FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program helps Soldiers and their Family members to become aware of their strengths and weaknesses using five facets.
Those facets are physical, spiritual, emotional, social and family.

"Soldiers and Family members are faced with daily situations that can cause them to live a very stressful life," said Kristi Fink, Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility fitness programs coordinator. "Soldiers know the importance of training. However, those who are returning from deployment take a little break from their training and getting back into their routine can be difficult."

Every Army unit assigns the physical training requirements of its Soldiers.

"A Soldier meeting their physical training is a must," Fink said. "But, every Soldier knows the importance of being physically fit. Many spouses and Family members attend our facility to keep themselves in shape."

Although staying in shape is a main goal for Soldiers and their Families, this is not the only reason they participate in physical training.

"Living a healthier lifestyle by staying active and exercising helps many just take time away from their daily routine," Fink said. "It allows them to put everything else aside and concentrate on their well-being. Someone who exercises and lives a healthy lifestyle just really feels better, just because they are having the chance to clear their heads and concentrate on just themselves.

"A lot of Soldiers have a lot going through their minds and just having time to clear their heads actually puts them in a better physical condition," she said.

A Soldier's Family also needs time to just cope with everything taking place in their surroundings.

"For many spouses, visiting this facility offers them the ability to make friends as well as being around others who are going through the same situation," Fink said. "For the spouses to know they are not alone - that gives them some sort of relief and allows them to bond. Just knowing they are not alone helps."

The physical goal for the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness is to promote strong minds and strong bodies. Once completed, the fitness program should improve the Soldiers' performance and readiness, build their confidence to lead and to stand up for their beliefs and have compassion to help others. It allows the Soldiers and their Families to cope with their situations as well as stand strong.

Although being physically active and exercising is important to everyone, if they only exercise they are only doing part of the program. In order to be physically fit, individuals must develop a healthy lifestyle, which includes people eating healthy.

"If you want to be fit you must also watch what you eat," said Theresa Osteen, registered dietitian with Lyster Army Health Clinic. "We are not saying never eat junk foods at all, we are just saying watch how much you eat.

"You will hear Soldiers say they are not worried about high cholesterol at this time because they are too young," she said. "But, what they do not realize is what they do to their bodies at this time can affect them now and as they get older."

"Remember, exercising, eating a healthy diet and having a healthy lifestyle not only attributes to you feeling better physically, but mentally as well," Osteen said.

Recently the Armywide Initial Entry Training Soldier Fueling Initiative was implemented to identify what foods benefit the Soldiers.

"The IET brochure is available at any dining facility across the Army. The brochure is colored coded and informs all Soldiers what foods are best for their bodies and which ones will give them the most energy to accomplish their tasks," Osteen said.

The codes are as follows: Green coded foods are the best beneficial foods; Amber coded foods provide nutrients, but are not as good or provide as much energy as the green coded foods; Red coded foods should be eaten in moderation.

The Lyster Nutrition Care Clinic has several programs available to Soldiers and Family members such as: Weight Management Program, Diabetes Education, Healthy Heart Education, etc.

For more information regarding the Nutrition Care Clinic services, speak with a primary care physician or call 255-7930.

Fitness facility event schedule:

The Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility has the following events scheduled to help promote physical fitness:

Feb. 5 - Black History 5K
Feb. 15 -Yoga Challenge Night
Feb. 19 - West Beach Out and Back Bike Race
March 5 - Powerlifting competition
March 12 - St. Patrick's Day 10K/5K
March 15 - Cardio Challenge Night
April 21 - Spinning Challenge Night
May 14 - Army 10 Miler
May 19 - Yoga Challenge Night
June 18 - Sergeant Audie Murphy Triathlon
June 21 - Cardio Challenge
July 21 - Spinning Challenge Night
July 23 - Powerlifting Competition
Aug. 18 - Yoga Challenge
Sept. 15 - Cardio Challenge

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16