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Shake up unit PT: Great ideas — tell us yours

Bringing it back to basics

Have things gotten stale with your unit PT? Maybe it’s time to shake things up.

The sailors of Riverine Squadron 2 in Portsmouth, Virginia — among others who emailed us — know that a little creativity can go a long way in making command PT more than a mindless early-morning slog through the same old exercises.

On any given day, unit PT there can be anything from a CrossFit-style workout to trail running in the local state park to a game of Ultimate Frisbee.

“Switching things up on a daily basis makes PT fun, keeps everyone motivated, and still accomplishes the same goals: Stay in shape, promote a healthy lifestyle, mental and physical fitness, developing the individual and team,” says Navy Chief Barry Brown.

More ideas readers gave us to help mix things up at your unit:

Marine vet opens CrossFit gym in a small religious community in Ohio

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You see them everywhere now.

CrossFit affiliates are popping up all throughout America’s cities and small towns.

And you think:

“I would be great at that.”

Military Times correspondent Adam Stone caught up with the owner of 9:24 CrossFit in Berlin, Ohio — a.k.a. “Ohio’s Amish country.” Pete Doan, a 27-year-old former Marine infantryman, brings a spiritual sensibility to his business.

“I am a really firm believer that your spiritual and your physical health coincide a lot more than people realize,” said Doan, who left the Corps in 2010. In the wake of back-to-back deployments, “I started to let my physical health go, and it helped me realize you can’t have one without the other. They are directly related.”

Think you want a fitness career? See how Doan is getting his gym off the ground. Read the full story at Military Times.

Play your way to a better PT test — 10 sports to help raise your score

Play your way to a better PT test — 10 sports to help raise your score

Want to improve your run? Jump on a bike. Need to crank out more situps? Grab your golf bag.

If you’re tired of pounding out endless reps at the gym to get in shape for your next PT test, consider a sport or some other fun activity instead. You might be surprised just how much you improve, experts say.

While sports alone won’t do it all, they’re great to add variety to your routine.

But some sports will help you more than others when it comes to raising your scores on specific events. These are guaranteed to help you do better:

Turn it up: Billboard, Spotify create mother of all workout playlists

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Anyone who’s ever been to boot camp knows the power of music when it comes to amping up exercise and boosting motivation.

But you can only listen to variations of “C-130 rolling down the strip” so many times.

That’s why the always musically-minded folks at Billboard teamed up with Spotify to ping more than 1.5 billion playlists built by 40 million users to create the mother of all sweat-soaking song compilations, a Top 25 of all-time workout greats.

“The results are an accurate cross-section of the music that may come to mind when you think of hitting it hard – ” ‘Let the Bodies Hit the Floor,’ anyone? ‘Bulls On Parade,’ of course. Metallica, naturally,” reads Billboard’s write-up of the results. “But also some less predictable choices from the data pool: Dropkick Murphys’ ‘I’m Shipping Up to Boston,’ made famous by the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Departed,’ as well as Kanye’s mega-politik ‘Black Skinhead.’ Ok, maybe ‘Black Skinhead’ makes sense, considering it starts off with the sound of someone obviously straining on a stairmaster.”

Military cities rank near the top of American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index

Military cities rank near the top of American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index

Big military towns are among some of the fittest in U.S., according to a new report from the workout wonks at the American College of Sports Medicine.

In the organization’s seventh annual American Fitness Index, which ranks the 50 biggest cities in the country according to fitness, San Diego, Seattle and the Washington, D.C., metro area earned spots in the top 10 list.

As a kind of annual checkup, experts gather data on everything from the number, size and use of parks, gyms and other sports and recreational opportunities to levels of smoking, disease and pollution to create an overall score on a scale of 1 to 100 for each city.