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Osan celebrates 'Women of Steel'

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members from the 51st Medical Group were at the Osan Fitness Center on Saturday as part of Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Strohmeyer)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members from the 51st Medical Group were at the Osan Fitness Center on Saturday as part of Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Strohmeyer)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- As part of the Women's History Month celebration, the fitness center lobby was transformed into a fitness and health exposition Saturday, dubbed "Women of Steel." The event featured several agencies from the 51st Medical Group. 

The agencies provided helpful information on topics such as blood pressure and sugar level screening, proper diet, sexually transmitted diseases, proper lifting techniques and even how to pick out the right running shoes. It was everything a person needed to live a more active, healthy lifestyle. 

If all of this information wasn't inspiring, there were also several displays set up honoring prominent female athletes like Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Mia Hamm. 

Members from the Health and Wellness Center brought out all their toys. They had several displays set up showing the benefits of a proper diet, effects of cholesterol and stress, and, alarmingly, what manufacturers put in food. People could also test their knowledge of food properties with a game of "Jeopardy." 

If the information they handed out didn't convince anyone to look into a diet change, the samples of fat found in popular food items could do the trick. The vials of simulated fat might have been enough to make people pass on the drive-thru. There was also the "fat suit," a glob of yellow, unattractive silicone strapped to suspenders that represented what carrying an extra 20 pounds of body weight would feel like. There are 3500 calories in each pound of fat, said Tech Sgt. Nicanor Gomez, HAWC NCO in charge. All of the information from the HAWC should keep people from storing those 70,000 excess calories and carrying around their own "fat suit." 

Sometimes a proper diet isn't enough. There are things the body needs to perform at peak levels that can be attained through the use of vitamins and supplements. Maj. Mary Brookins, 51st Medical Group, was manning the vitamin and supplements booth and had plenty of expert advice to share. 

"Before you start taking vitamins, you have to make sure you are eating properly. There are other reasons to take a vitamin or supplement such as high blood sugar or blood pressure." said Major Brookins. "Before you take any vitamins, you need as much information as possible, so you should have a complete health assessment done prior to taking them." 

Another common problem is people not drinking enough water. Major Brookins offered this tip to make sure you are drinking enough: "On average, a person should drink approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight." 

There was also a booth to assist Team Osan on how to select the proper running shoe, which is vital to avoiding injury. Staff Sgt. Tammy Butler, 51st Medical Operations Squadron was on hand to provide information and assist in picking out the best shoe for your particular foot. 

"Before you buy a shoe, you need to determine what type of foot you have," said Sergeant Butler. There were charts available that listed the best shoes for pronation, supination or if you run flat-footed. Sergeant Butler gave a simple trick for determining what type you are. 

"All you need to do is put a paper towel on the ground, wet your foot and walk on it. You match the print you leave a chart provided we had on display and that gave you your foot type," she said. You can also pay attention to the wear patterns on your old shoes," she said. 

In addition to people not having the knowledge base, the fashion world can get in the way of selecting the best shoe for yourself. 

"Most people buy their running shoes because they think they are cute," Sergeant Butler said. Besides not changing running shoes out enough, Sergeant Butler offered some lesser-known advice. 

"Make sure you try on shoes at the end of the day, after you've been standing a lot. It is at this point that your foot is the widest," she said. 

One of the busiest areas was the massage booth where Gary Brauer was performing his trade for free for some tense fitness center patrons. Even if people eat well and exercise frequently, a massage can help prepare or recover from athletic activity, or even reduce stress. There are different types of massages for different scenarios. 

"If a client is getting ready to do an athletic activity, or hasn't had a massage before, I go slowly and try to warm the muscles up," said Mr. Brauer. After training, or some type of athletic activity, the techniques change. 

"On post activity, I use longer, intentional strokes to drain all of the toxins out of the muscles," he said. 

Whether the motivation is to improve a FitTest score, looks in a swimsuit or just improving life and health overall, one thing everyone has in common is being warriors who are "Ready to Fight Tonight!"