Yokota Air Base, Japan --
As the morning sun rises over Yokota Air Base, a group of people welcome the day and each other with comradery, smiles and sweat as part of their healthy habit.
Approximately 115 participants gather every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Yokota’s High School track to take part in the 374th Health Promotion Flight’s Warrior Run fitness program.
The Warrior Run workout lasts one hour and is split in two areas of focus: strength and endurance. The exercises vary each day but the structure remains the same.
During the strength portion of the workout, the exercises target the whole body from legs and core to chest and arms. The endurance portion is designed to help improve peoples speed, duration and running efficiency through coaching and a mix of sprint and timed running workouts.
“I started because I wanted to run faster,” said Staff Sgt. Jacqueline M. Bongard, 374th Contracting Squadron base support contracting specialist. “But it’s been helping me with my overall fitness, I can run faster and my push-ups and sit-ups are getting easier.”
According to Brandon Waller, 374th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Health Promotion Flight director, the last Warrior Run yielded on average a 2.5 inch waistline reduction, 11 more pushups, 8 more sit-ups and a 2 minute decrease on the 1.5 mile run.
The Warrior Run was started to specifically target and improve Air Force PT test scores, but has now adopted a broader focus of building a strong base community by developing healthy habits.
“Anyone that can get on base is welcome to participate,” said Waller. “We try our best to make it an option for any and every one to participate. Everything is self-paced and can be modified to fit the participant’s needs.”
Each Warrior Run exercise has a hand full of coaches who are there to motivate and help people who may be having trouble with how they perform their exercises.
“We are here to help people get past that hump that might be preventing them from getting that better stride in their run or better body placement to get those extra push-ups,” said Staff Sgt. Sydney J. Vidaurri, 374th Medical Group physical therapist and Warrior Run coach. “That’s really what we coaches are here for, to help people excel and perform exercises better.”
Although each individual has their own personal fitness goals, many of the like-minded individuals who participate in the Warrior Run have found benefits from working out in a group setting.
“I like the group workouts just because it keeps my motivation going,” said Capt. Benjamin H. Garman 374th Aerospace Medicine Squadron clinical nurse. “I can see everyone out here and say to myself if they can do it then I can do it too.”
The Warrior Run is free and scheduled for every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 a.m. at the High School track and at 1 p.m. at the Samurai Fitness track and will continue through June 16.
More information on the program can be found through the Health Promotion Facebook page which can be accessed on the new Yokota Connect App.