By Airman Amanda Lovelace | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — While a lot of Airmen’s normal health and fitness routines have been curtailed due to COVID-19, maintaining a certain standard of fitness is still a requirement.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, to stay physically fit during quarantine, a good place to start is with a healthy diet.
“A balanced diet includes appropriate portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grain,” said Carol Carr, 21st Medical Squadron Health Promotion Program coordinator. “Increasing non-starchy vegetables, excluding potatoes, peas and corn, is always a good place to start. Adequate hydration is important too, water being the preferred choice.”
The increase in downtime may cause some to struggle with indulging in unhealthy snack options due to boredom, so it’s important to make conscious decisions regarding one’s available snacks.
“Don’t keep junk food in the house,” she said. “Eat for hunger versus boredom or stress eating. Check your hunger before you reach for a snack and assess if you are actually hungry. If hungry, eat, but if not, find something else to do to save your waistline.”
Additionally, she recommends making healthy foods the easy choice by placing them within view or washing fruit prior to snacking so it is easy to grab.
“Healthy foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants can help boost immunity,” she said. “Eating well can help prevent you from getting sick; proper hand hygiene and social distancing are still just as important.”
For Airmen who may have made poor health choices in the past, it’s never too late to improve diet and fitness habits.
“Give yourself grace for past mistakes and start over,” Carr said. “Make a plan, such as a grocery shopping for healthy foods or scheduling exercise in your day. Plus, exercising can help with stress management and we also feel better when we eat nutritious foods.”
While Airmen’s normal fitness routines may be temporarily impacted by gym closures, Airmen still have a requirement to maintain physical fitness.
“Fitness centers across the country are closed but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out,” said Seth Cannello, 50th Force Support Squadron fitness and sports manager. “There are a ton of body weight activities you can perform at home that will keep you in shape.”
Cannello recommends Airmen run outside and perform sit-ups and push-ups indoors.
“I’d also recommend spicing things up,” he said. “Use your couch or a coffee table to do decline push-ups. Put your feet on a couch or table and extend your body forward so that you are doing a push-up but at an angle. Perform as many repetitions as possible, then rest for approximately one minute. Do another set with the goal of performing almost as many reps as your first set.”
Here are some other exercises that can be performed at home:
• Staggered push-ups
• Planks Boat Pose
• Kettlebell Swings
• Split Squats
• Walking Lunges
• Skater Jumps
• Goblet Squats
• Side planks
“If you want a tough workout, try doing these exercises with the goal of performing 10 sets,” Cannello said. “Ten sets might be too much for beginners, but do as many as you can. If performed properly, you should be very sweaty and tired at the end of this workout.”
For additional information about nutrition and a healthy diet, visit the following websites: choosemyplate.gov, eatright.org, nutrition.gov and eatingwell.com.
Additionally, the Health Promotion office is available as a resource; depending on the question, an appointment may be needed. Carr can be reached at email@example.com.