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Fitness Center reopens, keeping Airmen fit to fight

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Samantha Acevedo, 92nd Force Support Squadron fitness assessment cell manager, does a workout in the Fairchild Air Force Base fitness center, June 29, 2020. Physical fitness is important for all Airmen, especially with upcoming physical fitness tests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Samantha Acevedo, 92nd Force Support Squadron fitness assessment cell manager, does a workout in the Fairchild Air Force Base fitness center, June 29, 2020. Physical fitness is important for all Airmen, especially with upcoming physical fitness tests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

Team Fairchild’s Fitness Center reopened its doors to Airmen, following its temporary close, on June 22 as part of the latest measures enacted in Health Protection Condition Bravo +.

 

With Air Force physical fitness tests set to resume in October 2020, the gym reopening provides Airmen the opportunity to improve their physical fitness and prepare for their upcoming tests, while also maintaining their mental and physical resilience.

 

“At-home workouts are a little more difficult for most people, you can only do body-weight exercises for so long,” said William Saultes, 92nd Operation Medical Readiness Squadron human and health performance coordinator. “If people want to get stronger and reduce injuries, having a good strength and conditioning program is very vital.”

 

Physical Fitness Testing is expected to return with new standards, including the discontinuation of abdominal circumference, adhering to physical distancing standards, utilizing proper protective equipment and proper sanitization of the fitness area.

 

“All policies and procedures should reinforce physical distancing and use of personal protective equipment,” said Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly, U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services in a previous article. “Airmen remain our top priority, and we will ensure their health and safety as we maintain our force readiness posture.”

 

Maintaining physical fitness is essential for not only physical health, but also for managing mental wellness and resiliency in order to stay fit to fight.

 

“There’s so much research out there which shows that mental health is improved with physical fitness,” Saultes said. “Resiliency is important as well, having a good workout, completing it, and working hard to achieve your goals helps strengthen physical and mental resiliency.”

 

Reopening the gym provides Airmen with the opportunity to maintain their physical fitness and stay ready to perform the Rapid Global Mobility mission.

 

“When we’re talking about fit to fight, we’re talking about getting to optimal performance and mitigating injury, for both physical performance and job performance,” Saultes said. “Getting into the gym allows Airmen to maintain that normalcy and develop a strong conditioning program.”

 

The fitness center is open between 5 - 8 a.m. and from 4 - 7 p.m., with limitations to only active duty, guard, and reserve common access card identification holders.