Fitness In Frigid Temperatures

The new fitness center has room for everyone, and machines to match most–if not all–needs. The added space gives MSgt Trejo and her staff the ability to bring in equipment that helps define the airmen’s level of fitness, and to expand their physical training (PT) tests from a couple months out of the year to a consistent availability. PT tests are required to make sure that airmen are physically ready to do their job when they are deployed. “If you are deployed to somewhere that has a 110 F temperature, and you are working outside all day, and if you are not fit–physically and mentally–there is no way that you will be able to do your job or take care of yourself. With our expanded capabilities, we are able to ensure that our troops are as prepared as possible for those conditions,” says MSgt Trejo.

Something For Everyone

The fitness center isn’t just for those headed overseas; it is also for those returning from deployment. “We were able to incorporate a lot of equipment that can help with rehabilitation, especially for people rehabbing their upper bodies. For example, one of the machines–the ergometer–offers a controlled way to strengthen arms without straining them. It can be used as a form of cardio [cardiovascular exercise], or just a way to add or maintain muscles,” says MSgt Trejo.

“These kinds of machines give people an opportunity to get fit that they might not have had before. We are able to add so many dimensions to working out that pretty much anyone who comes here will be able to exercise. The variety means that we will be able to find a machine to fit any need.” She reiterates the importance of exercise in dealing with stress. “For anyone who is in the military, there is a certain amount of stress that is part of your life–whether it is the stress of being deployed, returning from active duty, or just having a lot of people depending on you to perform at the best of your ability. Working out helps relieve some of that stress, and also helps us be better able to deal with old and new stressors. Our fitness center is an invaluable tool in keeping us all healthy.”

A Well-Balanced Fitness Plan

The physical component of the fitness center isn’t the only part that now offers expanded capabilities. Personnel can opt to take healthy cooking classes at the health and wellness center, where they can observe preparation techniques. “Eating a healthy, well-balanced meal is just as important as working out regularly,” says MSgt Trejo. “I think that sometimes this is overlooked, but we are trying to emphasize a total wellness approach that includes nutrition, stress management, the importance of sleep, etc. We realize that being part of the military is more than just a job, it is a lifestyle. Because of that, we want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make healthy choices.” Personnel can now enroll in a smoking cessation class or pay a small fee to enjoy a massage.

“The importance of health and wellness cannot be overstated,” says MSgt Trejo. “Our new facility is going to impact all of us in a very, very good way.”

Gretchen Wieman is a marketing coordinator for USKH Inc. A lifelong Alaskan, she lives, works, and plays in Anchorage. She can be reached via e-mail at gwieman@uskh.com

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