I survived was that I had enough buffer that when the direct heart shot hit, I was able to survive that,” Hoover said. “It does matter what you do and you have to take a personal responsibility for your health.

“The reality is that death isn’t a spectator sport. We’re all going to get a chance to play,” Hoover said.  “It’s just that how you decide to go out is your choice.”

Hoover and the Army Medical Command suggest three things, the Performance Triad, people can improve to be healthier: sleep, activity and nutrition. Hoover advises people to set reasonable goals to improve in those areas.

Instead of just saying you need to drink more water, a SMART goal is to drink eight glasses of water, five days a week. The goal is sustainable because it’s specific, measureable, action-based, realistic and time-lined, Hoover said.

Achieving those reasonable goals breeds confidence and increases momentum toward a healthier lifestyle, Hoover said.

Upcoming Resiliency events at DLA Troop Support

Employees will be able to learn about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at DLA Troop Support’s next resiliency event Aug. 25, from 10 - 11 a.m., in the Bldg. 6 auditorium. Army Lt. Col. Douglas Etter, chaplain for the Army National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division will present. Etter is also the manager of public and community relations at the Lebanon VA Medical Center.

A Resiliency Day will be held Sept. 14 in the Bldg. 6 auditorium.