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Fit to fight: HAWC moves toward performance services

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- -- Throughout the Buckley Fitness Center, rhythmic music signals a class is in session. In the weight room, a trainer gives encouragement to get a trainee to give just one more repetition. Posters decorate the bulletin boards advertising everything from a 5K run to raise breast cancer awareness or a new workout class coming to the fitness center.

All of this is made possible by the staff at the Buckley Health and Wellness Center and fitness center.

"We are changing more towards human performance types of services. Fitness can make or break a career, so we are coming out with a fitness improvement program that highlights different squadrons each month," said Alan Muriera, 460th Medical Group health promotion manager and health educator. "We try to market to them to send us those who are having difficulties meeting the 80- percent, and we will get them to surpass that percentage."

The HAWC offers services to give members of Team Buckley options to improve their health and their lives. The tobacco cessation program is available to those who wish to quit smoking. Cooking demonstrations are held in the HAWC to teach a healthy alternative cooking style for those who want to change how they prepare meals. Personal trainers are available to motivate those who need that extra little initiative. One-on-one sessions are designed around the individual's abilities and ultimate goal.

"We are not only here for active duty; we are here for the families as well," said Staff Sgt. Carlos Avalos, 460th Medical Group diet technician. "We have programs to keep people healthy and to save the Air Force money down the road on medical services and treatments. We are here for preventative care."

The HAWC offers the opportunity to make changes through different courses and counseling such as weight management, proper nutrition and disease prevention with diabetes. Even military members have health challenges such as high cholesterol, cancer and hypertension. These diseases have become a threat to mission readiness. These courses are designed to reduce that risk.

A recent 460th Space Wing wellness report from October to December 2012 has shown an improvement with a base-wide 90-percent pass rate in fitness assessments since last quarter. These improvements may be due to the increase in services and programs provided by the HAWC and fitness center.

"We want to focus on people who are having difficulties meeting fitness standards," said Muriera. "Fitness is important in the Air Force; you always have to be fit to fight."

The HAWC staff is educated and trained to give insight into the mechanics of the human body, enhance performance and increase endurance. With diet technicians, personal trainers, a fitness technician and an exercise physiologist, Buckley's HAWC is unique for having a large number of knowledgeable people to help Team Buckley members achieve their health and fitness goals.

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