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Guard fit, Guard ready!

Guard fit, Guard ready!

Guard fit, Guard ready!

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wa. -- The time of year when people resolve to lose weight, get into shape and eat healthier is swiftly approaching. This can take time, dedication and determination. Time can be hard to come by, while dedication and determination need to be found deep within.

There are many different benefits to maintaining fitness standards throughout the years and staying 'Fit to Fight' and deployment ready. For that reason the Air Force implemented the fitness test, to measure Airmen's overall fitness. In order to accomplish this, the Air Force looks at three components that include aerobic fitness, body composition and muscular fitness.

"It is important to be able to complete and pass a PT test at any time during the year," said Master Sgt. Jess Peterson, 141st Air Refueling Wing Unit Fitness Program manager. "The best advice I have for you is to simply study...train for the test and be sure to incorporate running, push-ups and sit-ups into your workouts."

These rules and regulations do not change the fact time still may be hard to come by. Waking up 45 minutes earlier or staying up 45 minutes later may be all you need to enjoy some healthy benefits from exercise.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the number one reason to stay physically fit is that exercise controls weight. This seems like common knowledge, burning calories equals losing weight. The more convincing the exercise, the more calories burned and in the end, losing or maintaining weight can be the outcome.

Also, the experts at the Mayo Clinic say cutting calories through dietary change seems to promote weight loss more effectively than exercise alone. The key to eight loss is to consume fewer calories than burned. There should be a healthy balance between diet and exercise.

Exercise can also improve mood, combat health conditions and diseases, boost energy, promote better sleep and may put a spark back into your love-life.

"Fitness makes you feel good on the inside and out," said Senior Airman Caitlyn Iliff, fitness enthusiast. "Working not only helps you be physically fit, but mentally fit as well."

If you have a PT test approaching, some important things to remember are: 60 percent of the test is the 1.5-mile run, while the other 40 percent is push-ups/sit-ups and the waist measurement. While all these components are important, focus on weak areas. It might be easy to make up points in an area that you're strong in, but it is important to understand there are minimum requirements in all components of the PT test.

"Staying healthy and physically fit is plain and simple, the best way to stay fit doesn't include diet pills." Said Peterson. "The best way to stay fit or get into shape is diet and exercise."

There is no shame in asking for help if you need to speed up your run time, crank out a few more push-ups or sit-ups or lose a few inches off your waist, Peterson said.

As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of activity four to five times a week focusing in areas of weakness. To lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, more vigorous exercise might be needed.

If your heart and mind are healthy, you're going to be a better performer and the Guard needs better performers, said Peterson.

Fitness and exercise should be a goal for every member of the Air National Guard. So whether readdressing old goals or getting started on new fitness goals, everyone can improve personal fitness routines.