VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
With the stressors commonly associated with military service weighing on Airmen and their families, remaining physically fit is an important component to maintaining essential resiliency.
Through this mentality, Vandenberg kicked-off the annual Pair 2 Win competition, here, Jan. 20. Participants competed in groups of two and attempted to lose body fat while improving their overall health in 12 weeks.
“Pair 2 Win is a lifestyle modification program,” said Dale Collins, 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron health promotions coordinator. “The goal of the program is to improve the overall health of the individuals by helping them make changes in their nutritional intake, exercise adherence, and daily habits. Many individuals are not tracking their fruit, vegetable and water intake per day, along with how often they exercise, when evaluating their overall health. These factors play a large role in their long term health and we can see the effects of deficiencies in these areas when we look at their blood work levels.”
The competition was available to everyone on Vandenberg – Active Duty, dependents, civilians and retirees. A group of 65 individuals, aging from 18 to 80, finished the program this year.
“We have had this program on Vandenberg in various forms for several years,” said Collins. “We have worked every year to make improvements to the program so that the participants can continue to learn and be motivated to make positive changes to their lives. The concept of people competing in pairs has helped the individuals stay motivated and accountable to more than just health promotions,” said Collins. “Having a partner in any endeavor helps lessen the challenges and improve the willingness to continue to work towards the goal.”
The 12 week long program aims to instill habits healthier lifestyle changes that will stay with the individual long term.
“It takes about 12 weeks to make a habit,” said Melinda Reed, 30th Medical Group health promotion manager. “The program makes people more aware of basic, every day things that you can do to make your life better for yourself. There are no points for the weight loss, it’s based mainly on changing your habits to make them healthier.”
The program not only focused on eating and exercise habits, but also the importance of mental health.
“We focus on mental health to promote behavioral changes – motivation and goal setting,” said Reed. “Training people to think differently about their overall health, and changing their habits for a healthier lifestyle.”
The program consisted of different group classes such as nutrition, yoga, high intensity training and a cycling class. A physical trainer also observed fitness classes to make sure participants had proper form while exercising, promoting an overall healthy behavior change.
“There are a huge number of diet programs on the market that focus on weight loss, but they do not look at how healthy you are as an individual,” said Collins. “The overarching goal of our program is to help you become as healthy as possible. For many individuals, this will also assist you with weight loss. Your health – as determined by bloodwork, body fat percentage and daily habits, not the number on the scale – is the most important factor in the quality of your life.”