Instructor Michael Gittens leads his class through a Zumba session Saturday during the Health and Fitness Expo at Smith Fitness Center. The expo was presented by the Community Health Promotion Council's Family Work Group, and was held in conjunction with Military Family Appreciation Month. Jessica Ferriter, one of the event's coordinators, said the event was meant to emphasize the importance of health education on Fort Benning.

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Nov. 6, 2013) -- Soldiers, civilians and their Families participated in a day of exercise for the body, mind and spirit, Saturday during the Health and Fitness Expo at Smith Fitness Center.

The event included a 5K and one-mile fun run, a Mobile Murph workout session, free fitness classes, a variety of vendors, personal trainers and more.

Jessica Ferriter, Fort Benning fitness program specialist and event coordinator, said the expo was held in conjunction Military Family Appreciation Month to emphasize the importance of health education on post.

"The purpose of this event is to educate our Soldiers, civilians, retirees and their Family members on a multitude of programs and services that Fort Benning offers for their health and well being," she said. "We wanted to not only capture the fitness aspect, but also overall well being."

Brian Smith, chief of the Community Health Promotion Council, said the Health and Fitness Expo was created from the Family Work Group of the council. The expo was originally formed to promote physical activity but expanded to include chaplains, youth services and other programs that embrace the five dimensions of resilience -- social, spiritual, physical, Family and emotional.

A study from the Civilian Wellness Initiative concluded that civilian employees saw an improvement on blood pressure rates and weight loss, and felt that both physical and non-physical elements had an impact on their overall well being.

Guests were invited to try a variety of activities, including rock climbing, Zumba and yoga sessions.

Also, nutrition advice, blood pressure testing and information provided by 14th Combat Support Hospital, Public Health Nursing Child, Youth and School Services was made available.

Chaplain (Maj.) Jeff Dillard, pastor of Sightseeing Road Chapel on Fort Benning, said the expo was a convenient way to promote awareness of religious support services on post and the importance of Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness.

"A lot of people think chaplains only work on Sunday mornings, and this lets them know that we have something going on throughout the week," he said.

"We offer help with physical fitness, relationships and individual and self-growth. We tend to think of Comprehensive Soldier Fitness and five separate pillars, but it's all integrated and spiritual health is really at the center of it."

Page last updated Wed November 6th, 2013 at 10:05