By Airman 1st Class Holden S. Faul, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 15, 2018
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado -- March is recognized as National Nutrition Month, an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. According to EatRight.org, this year’s campaign focus is on making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
Buckley Air Force Base aids both these focuses. If that isn’t convenient enough, they’re both located in the same building. The Buckley Fitness Center, and attached Health and Wellness Center, is where certified fitness trainers and a registered dietician can be found.
Lisa Chan, Buckley AFB health promotion registered dietitian, is available for nutrition counseling. She’s spent the majority of her career working with high-performance athletes as the Clemson University director of sports nutrition prior to joining Team Buckley. Although she enjoys working with athletes, she loves helping anyone and everyone stay healthy. Whether someone is pre-diabetic, looking to lose or gain weight, struggling with high blood pressure, seeking a prenatal orientation or just hoping to adapt a healthier diet into their life, Chan is ready to take on the challenge.
“Ideally, everyone would eat healthy every meal of every day, however the reality is people tend to skip too many meals and don’t consume enough vegetables,” said Chan. “It’s important for people to realize the impact of a healthy diet.”
The reality is not everyone’s job requires a lot of physical activity, and many people spend their entire day sitting in front of a computer screen. For those individuals, a healthy diet is proven to assist with exhaustion, soreness and loss of focus. According to the Medical Daily, recent studies have shown healthy foods such as berries, salmon and other fatty fish, kale, spinach, beets and even maple syrup act as brain booster, and improves alertness, focus, memory and intelligence.
“Even if someone’s job isn’t necessarily considered to be an active one, they still need to be focused enough to make decisions,” said Chan. “A diet with proper nutrition will have a direct impact on these types of people’s cognition. If you’re eating your fruits and grains and drinking water consistently throughout your shift, you’ll notice a massive change regarding levels of focus.”
To avoid eating unhealthy meals or snacks, try to plan ahead and bring healthier options. When healthy foods are easily accessible, a trip to the nearest vending machine or fast food restaurant is more likely to be prevented.
For those who either have active jobs or participate in physical activities outside of work, such as the gym, maintaining a healthy diet plays a dominant role in your ability to continue and progress. Most people tend to believe by lifting weights five days a week and adding cardio they’re healthy. Whether training for an upcoming fitness assessment or trying to stay as fit as possible, a healthy diet will need to be implemented.
“The biggest culprit of failing in the gym is diet,” said Anna Geissler, 460th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center recreation assistant. “If you aren’t putting the right nutrients into your body, you will never perform at your highest capability.”
After making an appointment with Chan at the HAWC to establish a new healthy diet, head over to the conveniently attached Fitness Center where Geissler and a team of certified trainers at the Fitness Center help Team Buckley members reach their fitness goal by offering several options, catering to a multitude of interests.
Agreeing with the diet change, this team also sees a significant importance for individuals with a less active jobs to make an adjustment and find time to become active.
“I understand some service members’ jobs involve sitting at a chair all day, but it’s important to keep you guys moving,” said Geissler. “We strip the stress of figuring out what your workout will be that day, only requiring you to show up for an hour. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for everyone to stay fit to fight.”
Everyday, these trainers coach free group classes called Total Body Conditioning Classes. The classes are open to everyone, regardless of age, career or disabilities, and are focused on incorporating movements to target a full body workout experience. Additionally, the classes are just large enough for the trainers to keep an eye on everyone, ensuring they are completing each movement correct and safely.
“It’s important that when you are having someone train you, you’re seeking help from someone who’s knowledgeable and trained enough to do so,” said Geissler. “This will prevent existing injuries from progressing and will definitely prevent new injuries from occurring. We’re all certified trainers here and know how to adjust each workout to accommodate specific needs.”
Although March is recognized all over the word for its association with nutrition and health awareness, it’s important to live a healthy, active lifestyle year-round. Whether needing assistance getting started or just want more information on how to optimize a current plan, remember these highly-trained, highly-motivated Team Buckley members are waiting to help.