USS VICKSBURG, At Sea (NNS) -- The crew of guided-missile cruiser USS Vicksburg (CG 69) has remained focused on maintaining a high level of fitness throughout the final scheduled deployment.
Physical readiness is an important part of Navy life and many Sailors use deployment as an opportunity to become more physically active.
"Working out is my Zen time," said Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Andrew C. Buzzanco, who exercises daily. "It keeps me focused and gives me the energy I need to do my job properly. I always feel great after I'm done."
However, staying healthy and fit involves more than just working out.
"I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables in my daily diet," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Charlon A. Clarke."I try to keep away from soda and sugary juices and stick to water. The key is staying hydrated."
Although exercising regularly is important, it is also important not to take on more than you can handle.
"Go slow if you are just starting out," said Clarke. "Never try to lift more weight than you are capable of lifting and remember that Rome wasn't built in a day."
During a time when the Navy is very competitive, maintaining the Navy's physical fitness standards can be just as important as earning qualifications.
"We are assessed twice a year on our physical readiness and the Navy has very high standards," said Lt. Dylan Richmond, navigation officer aboard Vicksburg, who exercises six times a week.
"It is important for both the physical and mental health of Sailors to exercise regularly and keep a balanced diet," Richmond also said. "It also helps me feel free, even out to sea. It is a great stress reliever for those extra stressful days during deployment."
To help its Sailors stay healthy, Vicksburg is equipped with cardio equipment, two weight rooms and additional exercise equipment on the weather decks as well as a "victory track" that operates on the main weather deck at designated times during the day.
Vicksburg is on its final deployment and is currently operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
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