New Mothers get ready for PT test

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Eboni Reams
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Grace Escalona, NCO In-Charge of client systems of 505th Communications Squadron, gave birth to a baby girl just six week ago. Now back to work, she has to prepare for her physical training test, after four months of inactivity, mandatory for all active duty personnel. What does she do to prepare? Maybe she isn't quite ready to run alongside the Airmen in her unit. Maybe she had complications that aren't quite healed. There is one option at Hurlburt Field that is proving results.

April Royster, Hurlburt Health and Wellness Center health and fitness specialist, has the answer. Royster instructs a post pregnancy physical training class for new mothers preparing for their first PT test after giving birth.

"I took on this class because I wanted to help people get back in shape," said Royster.

Three times a week, more than 20 female Airmen come together for high-intensity strength and cardio workouts.

"This class helps me to get back in shape, especially after a long time of not working out," said Escalona. "It's a big motivation!"

Royster has a unique work-outs designed specifically for the post pregnancy PT program.

"I focus on strength and cardio in one," said Royster. This builds their endurance as well as the efficiency of the heart with a base of push-ups and sit-ups for test preparation at high intervals."

All participants are at different levels upon entrance into the class. Royster's style fits to each individual.

"I don't do 'counts' for exercises," said Royster. "I do timed intervals so each individual-no matter their fitness level-can do what they physically can in the allotted time. As time goes on they mature in strength, I make sure they're doing their best."

The class has more than a 99 percent success rate for PT test passes, and also boasts health improvements.

"I've had a participant whose sciatica and severe knee pain that required medical shot treatments, then completely go away after strength training from the class," said Royster. "I absolutely love seeing the benefits in the ladies. I love seeing their faces when they get their final fit test results and see the facts of what physical activity can do."