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  1. #61
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    We are having a problem in the Army bringing in fit and healthy recruits. This issue has been studied and one of the past studies reported some interesting trends:
    Inactivity and obesity have also become increasingly burdensome for the US Department of Defense (DoD).12 Physical inactivity and obesity have been shown to negatively impact military readiness, and therefore national security, in 2 important ways. First, the candidate pool of US military recruits is dwindling. It is estimated that 27% of Americans 17 to 24 years old are too overweight to qualify for military service, with obesity being the second highest disqualifying medical condition between 2010 and 2014.13 Furthermore, upon entering basic training, 47% of males and 59% of females failed the Army's entry-level physical fitness test in 2010.12 Second, among individuals who do meet basic requirements for military service, those with lower PA and/or physical fitness levels prior to military service are at increased risk for sustaining a training-related injury (TRI) during basic combat training.14 Study authorBornstein, Daniel B., PhD; Grieve, George L., MS; Clennin, Morgan N., MS; McLain, Alexander C., PhD; Whitsel, Laurie P., PhD; Beets, Michael W., PhD; Hauret, Keith G., MSPH; Jones, Bruce H., MD; Sarzynski, Mark A., PhD


    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Furlough View Post
    We are having a problem in the Army bringing in fit and healthy recruits. This issue has been studied and one of the past studies reported some interesting trends:
    Inactivity and obesity have also become increasingly burdensome for the US Department of Defense (DoD).12 Physical inactivity and obesity have been shown to negatively impact military readiness, and therefore national security, in 2 important ways. First, the candidate pool of US military recruits is dwindling. It is estimated that 27% of Americans 17 to 24 years old are too overweight to qualify for military service, with obesity being the second highest disqualifying medical condition between 2010 and 2014.13 Furthermore, upon entering basic training, 47% of males and 59% of females failed the Army's entry-level physical fitness test in 2010.12 Second, among individuals who do meet basic requirements for military service, those with lower PA and/or physical fitness levels prior to military service are at increased risk for sustaining a training-related injury (TRI) during basic combat training.14 Study authorBornstein, Daniel B., PhD; Grieve, George L., MS; Clennin, Morgan N., MS; McLain, Alexander C., PhD; Whitsel, Laurie P., PhD; Beets, Michael W., PhD; Hauret, Keith G., MSPH; Jones, Bruce H., MD; Sarzynski, Mark A., PhD


    That is very interesting thank you for that information!
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furlough View Post
    We are having a problem in the Army bringing in fit and healthy recruits. This issue has been studied and one of the past studies reported some interesting trends:
    Inactivity and obesity have also become increasingly burdensome for the US Department of Defense (DoD).12 Physical inactivity and obesity have been shown to negatively impact military readiness, and therefore national security, in 2 important ways. First, the candidate pool of US military recruits is dwindling. It is estimated that 27% of Americans 17 to 24 years old are too overweight to qualify for military service, with obesity being the second highest disqualifying medical condition between 2010 and 2014.13 Furthermore, upon entering basic training, 47% of males and 59% of females failed the Army's entry-level physical fitness test in 2010.12 Second, among individuals who do meet basic requirements for military service, those with lower PA and/or physical fitness levels prior to military service are at increased risk for sustaining a training-related injury (TRI) during basic combat training.14 Study authorBornstein, Daniel B., PhD; Grieve, George L., MS; Clennin, Morgan N., MS; McLain, Alexander C., PhD; Whitsel, Laurie P., PhD; Beets, Michael W., PhD; Hauret, Keith G., MSPH; Jones, Bruce H., MD; Sarzynski, Mark A., PhD


    A 4 week pre-boot camp for fitness would remedy most of that.
    Time is but the stream I go afishin' in.
    Thoreau

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    A 4 week pre-boot camp for fitness would remedy most of that.
    We added 2 weeks to basic training.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  5. #65
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by perdidochas View Post
    A 4 week pre-boot camp for fitness would remedy most of that.
    Sneaker Camp?
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    "Becoming softer" is something that parents lament of their kids' generation.

    Parents work hard to make sure that their kids have it easier than they did - and then resent the kids for it.

