Exercise, eat right, fit to fight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class James L. Miller
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
With busy schedules and often busier home lives, Airmen sometimes forget the importance of exercise and a healthy diet.

Ellsworth's Health Promotion office, formerly known as the Health and Wellness Center, leads the way by offering programs to promote the physical and nutritional health of Airmen.

The 28th Bomb Wing also has a registered dietician Airmen can work with to create a tailored nutrition plan.

"We started the evidenced-based weight management program from the Veterans Administration back in January [2015]," said Geri Seal, 28th Medical Operations Squadron health promotion program manager. "This program teaches Airmen basic principles of nutrition and fitness, and the behavioral components of weight management."

Although many Airmen believe eating healthy is difficult and more expensive than eating junk food, the opposite is true, Seal said.

"You can save 20 to 30 dollars a week by just bringing your lunch to work," Seal said. "Also, if Airmen have a refillable water bottle and non-perishable snacks like nuts and seeds readily available, it will save them money at the vending machines."

Seal added that, for dorm residents, the Raider Café offers the "Go For Green" nutritional foods campaign, where most options in the dining facility are labeled green, yellow or red.

The green label is for performance enhancing foods Airmen should eat often. Yellow-labeled foods fuel moderate performance and are to be consumed occasionally, and foods that limit performance are labeled red and should be rarely eaten.

"Your performance can be directly affected by your nutrition and how active you are," Seal said. "Think about it, what would your performance be after eating a cinnamon roll? Now imagine what your performance will be after eating a banana, cereal, and skim milk for breakfast."

For Airmen that find it difficult to stay motivated, there are ways to make it easier.
"Keep healthy messages in front of you all the time," Seal said. "Make [being] healthy the easy choice. For example, have fruit or veggies cut up and ready to grab in your fridge.  If you don't have them prepared, it will not be the easy choice - you might grab a candy bar that does not take much effort."

Seal also encourages Airmen to know the facts and where to obtain credible information.  One comprehensive and trustworthy website is www.hprc-online.org.
"Deception, in this field of fitness and exercise, is a billion dollar industry," Seal explained.  "Make sure you look for those key words or phrases that will try to deceive you.  Examples include doctor recommended, miracle break through, no exercise involved, eat what you want and still lose weight."

For more information on Ellsworth health promotion programs, call Geri Seal at (605) 385-6250.

Additionally, if you are interested in making an appointment with Cliff McArthur, 28th MDOS registered dietician, call the appointment line at (605) 385-6700.