Creating healthy force, healthy families

Col. Kory Cornum
435th Medical Squadron commander

***image1***I have just returned from meeting with more than 3,000 Department of Defense health care leaders. Rarely will the under secretary of health affairs, U.S. surgeon general and all three service surgeon generals agree on any topic. However, all five of these senior leaders were singing the same tune – be “Fit for Life.”

We need a healthy force and want healthy families. Each and every one of us: families, civilians, Germans, Americans, active duty and retirees need to be “Fit for Life” so we can enjoy life for years to come.

Leading healthy lives affects more than just ourselves. Our children are hugely influenced by our behaviors. Children need our help, not only with school work, but they need fitness guidance and healthy role models.

More than 20 percent of American children are now obese. These poor 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds are developing hypertension, diabetes and heart disease just because we are allowing them to become obese. These health problems used to be diseases only of the elderly.

The steps to fitness and good health are simple, but they don’t come in a pill. All of us have to do our part.

The four “biggies” are: don’t smoke, eat healthy food in adequate, not overabundant amounts, exercise on a regular basis and avoid risky behaviors. Not smoking is self explanatory. Smoking is the single most preventable cause of poor health. If you do smoke, please get help to stop. Eating the right amount of “good for you” foods is also pretty simple – we just have to do it. Not having junk food around the office, car and house will make a huge difference.

Any form of exercise is good, sitting in front of the TV or computer is bad. Ramstein Airmen should use the fitness Web sites or as ways to track their workouts and progress. But remember, logging exercise doesn’t really matter; actually exercising is what is important. Lastly, avoid risky behaviors like binge drinking, driving too fast and using illegal drugs.

Don’t wait until it is too late – when you’ve already developed bad health. Do something today that will make a difference in your and your family’s lives. Become “Fit for Life” – be a part of our healthy force, have a healthy family and enjoy your life and your good health for years to come.