Get outside and play

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Scott P. Farley
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
It is the perfect time with the weather getting nice to take this wise bit of advice from your parent or to act on that wisdom you share with your own kids.

Fitness has become a top priority for most Airmen and it is a very attainable goal for almost everyone. For most it can be as easy as taking that first step out your door. You don't need a gym, weights or the newest fitness video.

According to Capt. Jessica Boettcher, 934th Airlift Wing exercise physiologist, it takes just a few weeks to get back in the habit.

"One of the things I tell people is to find a partner or a support system to help keep them motivated," said Captain Boettcher. "It is the perfect time with the weather getting nice. The key is finding something you enjoy with a spouse, a friend or your kids. Just get moving."

Unit members also have many choices for fitness at the Minneapolis Air Reserve Station. Boettcher said the wing offers numerous classes for people to improve their fitness, but also offers experts in fitness and nutrition. Whatever fitness level you are at, these classes and experts can help you improve your knowledge and your fitness at no cost.

During the May unit training assembly, Airmen took part in fitness education and training opportunities throughout the weekend.

One of those opportunities came in the form of education from a local shoe expert during a running clinic. Dan Steibrecher, from TC Running, talked about the importance of running shoes and finding the pair that best suits the individual. The clinic also covered running styles and shoe wear.

"I get people who come to me all the time and tell me they want a shoe that their friend recommended," said Steibrecher, who ran cross country for Hamilton University. "I encourage people to choose their shoes by their foot type. You need the right shoe for you. It is also important to keep in mind that running shoes will generally last three to four years or up to 300-500 miles."

Steibrecher said proper footwear is important to the aerobic portion of the Air Force fitness test and is vital in preventing injuries such as shin splints, patella tendonitis, and IT band problems, but also easing symptoms of problems such as plantar fasciitis.

The fitness center also offered a class to keep the whole body operating at peak performance. The goal of the Fit-n-Fuel class is to teach people the basics about fitness, but the class has information for people at every level of fitness.

Dr. (Lt. Col.) Mark Shirley, a 934th flight surgeon certified in family medicine, strength and sports conditioning, health and fitness instructor, teaches the class that teaches participants how to work out smarter, not harder.

In one hour, Shirley took his class on a journey through the myths of eating and exercise to what he call the very basic science of putting top-grade fuel in a high-performance body.

"Long, boring cardio is a thing of the past," said Shirley, who recommended that people training in 40 second intervals with 20 second breaks.

Shirley also covered the top-grade fuel he says is vital to people living long and healthy lives. He said people should avoid processed food because they create insulin spikes and two of the cuprites at the top of his list are sugar and enriched flour. He said he recommends people eating single-ingredient foods.

"You have a high-performance body, don't put junk fuel in it," said Shirley.

Shirley said the key to turning your body into a high performance body is a simple part of the simple science.

"Do something! I don't care what it is," said Shirley. "Start with a 10 minute walk. I tell people that if you're sedentary and doing nothing, do something. That is where I start. Getting them off the couch and doing something. Start low and go slow. Make little changes. I also counsel (people) on general easy resistance training. Stuff they can do at home."