Fit to fight in the new year

  • Published
  • By Capt. Elizabeth Caraway
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
For many, the new year represents a fresh start, a new beginning to set resolutions, meet challenges, and achieve goals. Improving health is one of the most common objectives nationwide, with losing weight and getting fit both appearing on lists for top American resolutions. For those in the Air Force Reserve, that objective is doubly important; fitness is a job requirement.

However, many face challenges that those serving on active duty do not. Some reservists can't benefit from unit physical training sessions during the week and may serve in full-time jobs that don't emphasize health and fitness. It's each individual's personal responsibility to take charge of their physical conditioning, not only to excel during testing, but because you'll reap the benefits in improved energy, mood, sleep, and disease prevention.

If you want to better your physical fitness test score and enjoy the other benefits of a healthier physique, Capt. Miranda Laubie, 445th Force Support Squadron executive officer and unit fitness monitor, offers several tips.

· Be consistent.
"Keep it simple, but consistent," said Laubie. "Work toward the goal of a minimum 3-4 sixty minute sessions per week."

· Get a workout buddy.
"I recommend getting a workout buddy to keep you accountable. Find a motivator--a coworker, spouse, or friend that will encourage you."

· Practice for the test.
Laubie said too often she sees Airmen spend hours on cross-training and almost no time practicing the exercises that comprise the PFT. "Run, do sit-ups and do push-ups," she urged. "Cross-training isn't always the best, especially if you're struggling in a specific area."

· Track progress.
Laubie recommends tracking progress through online tools, smartphone apps, or simply with a notebook and pen. Seeing improvement is a huge motivator.

· Clean up your diet.
No matter how consistent your workouts, Laubie warns that exercise is only half the battle. "Diet is key," she said. "Make sure you make your nutrition goals realistic, though. The key is moderation, not deprivation." A healthy diet will improve your performance in every area of the PFT.

When the Air Force implemented the latest round of changes to the fitness test on Oct. 1, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said, "I believe we have DoD's best designed, best run fitness program, and as a result, we have a force ready for any mission our nation asks us to execute. I'm extremely proud of how far we've come with our fitness culture."

Regardless of where you are in your personal fitness program, you too can resolve to embrace the fitness culture at the 445th Airlift Wing and become fit to fight in the new year.