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Health Promotion Month keeps base on track


Health Promotion month in January provides a great reminder of the different resources available on base to keep members of Team Tinker healthy and on track to reach their New Year’s resolutions.

Health Promotion Manager Laura Crowder, Exercise Physiologist Traci Fuhrman and Nutrition Program Manager Wendi Knowles work year-round to ensure Tinkerites are mission ready and enhance efforts to get positive health messaging out for the month of January. 

Messaging for each topic for Health Promotion Month, including nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and sleep, can be found on the 72nd Medical Group Facebook page.

What is the purpose of Health Promotion Month?

Wendi Knowles: “The Community Action Team each picks a month of the year to highlight the Helping Agencies and we picked January mostly because of New Year’s resolutions. We choose a month to be recognized in what we do and January corresponds with change. Prevention is our primary goal, and we’ll each take a week to focus on one of the four components: nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and sleep.

Tell me about what you will each be focusing on for the month:

Wendi Knowles: “I’m going to be pushing health as opposed to fad diets. For example with intermittent fasting, it’s not a bad horrible thing, but there’s no real science to support that the longevity of the weight loss is any different than just cutting out some calories, which is easier for most people. So, just continuing to push health-related (diets) rather than fad-related and there’s actually a lot of good information about how to determine if something is a fad. Reducing overall intake is as efficient in the long run as any fad diet.”

Laura Crowder: “We’ll focus on tobacco cessation during the third week of the month. There will be messages published on the [72nd Medical Group’s] Facebook with tips on how to talk to your doctor about quitting, information on how to set up a quit plan, and what to do when you’re feeling stressed. That week we will encourage people to view the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline website since they’re available to everyone in the community and they focus not only on smoking, but also on smokeless tobacco and vapor products. I will also have posts from “You Can Quit Too,” the [Department of Defense] campaign for people interested in quitting tobacco products, which is geared toward military members and what resources are available to them.”

Traci Furhman: “I’ll be promoting the classes we offer for active duty and civilians. A lot of people don’t know about our prenatal nutrition and fitness class. We’ll be working with marketing to better get the word out about what we do offer.”

What advice do you have to help people stick with their New Year’s resolutions?

Laura Crowder: “Small changes over time actually make a difference that’s going to be lasting. Don’t give up. A lot of times our New Year’s resolutions end on Feb. 1, if we even make it that far. So if something happens in life where you didn’t get your eight hours of sleep one day or you slipped up and had half a cigarette or something that doesn’t mean that it’s over. We have this all-or-nothing goal in our minds and, instead, we need to look at where we slipped up and what resources are available to help reach those goals.”

Wendi Knowles: “Look back on the positives. We focus solely on the negatives and not about the five days before that where we didn’t do any of those things. Letting that be our one downfall is where the challenge begins.”

Traci Furhman: “People have that mindset of ‘it’s all or nothing,’ and that’s how you fail. The thing with exercise is that you’ll start off really hardcore. If you do it really hard it’s going to hurt and you’re not going to want to do it again. Like with anything, living a healthy lifestyle is about making small changes and mastering those changes.”