Tag Archives: health

Physical therapy: Changing my outlook

By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.
Air Force Social Media

Have you heard of Airman Snuffy? Airman Snuffy is an Airman who’s used as the example for almost everything in the Air Force. Let’s say Airman Snuffy has an injury, but doesn’t want to get medical treatment because of the misnomer that “you’ll get kicked out of the Air Force if you’re broken.”

What Airman Snuffy didn’t know was letting an injury go untreated can cause greater medical issues in the future. Every Airman has the right to receive quality medical and dental care at your their military treatment facility.

I was just like Airman Snuffy at one point in my career. I was a young, energetic and enthusiastic Airman full of youth and optimism about my career and life in general. All of which are good, but I wasn’t thinking about my health.

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Not quitting anytime soon

By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.
Air Force Social Media Team

Practice? Check. Uniform? Check. Family, friends and supporters in the stands? Check. Oh wait, I’m not competing. I’m at Marine Corps Base Quantico for the Department of Defense Warrior Games.

Being a former athlete myself I felt the energy and competitiveness but also the preparation and skill needed to execute at a high level just like you would for battle. Well, these warriors have done that throughout the Warrior Games.

It’s often said during intramural Air Force sports that there is no rank on the field or on the court in the art of competition. I personally think that is said because it allows you to relax and just have fun and compete. Throughout my interactions with the Air Force Wounded Warrior Team, I couldn’t distinguish if I was speaking with a captain, chief master sergeant or airman basic.

One thing I can say as a former high school athlete and a non-commissioned officer in the world’s greatest Air Force is that these athletes move as one despite their challenges. They have to overcome anxiety or find the physical strength to endure a now rigorous activity that beforehand seemed as though it was second nature.

These warriors help paint a beautiful, harmonious picture of what it means to be a United States Airman and uphold the core values in and out of uniform.

Overcoming and avoiding running injuries

By Bill Goins
Kunsan Air Base Health Promotion Program

Readiness in the military is critical to success. Part of being “ready” is being as fit as possible at all times. We never know when we may have to call on our physical fitness to support contingency operations around the world.

One of the most popular ways to improve and maintain our fitness levels is through running. While injuries can occur during all activities, running carries with a few common injuries that must be dealt with appropriately. I’ve compiled a few strategies to help someone overcome common running injuries so they can continue to strive toward their fitness goals.

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Sports nutrition

By Senior Airman Catherine S. Scholar
59th Medical Wing

140311-F-DB561-006_cropWhat do Muhammad Ali, Yani Tseng and other athletes have in common? They exert more energy than the average person, and their physiques need extra nutrients to recover from their strenuous activities. These nutrients include carbs, healthy fats and proteins. A combination of all three nutrients provides balance and success to an athlete’s physical fitness goals. Protein is a key component of good nutrition, but how much do we need in our diets?

Some people suggest stocking up on protein shakes and bars while others think large portions of eggs are the key to becoming a lean mean fighting machine. However, have you ever thought of what’s really happening with all that protein in your body? Some of the symptoms related to protein overconsumption include sudden urges to use the restroom, intestinal irritation, difficulty losing weight (excess protein not used converts into fat), and increased thirst. Dehydration and seizures have also been linked to excess protein intake. Inadequate water and foods high in animal protein are usually high in saturated fat, which promotes an increase in bad cholesterol and places people at risk for heart disease. So again I raise the question: how much protein do our bodies truly need?

Here are the facts about proper protein consumption:

  • Adult male athletes need between 84 and 119 grams of protein each day, while adult female athletes need about 66 to 94 grams of protein daily.
  • Sedentary adult males need about 56 grams of protein each day, while sedentary adult females need only about 46 grams of protein daily.

Protein plays a significant role in an athlete’s nutrition as the nutrients help renovate and support muscle tissue growth. Protein contributes about 10 percent of the overall energy an athlete’s body uses. The remaining energy is comprised of carbohydrates and fat. Athletes who consume the proper ratios of nutrients use fewer proteins for energy. Protein can aid an athlete’s efforts to attaining lean body mass. To preserve muscle, athletes need to make sure they are also meeting their body’s needs for carbohydrates and fat – not just protein.

