The U.S. Air Force places an emphasis on the well-being of Airmen and their families by providing the resources necessary to improve physical fitness for service members, their dependents and retirees.
The Health Promotion team at the Human Performance Center, formerly known as the Health and Wellness Center, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., promotes a healthy lifestyle by taking a holistic approach to fitness.
The team is comprised of three key members: Lana Fred, Health Promotion coordinator, Laura Diamond, clinical registered dietitian and Sam Leyh, performance registered dietitian. The team also receives assistance from volunteers at the University of Arizona that are obtaining a degree in the field of health sciences.
“The services offered here help a lot with people who are trying to stay healthy for a long period of time,” said Hayden Garcia, U of A Sports Dietetics and Sports Nutrition student. “The tests available can help with longevity, as well as, basic information about their body that can be really helpful if they have any sort of health aspirations. I think the services are awesome because they’re really hard to find outside of the base and are also really expensive.”
U.S. service members, dependents and retirees can receive guidance specific to their individual body and metabolic type through the resources provided at the Human Performance Center. The equipment available includes the BOD POD, which measures specific fat and muscle mass, the VO2 max test, which measures endurance through the efficiency of oxygen use, as well as the metabolic test, which measures metabolism, heart rate and necessary caloric intake.
“In order to maintain outreach programs, as well as have the ability to offer in-house resources, we have implemented a website available to anyone seeking to schedule or cancel an appointment for the programs at the Human Performance Center,” said Fred, Health Promotion coordinator.
Another way the Human Performance Center is utilizing their services to improve the overall health of Davis-Monthan is by encouraging service-members, dependents and retirees to focus on nutrition.
The Human Performance Center has partnered with the Airman and Family Readiness Center to host a “Cooking for Singles” class at least once a month where they conduct cooking demonstrations with nutrient rich ingredients. The facility also hosts a nutrition class at the clinic every Friday where they explain the basics of proper nutrition.
The team has placed a heavy focus on outreach across the base to take a proactive approach to health and readiness within all units, including the Guardian Angel units.
The team takes part in the Human Performance Optimization Program working group, once a month, in order to evaluate how they can better promote a holistic approach to health within GA units on top of the resources they already provide by conducting an initial evaluation on the status of overall fitness for Airmen belonging to GA units.
“We really want to move around the different units and there’s a lot of interest in our outreach programs because so many people want to know what their information is,” Fred said. “Once people realize that they have the capacity to do so much more with their body and you encourage them in that way of thinking, that’s when we begin to see the success stories, whether it’s weight loss or just someone learning about nutrition.”
The Health Promotion Team is also reaching out to promote healthier lifestyle choices across the base through the Health and Readiness Optimization, HeRO, program. The team utilizes analytics obtained through worksite assessments, as well as surveys sent to various units to target Airman that could be considered ‘at risk’ in regards to nutrition, physical activity or sleep hygiene. They then spend four months working alongside the selected units, offering classes and hands-on demonstrations to take a proactive approach to health.
“We have heard many success stories whether it’s from those that come back every four to six weeks to check on their progress, those that are learning what works for their genetic build, or through the change seen in the pre and post surveys received from the units involved in the HeRO program,” Fred said. “Our main goal at Health Promotion is to offer the information and tools that we have available so they can take that knowledge and reinforce good, healthy behaviors.”
The Human Performance Center at Davis-Monthan proactively reaches out and offers resources to Airmen, dependents and retirees to make information readily available in order to promote healthy behaviors and accomplish the mission.