FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 9, 2013) -- The Army is all about all-around health not only for its Soldiers, but their Families.

In order to promote "mind, body and soul" of everyone in the local area, Fort Rucker will hold its first Health and Fitness Expo May 16 from 2-7 p.m.

The expo includes free health screenings, demonstrations, children's activities and a bounce house, and distribution of educational material and other information to help promote wellness and health awareness, according to Leigh Ann Dukes, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsorship and advertising sales manager.

"We will promote what we have on post as far as medical treatments, but we also want the surrounding community involved, and it is good for people new here to know what is available in the surrounding areas," she said.

The expo will be held at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility and is open to the public.

There will be a number of different types of health physicians and representatives in attendance from the local area as well as health officials from eight different departments from Lyster Army Health Clinic.

"We have chiropractors, massage therapists, pharmacies, health care providers, fitness centers, hospitals, optical shops, OBGYNs and pediatricians to name a few," said Dukes. "We will also have TRICARE representatives at the expo to talk about changing co-pays and benefits," she added.

Different health screenings, such as blood pressure and body-mass index, will be available for attendees. Fitness demonstrations, such as Zumba, will also be showcased.

A children's art contest with the theme of "Be Healthy" is also part of the expo. Submissions will be displayed at the expo and is open to Fort Rucker school student's kindergarten through sixth grade.

Artwork must be completed on 8.5 x 11 inch, vertical plain paper. One winner will be selected from each grade. Turn in artwork to DFMWR in Bldg. 5700 or to the principal's offices. Deadline to enter is May 13.

"Children can win a $50 gift certificate to the post exchange. Artwork can be in pencil, pen, paint, crayon or charcoal. Include name, grade and phone number on back of entry," said Dukes.

The winners will be announced at 5 p.m. For questions, call 598-5311.

The fire department will be present outside the gym to help promote fire safety to children as well as adults, said Brian Jackson, DFMWR program manager.

More than 40 vendors will be in attendance at the health and fitness expo, which was once two separate events.

"We combined the two health and fitness expos because our Families let us know that it would be easier for them if we focused on Family health all at once. So this heath fair is for everyone -- men, women, children and the elderly. There will be information for everyone," said Jackson.

"People wanted a holistic event. It's not just for young Soldiers, it is for everyone. People can come casually to see numerous avenues to better your body, mind and soul," he added.

Dukes said that healthy employees are able to do their jobs better because they are not calling in sick all the time, and that healthy people are happy people, and that is a good enough reason for anyone to attend.

"A lot of people will not go to the doctor if they have a medical problem. They will just keep waiting until the sickness is too bad to ignore," she said. "Well the health fair is a great opportunity for people who do not like going to the doctor to ask general questions about their problem. They can learn how severe a problem might or might not be."

The more health conscious people are the better, according to Jeff Adkins, health promotion coordinator for Lyster Army Health Clinic, and besides saving time at the doctors, he said attending the expo can save people money.

"We want people to be more preventive. To take better care of themselves that way they don't have to go to the doctor as much. The more informed they are the better choices they can make concerning their health and their Family's health," he said.

Besides it being a chance to catch things early, Dukes said that it puts potential patients in an environment that is more conducive with asking questions.

"We are hoping that by putting people in a setting such as this they will feel more comfortable asking about something that may be bothering them. Going to the internet and finding a solution may or may not be the best idea," she said.

Officials will not be diagnosing anything at the expo, said Dukes, but there will be an "enormous amount of information."

Page last updated Thu May 9th, 2013 at 11:44