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MCAS Yuma stays Semper Fit

By Lance Cpl. Reba James | | June 18, 2013

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Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s Semper Fit health promotions program has a new coordinator, Jennifer Norton, who is organizing new events, trainings and workshops. The streamlined program is designed to address the most prevalent health issues that are detrimental to a Marine’s ability to carry out a mission, which includes physical activity, tobacco use prevention/cessation, weight management and nutrition.

“We are going to be offering a lot of classes with lots of good information,” said Norton. “We will also be working with the commands to provide them with command specific training. It could be injury prevention or nutrition. It depends on the command’s issues and what they would like to improve upon.”

Semper Fit was designed to prevent negative impacts of an unhealthy lifestyle and to make programs available to actively encourage people to discover, achieve and maintain an optimum state of wellness. Semper Fit also offers courses covering sexual health and responsibility, injury prevention and chronic disease prevention.

The Semper Fit programs for health promotions and fitness are open to active duty Marines and sailors, as well as their spouses and family members.

Unhealthy lifestyles are a major cause of illness and/or death, an enormous burden to society, and can create a negative impact on our military’s readiness. Health and fitness programs, like Semper Fit, help to both recognize and prevent chronic illness to help individuals change unhealthy behaviors.

“Working out can be a Marines favorite part of the day, but if your personal trainer tells you to adjust your diet for your workouts, that’s when the Semper Fit health promotions program comes in,” said Rick Pierce, Semper Fit Fitness program coordinator at MCAS Yuma.

For example, included in the program are microwave cooking classes, which are designed specifically for Marines and sailors living in the barracks. It can be difficult to prepare healthy meals when all you have is a microwave in the barracks, so the class is designed to think outside the box and promote a healthy diet.

Another tool offered by the health promotions program is the micro fit assessment, which is a fitness tool that calculates aerobic fitness, body fat, blood pressure, flexibility and strength.

“It takes maybe 30-to-45 minutes to complete and after we’re done, we discuss the baseline where the individual is at, discuss ways to improve that, and if they’re looking at a certain training program, we help them accomplish that,” said Norton.

Getting a baseline reading done is a good way to begin a workout regiment with personal trainers available at the station gym.

“The station gym offers personal training free to active duty service members. Personal trainers are on staff all day to show how to use the equipment and start those who want it, on a training plan”, said Pierce. “Trainers work one-on-one with individuals to help develop goals and see the results.”

Along with providing personal trainers, the Semper Fit program emphasizes all aspects of health and lifestyle behaviors, since most are interrelated. The Semper Fit programs try to provide support, awareness and educational campaigns in other related areas of health.

Awareness and educational campaigns for topics such as alcohol and drug use, suicide prevention, mental health and stress management are also provided.

“This is kind of a good hub; they come here and they just kind of want to see where they’re at and then we can give them information on what they want,” said Norton. “We can also connect them with a trainer if they’re looking at getting to the next level and getting into the gym and using the programs over there.”

Norton pointed out that the Semper Fit program is an easy way to point individuals in the right direction and connect with the other programs available at MCAS Yuma, especially if there are underlying issues like tobacco, alcohol or other dependencies.

The Semper Fit program offers many tools to get individuals on the right track to a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier, see improvement in your physique, or quit unhealthy lifestyle choices, the Semper Fit program will set you up with the right people and tools.

To inquire about the Semper Fit Health Promotion program, located at the community center building 1093, call 928-269-6642.

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