Health Promotion Office offers Airman performance upgrades

  • Published
  • By By Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey
Airmen are required to maintain a standard of fitness, yet many of them may not realize there is a free service built to help them achieve fitness goals.

The Health Promotion Office was established to assist Airmen not only maintain fitness standards, but to exceed performance expectations.

“We set up body composition assessments and host running clinics,” said Will Saultes, 92nd Aerospace Medical Squadron HPO coordinator. “These help people develop a superior running technique coupled with a comprehensive training plan to improve performance.”

The HPO staff can help establish an ideal balance of exercise and eating habits by working with their physical training and diet specialists.

“Fueling your body with proper nutrients is critical to performing at your highest level,” said Alyson Kresser, 92nd AMDS HPO dietician. “Improper nutrition can be detrimental to performance on the job, in fitness and your overall well-being, especially if compounded with unmanaged stress and inadequate sleep.”

Health promotion is equipped to address a lack or loss of energy, stress and work quality problems with Airmen.

“How you are at your job, at home, socially and sexually is all connected to how you manage your body and habits,” Saultes said. “That is what we help people here with. It’s incredibly important in determining how to be at your best.”

The HPO offers free healthy cooking classes, tobacco cessation courses and more to get Airmen living healthy.

“We’re a helping service that offers a lot of things to help put you ahead of the game,” Saultes said. “We are often approached by Airmen who have failed a PT test and are reactive to the issues they face. We want people to be proactive and let us help them before things like that happen.”

Saultes wants to work with Airmen to create a culture of healthy change.

“People will sit in front of a TV or video game while eating pizza after work,” Saultes said. “You could workout everyday but still gain weight by spending all your free time being unhealthy.”

The Health Promotion team goes beyond offering services at its office and actively goes out to consult with base leadership and Airmen about healthy lifestyles directly.

“Bad habits create a poor culture,” Saultes said. “We’re going out and working with Airmen on location to help them create an atmosphere of positive influence. We give them healthier choices at work and encourage them to team up and challenge each other to exceed workout goals.”

It’s never too late to improve performance with the HPO.

“The HPO is our right hand man,” said Senior Airman Stone Williams, 92nd Force Support Squadron fitness center journeyman. “I met an Airman who had failed his PT test twice and was feeling hopeless about it, but he scored a 90 on his next test after working with the team at the HPO. It felt great to see somebody become physically confident again.”

The combination of physical training assistance, body composition assessments, diet counseling, stress relief help and lifestyle counseling equips the HPO to help anyone seeking greater physical ability and healthier living education.

“We’re a performance group,” Saultes said. “We want to work with you and help you achieve your highest performance level.”

The HPO office is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (509) 247-5590.