A protein shake or other supplement may not be necessary. There are natural sources of proteins, carbs and fats most people don’t take into account like:

  • High natural proteins: Cheeses, cereal, beef, bacon, beans (lima, kidney, garbanzo), eggs, ice cream, milk (also milk products), lamb, lentils, nuts, sardines and peanut butter.
  • Natural carbs: Milk, beans and legumes, bread, crackers, cereals, pasta and rice.
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn, peas, fruits and fruit juices.
  • Healthy natural fats: Avocados, olive oil, nuts and fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids).

If you plan to add supplements into your diet, be safe how you consume them and do your research! For more information about dietary supplements, visit is the Human Performance Resource Center.

Left behind

By Senior Airman Alexandria Mosness
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

A 4-year old girl with shoulder-length, light-brown hair and big brown eyes sat on the edge of the countertop with her legs dangling over the side, swinging back and forth. A strong man three times her size with hardworking hands touched her gently, and looked at her with tears streaming down his weathered face. “Mommy is not coming back. Mommy is in heaven with Grandpa,” he told her as his voice cracked. The brave little girl reached her tiny hand up to his sad face and wiped away his tears, as she said, “Don’t worry Daddy, it will be okay.”

But it was not okay; her mother, my aunt, had committed suicide only days earlier.Suicide prevention

Everyone has heard about suicide, but many people may not think it will affect them. But I guarantee if you ask around, it hits closer to home than you might think.

Yet, we still believe it won’t be someone we love. I didn’t think I would ever hear the news that my aunt Maria, who was only in her mid-30s, would take her own life.

I was a freshman in high school when I turned around at lunch one day with a smile still fresh on my face from a joke I overhead, when I saw my father’s pain-stricken face. I knew right then something was very wrong.

From then on the moments are a blur. When I look back, all I sense is a heavy dread and pain, a pain that tears deeply each time I look at my little cousin Olivia. Although Maria committed suicide about 8 years ago, it still breaks my heart to think about the life she missed out on.

She, like many people who commit suicide, dealt with depression. The one thing I wish I could have shown her was her funeral and all the people who sat in the pews crying. I wish she would have been able to see her 4-year-old daughter walk down the aisle of the big church, side-by-side with the coffin, and lay a rose on top of her mother’s lifeless body. I wish she would have felt the love of those who cared for her dearly, and those that might have been able to pull her off of that edge.

But my wishes are just that… wishes.

What I don’t want is for you to be the one wishing. Once a loved one takes his or her life, we have no control. We are the survivors, and we are the ones who must keep going.

From the time I began high school and throughout my military career, I have been inundated with computer-based training modules, classes and countless Airmen days on the topic of suicide.

But even with all of this knowledge and available resources, the Air Force battles this issue. Some might not think it can happen to them or someone they know,

So, what can we do to help those in need?

Many may think it is cliché, but I always smile at everyone. I always think especially since I am a survivor, what if that one act brings them back. Maybe it is not that simple, but kindness does go a long way.

We are always told to be good wingmen. This goes hand-in-hand with improving our resiliency. When you see your co-worker down or acting different, pull him or her aside. See what is wrong. A lot of times, all people need is someone to talk to.

If someone comes and tells you of a plan to hurt him or herself, don’t laugh it off. The person is reaching out to you. Listen and then help find the assistance he or she may need.

Social media is huge these days. We may take what our friends say online as a joke or not take them seriously, but if you start noticing a trend or something that makes you raise your eyebrows, do something about it. Heck, it might not be anything, but how would you feel if you found out later that person had harmed him or herselves? You truly can save lives.

There will always be challenges in this world, but if we all take that extra step and treat people like valued human-beings, maybe we can stop losing our Air Force family to this dreadful thing.

I know that if we had seen the warning signs, my little cousin would not be walking around on Easter grasping a picture of her mother because she missed her, but instead holding her hand and celebrating the joyous moments in life.

Photo: (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)