    Whether the kids have it any easier is debatable. The kids have a different set of problems. There's always a different set of problems. I'm glad that I'm not in my twenties nowadays, struggling under a crippling burden of student debt, unaffordable housing, and work available only in the gig economy.

    And - well, I'm glad that I wasn't born much earlier. 1950's antibiotics saved my hearing - and I have nearly-deaf cousins who are only a little older, who had the same sort of infection. God knows what diseases I escaped in 1960's immunization campaigns - certainly, all the kids knew grownups who'd been damaged by paralytic polio. Measles damn near killed me. 1990's surgical technique definitely saved my life - which was quite touch-and-go, even the surgeons weren't all that optimistic. 2010's surgical technique has saved my vision - and I had an auntie who went blind from the same condition in the 1970's with nothing to be done for it. I wouldn't have been tougher if I'd been born thirty years earlier and been part of the Greatest Generation. I'd have been dead.

    Kids are always disrespectful to grownups - because it's impossible to give the respect that the elders think they're entitled to and still retain any personal autonomy.
    This is so spot on!

    Just like every class of wise, cultured 15-year-old high school sophomores inevitably looks at the incoming class of obnoxious clueless 14-year-old freshmen and says "I know WE weren't like that", like clockwork every older generation believes the new one is soft and unprepared for the "real world." Personally, I think this is a product of judging our own generation based on ourselves and our friends, while judging the other generations by the worst examples we witness, whether in person or in the media. That's how you assume millennials are all snowflakes who blow all their money on avocado toast, and Gen Z are all phone-addicted zombie children who eat Tide Pods for "likes". Nah. In reality, there are smart, dedicated individuals and lazy idiots in every generation.

    I mean, yes, society is constantly changing and facing different problems, and now obesity is an issue of more humans being literally softer, but I think it's appropriate to blame that on society becoming more sedentary and unhealthy food being more available and economical than healthy food, rather than acting like it's some kind of moral failing on the part of lazy young people.
    As for a soft society reducing thru-hike completion rates, my registration number at Katahdin Stream compared to HF and Amicalola would suggest that this year, completion rates were quite high, even with all the rain.
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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    "Becoming softer" is something that parents lament of their kids' generation.

    Parents work hard to make sure that their kids have it easier than they did - and then resent the kids for it.

    Whether the kids have it any easier is debatable. The kids have a different set of problems. There's always a different set of problems. I'm glad that I'm not in my twenties nowadays, struggling under a crippling burden of student debt, unaffordable housing, and work available only in the gig economy.

    And - well, I'm glad that I wasn't born much earlier. 1950's antibiotics saved my hearing - and I have nearly-deaf cousins who are only a little older, who had the same sort of infection. God knows what diseases I escaped in 1960's immunization campaigns - certainly, all the kids knew grownups who'd been damaged by paralytic polio. Measles damn near killed me. 1990's surgical technique definitely saved my life - which was quite touch-and-go, even the surgeons weren't all that optimistic. 2010's surgical technique has saved my vision - and I had an auntie who went blind from the same condition in the 1970's with nothing to be done for it. I wouldn't have been tougher if I'd been born thirty years earlier and been part of the Greatest Generation. I'd have been dead.

    Kids are always disrespectful to grownups - because it's impossible to give the respect that the elders think they're entitled to and still retain any personal autonomy.

    And for all the complaining I hear, I can't help remembering one nice group of college kids that I met on the trail. The guy who'd dragged his friends along said to me, "Wow, I think it's great that you're doing this at your age. My parents must be ten years younger, and I can't them to do anything!. Yeah, I wanted to slap him. But he was being nice, as best he knew how. (I gave the kids a lift to their car - they'd made a wrong turn and came out at the wrong trailhead, with a 5-mile roadwalk to get back to where they wanted to be.)

    Anyway, those kids were doing a section of Devil's Path in the Catskills. You can't be entirely soft and take on that hike. It's an infamously tough trail.
    Quote Originally Posted by KnightErrant View Post
    This is so spot on!

