Health & Safety

January 17, 2014

Physical resiliency: Stay fit all year — keep New Year’s resolution

Physical resiliency is only one of the collaborative pillars that contribute to an individual’s overall resiliency.

Regular physical activity has been shown to decrease an individual’s physiological reactivity such as increased blood pressure as well as demonstrate faster pulse rate recovery when exposed to a stressor. Being physically active can act as a buffer against stress and reduce the sensitivity one may have when facing stress.

For some Airmen, being physically fit can assist them in efficiently performing their job or a certain task. Regular physical activity can have health promoting benefits such as decreasing an individual’s health risk of developing cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes. An individual that is less active can be at increased risk for injury as well.

To be consistently physically active, a person needs to fuel the body with proper nutrition. It’s not about restricting a certain food group or going on the latest fad diet to reach a desired healthy weight. It’s about making healthier nutrition choices the majority of the time. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describe a healthy diet as one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy products. It includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. It is low in saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.

Tobacco cessation can also contribute to an individual’s level of resiliency and can also affect physical performance. Quitting tobacco can improve lung function, allowing a person to excel in fitness. Exercise can help build endurance and can be used to diminish nicotine withdrawal symptoms while improving mood.

Exercising regularly, both cardio and strength training, combined with making nutritious food choices, will assist an individual in being physically resilient. The Health and Wellness Center and the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center can help strengthen a person’s physical resiliency pillar.

The HAWC offers monthly nutrition classes that focus on healthy weight management, heart health and diabetes. The HAWC offers cooking demos and commissary tours. Individuals can also make an appointment to sit in the BOD POD. This assessment tool gives an accurate body fat percentage as well as lean body mass percentage. The HAWC also offers a running improvement program for active-duty members.

Another avenue to reduce stress and improve resiliency is to get a massage by the on-base massage therapist. The Luke Bryant Fitness Center offers an array of aerobic classes, personal trainers, cardio and strength training equipment to assist people in reaching their physical fitness goals.

For more information about HAWC programs, call 623-856-7531. For more information about Luke Bryant Fitness Center programs, call 623-856-6241.

 




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