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Physical fitness challenge supports wellness, readiness

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
  • I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- Fifteen staff and faculty assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee recently completed a 60-day fitness challenge to enhance their wellness and prepare for approaching U.S. Air Force physical fitness assessments.

“The objective was two-fold: to help participants kick start a complete and healthy wellness transformation and to help prepare our members physically for the PT test projected to resume in July,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Juan P Castro, the enlisted professional military education superintendent who coordinated the idea.

“Collectively, these 15 superstars lost a total of 20 percent of body fat, 76 pounds of body weight, and decreased their body mass index by 18 points,” said Castro. “All of this over 60 days, which is simply amazing!”

Castro said that each participant competed in weekly motivational challenges, which varied in scope. It challenged them in a wide range of activities that encompassed various physical exercises, miles completed, and healthy eating. It also required Airmen to dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to fitness while adhering to healthy eating habits. A combination of which proved to be very effective. The challenge began on February 1 and concluded on April 1.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Tim Kinnan earned recognition as the challenge’s top competitor. He lost 27 pounds, decreased his body fat by 4.9 percent, and improved his body mass index by 3.24 points.

“I’d let my fitness slide a bit due to the quarantine environment and had put on a few pounds,” said Kinnan. “So I wanted to get back in shape. The challenge seemed like a great way to do that.”

The U.S. Air Force delayed fitness assessment testing early last year due to health and safety guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. Tests resume on July 1, and “due dates will primarily depend on the date and score of the last official test,” officials said.

(Senior Master Sgt. Juan P. Castro contributed to this article.)