• Wellness Center classes for lifestyle changes

  • For more information about the AWC and its services, call (913) 758-3403.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    With 2019 underway, people have started working toward their New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps the most popular resolution is a healthier lifestyle.
    For many, a healthier lifestyle means eating better and starting a regular workout routine. However, the Army Wellness Center, 250 Gibbons Ave., is helping people learn that there is more to leading a healthy lifestyle than diet and exercise at its classes at 1 p.m. every Tuesday in January.
    “Health is always a common New Year’s resolution. It is important and popular because it is never too late to improve your health,” said Tessa Brophy, AWC director. “The beginning of the year gives individuals a sense of a clean slate that increases motivation to make health a priority for the year.
    “Educating oneself on other aspects of health is important because if we really look at health holistically, we will learn and understand that exercise and nutrition are not the only factors that can impact our health goals,” she said. “The Army Wellness Center’s mission is to provide integrated and standardized primary prevention programs and services that promote, enhance and sustain healthy lifestyles to improve the overall well-being of soldiers and family members.”
    The classes, taught by AWC health educators, began with “Healthy Sleep Habits” Jan. 8, which discussed the importance of making sleep a priority. Upcoming classes include “Meals in Minutes” Jan. 15, which will discuss how to make quick, healthy meals for all lifestyles; “Fueling for Health” Jan. 22, which will discuss the importance of fueling the body and the basics of nutrition; and “Stress Management” Jan. 29, which will discuss how stress affects health and give tips on how to reduce stress.
    “My hope for these classes is that they will rejuvenate and expand our ideas of health, fitness and readiness,” Brophy said. “These classes are free and for people of all ages. We hope to empower each person who attends our classes to start now, invest in your health, and use our free services to help you along your journey.”
    The January classes are not the only services the AWC offers. Throughout the year, the center offers body composition analysis, metabolic testing, fitness testing, individual stress management through biofeedback, exercise program design and individual health coaching, Brophy said.
    The AWC also offers year-round classes, including “Upping Your Metabolism” at noon Wednesdays and 7 a.m. Fridays.
    “This is the class that everyone comes through where you can get a basic health assessment and based on their assessments, learn how to improve (their health). Then, we do some goal-setting that will hopefully get them started,” Brophy said. “This is the point where people decide and get an idea of what they want to focus on most. So, then the next step is always up to the client and what they feel like they need.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Prior to the course, participants go through multiple assessments to test their metabolic heart rate, their activity level and their physical activity during the day. They are given a recommendation on the number of calories they should consume in a day based on their goals whether they want to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight.
    Class participant Maj. William Viegas, operations research analyst at The Research and Analysis Center, said his personal recommended calorie intake was what he wanted to know the most.
    “As you get older, you can’t eat as much as you used to, whereas before, being a young soldier doing (physical training), I could almost eat whatever I wanted. I could crush a whole pizza and maybe not notice. I can’t do that anymore,” Viegas said. “My workouts and my diets have become stagnant. I’m getting older. It is harder to stay in shape. It is harder to just perform the way a soldier is supposed to perform as you get older.”
    Class participant Sandra Baker, strategic planner, Combined Arms Center Headquarters, said she wanted to find balance and gain awareness.
    “Actually, having tools and somebody else to talk to, an actual expert in the field, is helpful,” Baker said. “Sometimes when you’re doing this it feels like an uphill battle. You don’t really know and you start making decisions and once you start making bad decisions, it is really easy to lose focus. So, having this here and having this as a resource is a reality check.”
    Baker said she also has the motivation to stick with it because of a competition between her and her five co-workers to see who can lose the most body fat by May.
    “I’m competitive by nature. We’re doing some races together as a team and just working on overall wellness. It is the New Year, we all want to be healthier. We like snacking,” she said.
    “It has actually inspired other people in the building, too, to make better health decisions. People used to come by our office and grab a piece of candy and chat a little bit, and now we have apples and oranges out.”
    For more information about the AWC and its services, call (913) 758-3403.
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