Building strength, transforming Airmen

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Rebecca Imwalle
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public
The Air Force's Comprehensive Airman Fitness program aims to develop resiliency through an all-encompassing approach to fitness. It focuses on building four pillars of mental, physical, social and spiritual strength in each Airman as the cornerstones of this fortitude.

One such pillar, physical fitness, focuses on the ability to adopt and sustain healthy behaviors needed to enhance health and well-being. Some Ellsworth Airmen understand and live by the pillar, exercising their physical fitness not only during organized physical training in their units, but during their personal time too.

Senior Airman Morissa Martin, 28th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, explained that along with her fitness plan, she also maintains a healthy diet in order to improve on the physical pillar.

"The physical pillar is imperative to our everyday lives," Martin said. "Not only do we need to be prepared for worldwide combat readiness, but we also [need]to sustain it as a way to deal with problems we may face on a day-to-day basis."

Martin participates in yoga multiple times a week as well as a cycling class and finds time to participate in a workout program with her co-workers.

"It's very beneficial for relieving stress after a long day," Martin said. "My workout schedule helps keep me fit and it clears my mind each day."

Geri Seal, 28th Medical Group health promotion program manager, explained that physical fitness is an important component of CAF.

"Most people equate fitness with run time or how much you can bench or squat when there are so many more benefits involved," Seal explained. "When you exercise your body produces hormones.  Serotonin and dopamine are your body's natural anti-depressant and anti-anxiety hormones and cortisol is the anti-stress hormone in your body.  Fitness is a great way to naturally decrease stress, anxiety and depression."

Martin explained that not only does physical fitness play a key role in controlling your weight, it reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases, strengthens bones and muscles, improves mental health and mood and also increases the chance of living longer.

"I highly encourage Airmen to find some physical activity to enjoy on a regular basis," Martin said. "I don't think PT with your squadron is enough for you own personal goals. It's important to find a partner who can keep you in check and motivated and find something you love."

Whether cycling, dancing, weight training, or playing basketball, getting out and having an active lifestyle is the most important part of maintaining your physical fitness, said Martin.