PT: Make it a part of your routine

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Sound physical fitness is an essential part of our readiness as Airmen. Today's Air Force is expeditionary. We are on the move and often in harms way. In the words of Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney McKinley, "Airmen must constantly hone their physical abilities to withstand and overcome the demanding rigors of deployment and combat...being fit can prove to be the deciding factor between life and death for an Airman and their fellow Wingmen when combat actions require extreme physical exertion." In any environment, Airmen who are physically prepared will also be better mentally prepared for the unknown and unexpected.

Many of you are physically fit and promoting healthy lifestyles. I applaud you and encourage you to work as a team to inspire and motivate your fellow Airmen to follow your lead. For those of you who score 100% on the WarFit test, I announce your name in wing commander's calls and give you a one-day pass.

However, there are some Airmen who need to work on improving their fitness levels. Although it is every Airman's responsibility to maintain a fitness program that meets his/her individual needs, I expect commanders and supervisors to monitor, encourage and allow their Airmen to participate in a robust physical fitness program.

Here at Patrick AFB and Cape Canaveral AFS, we have highly qualified and very dedicated health and fitness professionals at the health and wellness center, fitness center and the clinic. They are trained and willing to help Airmen and their families achieve and maintain better health. If you don't know where to start, go ask a professional. It will surely pay off in the long run.

Take the time to assess your fitness program and review your plan with your commander or supervisor. Consider aerobic, strength and flexibility training. Being active for 30-60 minutes a day (minimum) can help you build strength and fitness, relax and reduce stress, gain more energy, and improve your sleep. Also incorporate healthy eating habits, avoid using tobacco, and if you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation. The most important part of your physical fitness program is consistency. It has to become part of your "routine."

I know you're busy, but what's more important than your health? Nothing. Take care of yourself.

Done correctly, it's as much a life-style change as anything else that you do over and over again. It will become habit-forming, almost addictive. And when it comes to improving your personal fitness level, that's exactly what I hope happens. Go Sharks!