With so many health-and-fitness regimens, fad diets and master-cleansing crazes out there today, it is hard to know exactly where to get started when it comes to adopting a healthier lifestyle, losing weight and getting in shape.
Hinesville health and wellness retailer Farmer’s Natural Foods recently held an in-store “Get Fit and Fabulous” event featuring Nathaniel Robinson, a local personal trainer and fitness specialist.
Attendees got free body-composition assessments, which were done in a few minutes using a specialized scale and information provided by the attendees, such as height, age and blood type. The body-composition readings are part of an ongoing initiative by Farmer’s to help educate customers about health and wellness.
“We like to make people aware of what shape they are in or what their current health is,” store co-owner Jerry Poppell said. “People can find out about their diet and lifestyle and what they can do to get their health back.”
Robinson has been coming to Farmer’s for such events for about four years, according to Poppell.
“Two to three times a year, he comes out to do these events or will partner with us for our weekend wellness events, holiday open houses and other special events,” he said.
In the first couple of hours, Robinson conducted evaluations on more than 30 customers, which, Poppell said, is an impressive number.
Robinson, a retired Army veteran, attributes his success and knowledge to all the training he underwent while on active duty.
“Fitness has always been my life,” he said. “I did very well on the (Army Physical Fitness Test), maxing with the highest scores, so the Army sent me to master fitness school and many other fitness schools from there. I ended up teaching fitness and power lifting to other soldiers … they often called me the ‘PT guru.’”
Now retired, Robinson continues to serve soldiers by working as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at Fort Stewart’s 4IBCT Fitness Center.
When it comes to getting in better shape and living healthier, Robinson thinks people need to first understand their own bodies and how they work. Completing a body-composition assessment will help people determine the state of their overall physical health and identify individual body types, which is the first step, Robinson said.
“People need to know their body composition and train according to their body type in order to reach their fitness goals,” he said. “No two bodies are alike … we’re all different.”
During an assessment, Robinson enters an individual’s data, such as height and age, into a specialized Ironman digital scale. The scale reads a person’s weight and sends through the body electrical pulses that determine ratings for other factors.
The scale gives Robinson readings on a person’s body-fat percentage, body-water percentage, muscle mass, physique rating, bone mass, body-mass range, metabolic age and visceral fat, which is the percentage of fat around the midsection.
By having all this data, one truly can determine their overall health and set goals to improve it, Robinson said. Using diagrams and scales, he plots each person’s readings to show them where they fall as far as healthy ranges go. Customers were given special sheets containing charted versions of their readings, allowing them to track future readings and determine progress.
Robinson also gave customers suggestions about which exercises they can add to their routines and demonstrated proper techniques.
Sherry Christian of Midway saw the event as a way to learn more about her health.
“I work out and I love it. I am doing a lot of CrossFit, but I am also trying to eat healthier,” Christian said. “Our goal this year is to increase our overall health as a family.”
Robinson told Christian that although she has a decent exercise routine, she isn’t running enough. He also suggested she add several other exercises to her workouts
“I don’t want to be on medication. I don’t want to always be in the doctor’s office. I want to be healthy, so anything that helps me reach those goals, I like to check out … it’s a chance to learn something new,” she said.
Robinson suggests periodic body-composition assessments for those who are just starting new exercise and healthy-eating routines, so they can see their improvements and hone in on areas that still need work.
Body compositions are available for free to soldiers, their family members and military retirees at any of the gyms on Fort Stewart, Robinson said.