By Tech. Sgt. Wes Wright
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — There’s a new Health Promotions Coordinator in town.
Carol Carr, a registered dietician and massage therapist, filled the long-vacant position at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Aug. 6, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her.
The new HPC said she’s been working diligently to develop and launch programs to help Airmen lead healthier lives.
“Due to our 24/7 mission here, it’s critical we have programs in place to help our Airmen and their families manage stress and promote their well-being,” Carr said.
Carr’s commander is thrilled to have the position filled by someone as qualified and passionate as her new HPC.
“I am extremely excited for Carr to be here at Schriever as part of the 21st Medical Squadron,” said Lt. Col. Jana Weiner, commander of the 21st MDS. “Her role enables preventative outreach to assist individuals in leading healthy lives. Ultimately, this produces a healthier and more resilient base community, and a workforce capable of productively executing the mission.”
While her business card has several acronyms after her last name, Carr said her focus isn’t on any specific qualification, but on leveraging synergy between several disciplines to bring a well-rounded approach to formulating health programs.
“Nationally, obesity is on the rise and so many aspects of health and well-being play into that,” she said. “Living healthy demands we look at all aspects of our lives to see what can be done to be the best possible us.”
Carr has several programs tentatively set to launch Oct. 1, but is highlighting three of the larger programs from the outset: Weight Loss, Healthy Cooking and Eating and Sleep and Stress Management.
“Whether you’re preparing for a fitness test or just want to lose a few pounds, I can help you with that,” Carr said. “A lot of people struggle because there is a lot of information and we don’t always know what the best information is. We are going to provide evidence-based research information and come up with a plan for you.”
Carr said knowing your basal metabolic rate is a key piece of information people often overlook. A BMR is the number of calories required to keep your body functioning at rest.
“You need to know what your baseline is for burning calories before you can start doing the plus or minus caloric math to get you where you want to be,” she said.
Fortunately for Schriever AFB, members don’t have to guess or approximate their BMR. Carr can tell people to a high percentile of certainty what their BMR is by using a machine called a Bod Pod.
The Bod Pod is a body composition test that uses air displacement to calculate body density and body fat. The test requires users to not exercise nor eat two hours prior to testing and wear compression gear for accurate results.
Carr encouraged anyone who may have difficulty losing weight to contact her.
“We approach each person’s program uniquely,” Carr said. “No two people are identical in their needs and physiology, so we work to understand all the factors pertaining to you that might be preventing weight loss and develop a customized plan.”
Healthy Cooking and Eating
To help people live healthy lives and lose weight, Carr plans on launching a class to teach people not only what kinds of foods to eat, but also how to prepare them.
“We are going to do meal prep and brainstorm cooking ideas,” she said. “We’ll teach a family how to get a healthy meal on the table in 15 minutes or less.”
Schriever AFB’s new HPC plans on stressing the importance of meal prep to her clients.
“Meal prep sets you up for success,” she said. “If it’s a busy day and you didn’t bring a lunch you might lean toward unhealthy fast food options. If we leave our food choices up to chance, we often don’t make good decisions.”
Another classic pitfall is not eating enough vegetables.
“Many people struggle with eating vegetables,” Carr said. “Veggies are full of vitamins you need for your body to function at its best. In the long term, not eating enough vegetables can equate to things like heart disease.”
Carr said vegetables are also a good way to trick your stomach into thinking you’re full.
“They’re low-calorie and provide volume,” she said. “You’ll get the benefit of the nutrients while also feeling satiated. People often gain weight because they eat until they feel full. Vegetables are a great compromise.”
Sleep and Stress Management
According to Carr, managing sleep and stress is critical to good health.
“I’ve noticed due to our high ops tempo here, these are issues that can come up,” Carr said. “Sometimes we neglect sleep, or perhaps are unable to sleep due to stress. We’re working on a collaboration with Mental Health and the Sleep Clinic to develop a class to help people manage those.”
For managing stress, Carr said it’s important people keep everything in perspective and have a way to recharge their resiliency.
“You need to have that something that recharges you outside of work,” she said. “We’re going to work with people to help them find that thing and give them tips to manage their stress.”
Carr said stress can often tie into poor sleep.
“Long term, poor sleep can cause hormone dysregulation and a host of illnesses and medical issues,” she said. “You have to make sleep a priority. Our sleep class will help people identify bad habits to avoid and best practices to implement.”
She offered tips to help people improve their sleep.
“Sleep in a cool dark room, for seven to eight hours a night,” she said. “Stay free from distractions. Turn off blue light devices like TVs or phones.”
While classes aren’t scheduled to launch until the beginning of October, Carr said people can call her to develop a wellness plan and receive a body scan in the Bod Pod at 567-4292.
“Invest in your health,” Carr said. “As Americans, we are living longer but we are living with more chronic illness and disease. When we’re young we think we’re immune, but they catch up with you. It’s harder to reverse once there, so prevention is key.”