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Health promotion gets Airmen on right track

Ray Torres, 47th Medical Operations Squadron health promotion coordinator and exercise physiologist, sets up equipment for a gait analysis at Laughlin Air Force Base, Jan. 31, 2018. A gait analysis is used to measure a patient’s body behavior while running in a controlled environment.

Ray Torres, 47th Medical Operations Squadron health promotion coordinator and exercise physiologist, sets up equipment for a gait analysis at Laughlin Air Force Base, Jan. 31, 2018. A gait analysis is used to measure a patient’s body behavior while running in a controlled environment.

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

As the captain keeps up with the constant movement of a treadmill’s run belt, two pairs of eyes watch his steady stride. An expert in analyzing runners’ movement and a camera with software designed to measure the slightest change in movement.

The 47th Medical Operations Squadron health promotion program offers military members a way to enhance the 47th Flying Training Wing force readiness and supporting the Laughlin’s “Fit to Fight” culture.

Ray Torres, 47th MDOS health promotion coordinator and exercise physiologist, promotes services that function around four core areas: fitness, nutrition, health education and community collaborations. Each core area has specific programs that support that core area’s mission.

“Under the fitness core area, supporting the Air Force fitness program is HP’s number one priority,” Torres said.

Torres stresses the importance of getting one-on-one guidance to achieve better fitness performance.

“HP goals are to increase prevalence of healthy weight among Airmen, increase physical activity among Airmen, increase community involvement of HP initiatives and decrease tobacco use across the base,” Torres said.

The HP staff utilizes collective data from surveys like the Military Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool to target those squadrons who need additional assistance with healthy eating lifestyle habits.

“Several programs such as Go for Green have been implemented not just at Laughlin but [the] entire Air Force to help bring awareness [to] the foods Airmen should be consuming and limiting foods not as healthy,” Torres said.

Health promotion hosts multiple community involvement events that include the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon in October, and the Amazing Wellness Race in March.

“[Community evolvement] is important because Airmen get to see other aspects of our community, not just the base, but also our local town,” Torres said. “As well as Del Rio, and witness all the great things that are available to do in our community.”

Capt. James Taggart, 47th Operations Support Squadron executive officer, takes full advantage of the services Health Promotion offers.

“[Health promotion] has given me a better view on what I’m doing,” Taggart said. “I see results from what I’m doing, which is great mentally but a good way to confirm that I’m doing the right things.”

Taggart mentions Airmen don’t need to be in danger of being overweight to utilize the services. They could be looking to gain knowledge on how to avoid getting injured.

“I recommend the gait analysis for just about anybody, it’ll reduce your chance for [injuries],” Taggart said. “It helps people get the right shoes, every person requires a different type of shoe. If you’re having trouble running, or you’re having some pain, you can prevent a stress injury.”

The health promotion staff commits itself to Airmen at Laughlin. There are many services being offered to help Airmen meet their personal fitness goals. Health promotion has the guidance and expertise to maximize force readiness and improve the overall health of the Airmen at Laughlin.

For more information on health promotion’s services, call Ray Torres at 830-298-6315.