Fitness challenge keeps crew in shape during deployment

Lt(N) Ji-Hwan Park gets his sweat on while at sea en route to Pearl Harbor, Oahu.

Lt(N) Ji-Hwan Park gets his sweat on while at sea en route to Pearl Harbor, Oahu.

SLt Samantha Bayne, HMCS Calgary ~

While participating in RIMPAC 2016, HMCS Calgary is challenging its crew to their fourth consecutive fitness challenge.

The challenge aims to improve the general health and fitness of participants by having them measure and track their fitness activity.

Each activity, such as running, weight-lifting or playing sports, is assigned point values and participants are attempting to do enough activities within the challenge window to meet the fitness challenge goal of 335 points (the same number as the Calgary’s hull).

Earning points by working out is only one aspect of the challenge. By forgoing desserts and smoking, participants can net a higher number of daily points.

Additionally, while the ship is in port, sailors can earn more points by making healthier lifestyle choices, such as not consuming alcohol.

The challenge was first initiated on Calgary in 2015 by the ship’s fitness coordinator Sergeant Steven Lewington.

“The aim of the fitness challenge is to allow the ship’s company to set attainable fitness goals, which in turn entices sailors of all fitness levels to work out. It also helps the crew deal with the stresses of sailing and increases work productivity,” said Sgt Lewington.

The number of participants grows with each challenge, amassing to over 300 challengers over the past year. PT classes at the gym were arranged twice a week during the fitness challenge while the ship was alongside in home port. The crew were given more points to join these classes, which encouraged the crew to participate with their shipmates and build team cohesion.

Some members are doing it to challenge themselves or each other, but all are striving towards improving their general fitness and aim to lead healthier lifestyles.

While the ship was alongside in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, fitness challenge participants were awarded extra points for participating in RIMPAC sports events. The crew took part in friendly competition in a wide range of sports including basketball, golf, volleyball and bowling.

The fitness challenge program runs from June 13 to Aug.12, culminating in the awarding of various prizes and awards for members of the ship following the completion of RIMPAC. Prizes include Fitbits and gift cards to various sporting stores.

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