    Just like every class of wise, cultured 15-year-old high school sophomores inevitably looks at the incoming class of obnoxious clueless 14-year-old freshmen and says "I know WE weren't like that", like clockwork every older generation believes the new one is soft and unprepared for the "real world." Personally, I think this is a product of judging our own generation based on ourselves and our friends, while judging the other generations by the worst examples we witness, whether in person or in the media. That's how you assume millennials are all snowflakes who blow all their money on avocado toast, and Gen Z are all phone-addicted zombie children who eat Tide Pods for "likes". Nah. In reality, there are smart, dedicated individuals and lazy idiots in every generation.

    I mean, yes, society is constantly changing and facing different problems, and now obesity is an issue of more humans being literally softer, but I think it's appropriate to blame that on society becoming more sedentary and unhealthy food being more available and economical than healthy food, rather than acting like it's some kind of moral failing on the part of lazy young people.
    As for a soft society reducing thru-hike completion rates, my registration number at Katahdin Stream compared to HF and Amicalola would suggest that this year, completion rates were quite high, even with all the rain.
    Great posts!

    Today's hikers are SO soft. Back in my day we carried 50 lb packs, used maps and compass, forded the Kennebec, and trail magic was unexpected . . .

    All creatures big and small try to maximize their efficiency. Living organisms seek to achieve the greatest benefit for the least amount of effort. We humans are pretty sophisticated as viewed within the hierarchy of organisms, and we have intellectual and emotional desires that are above those of animals simply focusing on physical survival, but we still yield to the concept of efficiency to a large degree. In "first world" countries, machinery and automation have greatly reduced the physical effort required in most jobs, and outright eliminated many physical labor jobs altogether. 70 years ago blue collar and farm labor made up the largest employment sector in the US. Not any more. Machinery and automation have greatly reduced the manpower requirements in farming and manufacturing. Less expensive labor moved labor intensive manufacturing offshore. In the early 20th century 40% of the population was engaged in farming. By the end of the century it had dropped to 2%. White collar jobs rose from 18% to 60% during this same period. As a society, we now push pencils (or more accurately computer keys) instead of wheelbarrows. Materialistically, almost everyone became wealthier, and softer. And life moved faster. From communication to microwave ovens, we strove for instant gratification in almost every endeavor - because life is short. We counteract the negative physical complications of that to some degree with gyms and health clubs and a passion for fitness with many, but overall we are physically softer as a society, and more impatient. It's a double-edged sword. We live longer, and most of us are healthier in many ways, but a lot of physical stress has been replaced by mental and emotional stress. Hence the rise of health clubs, the greater visibility of mental and emotional health, and a whole new set of modern problems, like attention span in a world that moves at the speed of light. We create the environment that the younger generation is born into - and then complain when they live "efficiently" within its structure. Just as we did within the environment we experienced.

    Physically, society has become softer in some ways. But it's not a matter of willpower alone. It's just nature's efficiency taking its course. And when it comes to individuals, you can't make a valid judgement based upon what average trends are. Would we be any different if we were born into the same generation?

  8. #68
    Registered User GolfHiker's Avatar
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    I really don’t like winter. But I really do enjoy a good Sat. afternoon read of 67 responses to an interesting post. I love seeing both (all sides) of a great topic, which this is. Some of you all really hit the nail on the head with your varied responses. I’ve been hiking the AT since 1980, so I’ve seen a good bit of change through the years. On my 2016/17 thru in two, it was so obvious that everyone, meaning all age groups, were doing things differently than in prior years. Specifically, the electronics, and the use of hostels, and planned slackpacking. A huge proliferation of hostels meant more frequent stops, easier accommodations ( vs. tent &/or shelters), more rest days and time off, and a lot of slackpacking options, all that. Does that make a thru easier than the past, yes, maybe. Does that make it wrong, no. The mountains are still high and rugged, the miles still need to be covered, bad weather is still bad weather.

    I know this topic is broad, relating to our beloved AT, generational norms and everything in between. Hey, at least no one has brought up, religion, politics or sports.

    Nuff said.
    "How can something this hard be so much fun".

  9. #69
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    One day when I was in high school my brother and I were slowly making our way down a mountain trail (really a boulder scramble with blazes to mark the way) near our home, when a guy who looked to be in his 70's went flying past us, hopping from rock to rock, with his hands clasped together behind his back, whistling a tune to himself.

    At that moment we both felt really soft.
    It's all good in the woods.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    Nostalgia about the future is even more dangerous.
    Yup. Yup....

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