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Wounded Veterans Gather for Wounded Warrior Project Fitness Training

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SEATTLE, WA - One of the major challenges many wounded veterans face when returning to civilian life is maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. That's why Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) hosts physical health and wellness expos around the nation, not just to get warriors moving again but to connect them with other local warriors who share their life experiences.

"Even though I may be nervous about meeting new people in the beginning, I quickly feel at home and at ease when I am around other veterans," said Army veteran Charlene Reilley. "Even if they are a different branch, we can all still relate in some way or another and have fun being ourselves. We can push each other to improve and be resilient. Once I got out of the Army, I stopped working out daily, for the most part. I would hike, kayak and walk my dog, but nothing like the daily physical training first thing in the morning in the service. I ended up gaining weight and found myself being more stressed in a negative way; my temper got shorter and shorter."

WWP's physical health and wellness programs play an important role in helping warriors maintain positive mental health. In a WWP survey of the injured warriors it serves, 29.6% of survey respondents expressed physical activity helps them cope with stress and emotional concerns.

At the expo in Seattle, warriors were challenged to use their own body weight for resistance training with TRX workout straps. TRX, or total-body resistance exercise, is an increasingly popular workout method invented by a U.S. Navy SEAL. The exercises were difficult, but doable, because they were specifically designed to accommodate injuries. Warriors also learned modifications for home workouts.

"I am unable to use free weights due to my injuries, so I typically use machines, but the TRX straps are a great tool I can take with me on my bike rides and incorporate into my exercise routine," said Army veteran Bruce Cooper. "I am trying to do the things I did before I was deployed, and I've accomplished that with the help of Wounded Warrior Project."

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