Get On Up

With more than two decades of boots-on-the-ground operational experience as a naval medical officer Navy Capt. Robert Koffman, M.D. says there’s no secret to the key to reduced stress and anxiety, increased brain health, and improved sleep patterns: EXERCISE. Whether that physical activity takes place as part of a team, as an individual in a gym, or out on the hiking trail (with the added therapeutic benefit of nature), veterans can reap big rewards with as little as thirty minutes of exercise a day three days a week. The upshot of those 90 minutes? A boost in: norepinephrine, helping the brain respond to stress; endorphins, triggering positive feelings; brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein in the brain important for long-term memory; plus better sleep. A chronic lack of sleep is linked to seven of the 15 leading causes of death in the U.S. today. Koffman adds that the health benefits of exercise are particularly notable in combating post-traumatic stress. Thanks to BVL rec therapy programs nationwide, we’re ensuring that veterans have the opportunity to get up, get out, and get going toward a better and healthier lifestyle!