A Closer Look at Adaptive Reconditioning

By Cait McCarrie, WTC Stratcom

MSG Jarrett Jongema of the Warrior Transition Command.

MSG Jarrett Jongema of the Warrior Transition Command.

Adaptive reconditioning includes any physical activities that wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers participate in regularly to optimize their physical well-being. These activities can help Soldiers have a successful recovery whether they are transitioning back to active duty or to civilian life.

“Team building experiences, learning a new sport, and routinely practicing a challenging activity help Soldiers take responsibility for their own recovery,” said MSG Jarret Jongema, Warrior Transition Command, Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning Branch.Adaptive reconditioning programs are not traditional clinic-based rehabilitation programs, however, they often support medical goals defined in the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).

The CTP supports Soldiers in transition with personalized goals in six areas: career, physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and Family. Adaptive reconditioning plays an important role in the CTP because it connects physical activity with each of those six components. It’s also a great way for Soldiers to incorporate competitive and non-competitive physical activity into their recovery.

Adaptive reconditioning is most well-known for servicemembers’ participation in adaptive sports, but it’s not just about sports. “The beauty of these activities is that no matter what your injury or experience, there is an activity for you,” said Jongema. Activities include competitive team sports, aquatic exercises, therapeutic recreational activities, gym-based training, functional training, and human performance optimization.

Adaptive reconditioning gives Soldiers the opportunity to integrate physical activity into their lives in new ways that addresses multiple parts of the path to recovery. “Whether competing on a team sport or in an individual activity, adaptive reconditioning reintegrates discipline, goal setting, and concentration into Soldiers’ lives,” added Jongema.  While each Soldier adapts to activities in different ways, participating in adaptive reconditioning often addresses physical and emotional parts of recovery.

Many Soldiers and Veterans who participate in adaptive sports and reconditioning go on to train for and even compete in the Warrior Games. This year’s games are from May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Learn more about the road to Warrior Games here.

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