New options available for BE WELL course

by Cesar Alvarez
86th Aerospace Medicine Squadron exercise physiologist

Changes are coming for those members who fail their official physical fitness test beginning Sept. 1.

Air Force Medical Operations has reviewed the current Balanced Eating, Workout Effectively, Live Long program and adjusted the course to make it more focused and relevant. Currently, members who score an “unsatisfactory” on their PFT are required per Air Force Instruction 36-2905 to attend a three-hour BE WELL course, which focuses on nutrition, exercise and behavior modification.

After a review of this process, it was noted that mandatory attendance was less effective in driving lifestyle changes. Members attending these classes had a wide variety of needs.

For example, someone could have scored an 88 on their PFT and failed the push-up portion, so their needs should be mainly focused on strength training. Alternatively, someone else who scores a 56.4 on the run, 10 points on push-ups, and 10 points on sit-ups, but had a 42-inch waist would require a more nutrition based approach.

When the changes are implemented, members and their commander will have to choose an option that will improve their fitness and nutritional needs.

Option 1: Complete the virtual BE WELL course online via Advanced Distributed Learning Service. This option is ideal for geographically-separated units or for those members with a high operations tempo who cannot leave the work station but still need assistance.

Option 2: Enroll in the Healthy Weight Program at the health and wellness center. This option is for those members struggling to meet the abdominal circumference, body mass index or percent body fat required to pass the PFT.

Option 3: Attend Strength Training Intervention. This class will focus on strength training designed to increase a member’s ability to improve the push-up and sit-up portions of the PFT.

Option 4: Attend the Cardiovascular Intervention Program. This class will focus on running mechanics, breathing, tempo training, Fartlek training, and assist those members struggling with the 1.5 mile run or 1 mile walk.

Option 5: Utilize the military OneSource personal health coach. This is ideal for geographically-separated units or members who would like the one-on-one attention. Members will have access to several online modules (including post-pregnancy) and weekly telephone access with a health coach for one full year.

Commanders can direct members to attend one or more interventions, depending on the perceived needs of the member.

“This is an excellent use of resources for commanders and adds variety for military members,” said Lt. Col. Peggy Ann Milam, 86th AMDS HAWC flight commander.

Members who are currently injured can schedule an appointment with the exercise physiologist for a detailed exercise prescription or to conduct a functional movement screening.

The HAWC also provides a deep water running class from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Ramstein Aquatics Center for members on profile.

For more information, email the HAWC at or call 480-HAWC (4292).