How do you fuel your fitness?

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Mark Dillon
  • 86th Airlift Wing commander
Are you fit to fight? As Airmen we've been asking ourselves that
question for several years now and as we prepare to make changes to our
physical fitness testing starting July 2010, it's even more important that
we answer this question honestly. As we focus on fitness during the month
of now is also a good time to focus on fueling our fitness.

March is designated as Air Force Nutrition Month and a key part of
fitness is the fuel we put in our bodies. It's as simple as that. Consider
what kind of oil or fuel you put in your car and how it changes the
performance of your engine. The same concept can be applied to nutrition and
fitness. The better the "fuel" or food you provide to your body's engine,
the better you will perform.

As our professionals at the Health and Wellness Center remind us -
if you're wearing a uniform, you're an athlete. And all athletes benefit
from proper nutrition in improving their athletic performance.

When talking about nutrition, however, I'm not mandating our Airmen
to go on a diet or count calories - but simply reminding our Airmen to make
smart decisions on how to make the most of the calories you consume. Yes,
there is a right number of calories you should eat each day. That number
depends on your age, activity level, your fitness goals and your metabolism.
However, what is more important is ensuring you're getting the most
nutritionally rich foods you can when you're consuming those calories. You
can count all you want, but if you're not adding nutrient dense foods to
your diet, you're essentially giving your body sub-standard "fuel" to
perform. Aim for variety amongst the major food groups; pick those items
that are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients low in

As we continue to enjoy the added daylight hours in March, the sun
peaking through the clouds more often, and the increase in temperatures - I
know we will see an increase in you and your family's activity levels
throughout the Kaiserslautern Military Community. That's a great trend. In
order to be fit to fight you need to properly fuel the fight. So let's all
use the month of March to remind us the important role nutrition plays in
the fitness equation. Give your body the right type of fuel and you'll see
the benefit to performance. See you out and about the KMC!