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Army families groove way to good health

Aerobic-thon stresses fitness components

POSTED: January 27, 2013 6:00 p.m.
Photo by Emily C. Harrison/

Aerobic-thon participants have fun while hula-hooping for health during Fort Stewart’s Jan. 12 fitness event.

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Fort Stewart soldiers, spouses and family members worked up a sweat during a recent four-hour fitness challenge promoting health and wellness. The event drew about 100 people, all of whom exercised simultaneously throughout the day.
The Aerobic-thon and Wellness Fair at Newman Fitness Center Gymnasium featured a full schedule of aerobic events and informative wellness tables. Attendees were challenged to participate in all the aerobic exercises. Short water and rest breaks were given in between exercises and throughout the morning.
Aerobic-thons typically are held twice a year — once at the beginning of the year while fitness still is on the minds of many resolution makers and in the summer, according to Devin Bradley, Newman Fitness Center facility manager and Aerobic-thon coordinator.
“These Aerobic-thons always include a wellness fair and stress the five components of fitness: aerobics, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition,” she said.
The events are designed to educate the Army community on the various types of aerobic fitness available so soldiers and their family members can find activities that best suit them, she added.
As upbeat music thumped in the background, participants took part in hula-hoop aerobics, belly dancing, line dancing, Zumba, kickboxing, step aerobics, Pilates and more presented by professional instructors.
The wellness fair featured five community vendors. Army Public Health Nursing offered cholesterol and blood-pressure screenings and various health brochures. Capt. Marla Washington, chief of Army Public Health Nursing at Winn Army Community Hospital, stressed the importance of health-and-wellness events, which give many people an idea of what is available to them in the community.
“We take any opportunity to promote health, fitness and nutrition, and we cover the full parameter of health — healthy eating, exercise and community interaction,” she said.  
Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s fitness trainers conducted free weight, body-fat percentage and body-mass index analyses. Such screenings are important in ensuring people obtain overall health, said Maria Rodriguez, fitness trainer at Newman Fitness Center.
“People are often deceived by looks, or they only look at their weight, which could be inaccurate since they could have a low weight but have a high body-fat percentage. This could have negative effects later in life, putting them at risk for disease,” she said.
Fort Stewart soldiers, spouses and family members worked up a sweat during a recent four-hour fitness challenge promoting health and wellness. The event drew about 100 people, all of whom exercised simultaneously throughout the day.
The Aerobic-thon and Wellness Fair at Newman Fitness Center Gymnasium featured a full schedule of aerobic events and informative wellness tables. Attendees were challenged to participate in all the aerobic exercises. Short water and rest breaks were given in between exercises and throughout the morning.
Aerobic-thons typically are held twice a year — once at the beginning of the year while fitness still is on the minds of many resolution makers and in the summer, according to Devin Bradley, Newman Fitness Center facility manager and Aerobic-thon coordinator.
“These Aerobic-thons always include a wellness fair and stress the five components of fitness: aerobics, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition,” she said.
The events are designed to educate the Army community on the various types of aerobic fitness available so soldiers and their family members can find activities that best suit them, she added.
As upbeat music thumped in the background, participants took part in hula-hoop aerobics, belly dancing, line dancing, Zumba, kickboxing, step aerobics, Pilates and more presented by professional instructors.
The wellness fair featured five community vendors. Army Public Health Nursing offered cholesterol and blood-pressure screenings and various health brochures. Capt. Marla Washington, chief of Army Public Health Nursing at Winn Army Community Hospital, stressed the importance of health-and-wellness events, which give many people an idea of what is available to them in the community.
“We take any opportunity to promote health, fitness and nutrition, and we cover the full parameter of health — healthy eating, exercise and community interaction,” she said.  
Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s fitness trainers conducted free weight, body-fat percentage and body-mass index analyses. Such screenings are important in ensuring people obtain overall health, said Maria Rodriguez, fitness trainer at Newman Fitness Center.
“People are often deceived by looks, or they only look at their weight, which could be inaccurate since they could have a low weight but have a high body-fat percentage. This could have negative effects later in life, putting them at risk for disease,” she said.
Rodriguez added that many gyms and fitness centers conduct screenings for free. Those seeking to eliminate excess body fat or lower their BMIs need to obtain a balance of cardio exercise, strength training and nutrition.
“If you don’t have the nutrition piece, you will not reach your goals. It’s very important,” she said.
Farmer’s Natural Foods, Hinesville’s organic health-and-wellness store, packed its table full of nutrition and wellness information and many samples of the products it carries. Roberta Poppell, the store’s co-owner, said the company has participated in Aerobic-thons on many previous occasions.
“They are such great events. We enjoy the opportunity to come out and promote healthy eating and feature our products,” she said. She was pleased at the event’s turnout and said it was great to see such energetic participants.
For the third event in a row, representatives from Ease the Pain Massage Clinic on Ryan Avenue in Hinesville, attended the event to promote services. Owner Miguel Ayala enjoyed the morning’s events, which he thinks benefit the community.
“These events show ways to exercise that are fun, that they can enjoy and are helping the body more than they understand. ... It shows there is more to fitness than getting on a treadmill or lifting weights,” he said. He stressed the importance of increasing cardio activity to raise the heart rate in order to release toxins from the body.
Participants who made it through the four-hour exercise session were rewarded with more than just a sense of accomplishment. They received event T-shirts and entered their names in a raffle for door prizes, gift cards, gift baskets, massages and hotel stays.

 

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