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Fitness is our daily mission

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Misty Johnson
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity Office
There is a reason your recruiter was required to conduct a preliminary fitness exam prior to processing you for basic training. They are held accountable for sending only fit and worthy members into military service. After that step, it becomes a personal responsibility.

The Professional Development Guide mandates that all Airmen strive for and maintain the highest level of personal readiness to meet Air and Space Expeditionary Force mission requirements, both physically and mentally. This directive must be upheld by promoting, supporting, and participating in the Air Force Fitness Program. The following five areas are what I consider to be the root of success:

Be a true mentor: Supervisors must personally mentor by maintaining the proper military image and setting the example themselves. If supervisors portray an unacceptable appearance in the eyes of subordinates, the "Do as I say, not as I do" approach will be assumed and credibility is lost.

Intervention and integrity: For fitness programs to be successful, commanders and senior leaders must identify a member's deficiencies and intervene at the earliest possible moment. Hold all personnel accountable and maintain strict program integrity during failure proceedings and performance report periods.

Demand intensity: The Air Force feels fitness standards can best be maintained and accomplished through three adequately intense workouts per week. I personally feel the word adequate should not be associated with any form of military readiness. My personal fitness goals involve the terms demanding and uncomfortable. Adding resistance to all components will undoubtedly improve each category while pushing you to the next level of excellence. Demand more out of your workouts and make yourself feel the pain for the gain.

Make exercise a habit: Too many people find it easy to justify skipping their workout because they are too busy at work, their exercise partner couldn't make it or they had too many errands to run. Try avoiding these pitfalls by placing mandatory workouts on your calendar and maintaining mental strength and determination. Exercise MUST be a personal goal.

Eat right: Outside of exercise, the secret to reaching physical and mental goals is eating right. You must be determined and committed to yourself in order to succeed. To be successful, you must stop eating bad food in excess, stop drinking too much soda, coffee, and tea and stop smoking. On the other hand, you should eat light healthy snacks between meals, drink seven to eight glasses of water every day, include three low fat servings of dairy to your intake. Lastly, have discipline and only reward yourself for reaching a personal fitness milestone.

Bottom line, liability rests with the individual. All Airmen should take personal control of their health and have a daily plan of action to lose weight, get in shape and stay healthy. The mission depends on YOUR ability to sustain "Fit to Fight" standards.