Fight to stay fit

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Larsen
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Physical fitness is one of the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness, alongside mental, social and spiritual health. These pillars are core to helping Airmen build resilience, fostering a ready and capable Air Force. Physical fitness is one of the most measurable aspects of these pillars.

Every Airman is responsible for their own fitness, making sure they meet cardiovascular, strength and endurance standards, and Airmen at Laughlin train to meet those standards in many ways. Many Airmen train at the Losano Fitness Center, pushing themselves to meet the Air Force fitness standards.

“We focus on fitness so much because Airmen need to be mission-ready,” said Cameron Galindo, 47th Force Support Squadron (FSS) lead recreational assistant. “Ready to fight, in shape and ready to do their job if needed, and ready to do their part of the mission.”

While preparing for fitness examinations or deployments may be the primary focus for many Airmen, finding enjoyment from exercise is also a large motivator.

“When you think of fitness and exercise, most members think of the fitness center and coming in and using the traditional cardio equipment treadmill, elliptical and using weight machines or free weights,” Galindo said. “Some of the more unconventional ways to stay in shape is using our Total Resistance Exercise Box and battle rig we have next to the track. As silly as it may seem, swimming can also be considered an unconventional way to stay in shape because not many people think of using our swimming pool for fitness. We also have people who play sports like basketball, racquetball, pickleball and volleyball.”

Whether lifting weights with friends, playing pick-up basketball, volleyball or pickleball, or training upper body strength on the American Ninja Warrior like battle rig, Airmen continue to find ways to make exercise more enjoyable

“Our intramural sports are important to have a healthy, assorted and good range of things to offer,” said Nathan Gutierez, 47th FSS supervisory sports specialist. “Not everyone plays certain sports, but the more we have to offer, the more it makes them want to stay active.”

Exercising with comrades is an excellent way to keep in shape, but some Airmen want a more structured approach to fitness.

“We have some excellent fitness classes here,” said Galindo. “We have yoga, Zumba, we have a cardio mix, and we have spin bike classes that take place upstairs.”

These workouts give attendees measured goals to meet, with a trainer to help keep them accountable to their goals and the training regime.

As a training base, Laughlin pilots need to stay fit. This is where the Comprehensive Readiness for Aircrew Flying Training (CRAFT) program comes in.

“The CRAFT program focuses on different facets of fitness from ​​nutrition to strength training to mental health support,” said Mr. Rey Torres, 47th FSS health promotions coordinator. “You need to have a healthy mind to have a healthy body, and need to be motivated to stay fit.”

Maintaining fitness is essential for our pilots in training, during flight the body experiences stresses that are far beyond what it would normally experience on the ground. The CRAFT program does analysis of what a pilot needs to do in order to stay fit and determines if just general information is needed or a custom plan is needed for fitness.

With a healthy body and mind, Laughlin Air Force Base will continue to produce combat-ready Airmen and the best pilots in the world.