Fighting Fit in HMCS Regina

fitness class on the flight deck

PO1 Matthew Goodwin demonstrates proper lifting technique during a fitness class on the flight deck.

Who says you can’t eat healthy and get fit at sea?

The ship’s company of HMCS Regina is leading the way in promoting health and fitness during its overseas deployment on Operation Artemis.

Regina has implemented a number of initiatives over the course of the last four months, including diet and weight counselling, anti-smoking assistance, a Biggest Loser weight loss contest, and regular meetings of the ship’s fitness club.

“We are reaching the mid-point of our deployment and we need to sustain our energy levels and stay healthy for the remainder of Operation Artemis,” said Cdr Dan Charlebois, Regina’s Commanding Officer. “We encourage the ship’s company to make healthy choices in the hopes this will lead to an overall lifestyle change while they are on board the ship, as well as when they are back home with their friends and family. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”

The ship’s Physicians Assistant, WO John Hancock, provides diet and weight counselling, as well as assistance to those who want to quit smoking during the deployment.

Additionally, he runs the Biggest Loser contest on the ship, which is based of the popular TV show. Participants must weigh in at every fuel stop or port visit, and their weight loss is carefully monitored by WO Hancock. The winner of the contest will be named towards the end of the deployment, and will be decided by the percentage of weight lost by each participant vice the total number of pounds they lost.

To help the ship’s company lose weight and improve their overall strength and cardiovascular conditioning, Regina started a fitness club where members can share tips on sports nutrition and engage in high-intensity workout sessions on the flight deck. The sessions are organized and supervised by members who have received the Basic Fitness Trainers Assistance qualification. A different person is chosen to lead the group each week and organize the group’s workout routine.

Although the sessions take a lot of time and effort to setup and perform, they are well attended by the ship’s company. Many of them say they have achieved better results in a group setting than working out alone.
“It is a lot easier to stick to a routine when you have a great support network behind you to keep you honest and on the right path,” said PO1 Matthew Goodwin, the ship’s sports officer. “The fitness club is a great success and many of its members have already lost a significant amount of weight and have gained more confidence in a group setting.”

For those who prefer to workout on their own, Regina is well equipped with cardio machines and other fitness equipment such as a treadmill, an elliptical, a rowing machine and a recumbent bike. They also have a small gym located near the stern of the ship that features various free weights, a smith machine, a bench press, a pull-up / dip station, as well as a multipurpose dual cable crossover machine. Many sailors forgo the weights and machines and go for a jog on the upper decks or participate in boot-camp style circuit training or yoga on the flight deck.

 “Maintaining one’s fitness levels and eating right is a big part of being prepared to conduct any number of physically and mentally demanding operations at sea,” said LCdr Gordon Roy, Executive Officer of Regina. “Everybody can find at least 30 minutes out of their busy day to get to the gym, do a little cardio on the upper decks or work out on one of the ship’s fitness machines.”

 – Lt(N) Mark Fifield, Op Artemis Roto 4 PAO

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