Fort Bragg programs offer chance to get into shape
Jennifer Beeman, Womack Army Medical Center nutritionist, explains wellness numbers to Ashley Armstrong, Jan. 21, at the hospital. Armstrong, a WAMC employee, signed up for Jump into Shape, a six-week program that encourages a healthier lifestyle for participants.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Two exercise programs on Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base not only offer the chance to beat the winter blues, but they also offer the chance to live a healthier lifestyle.
Jump into Shape, offered by Womack Army Medical Center, and The Biggest Loser, a NuCo fat loss contest, have both recently started. The last day of registration for Jump into Shape will be Friday, with the program ending March 11. Registration for The Biggest Loser began in January and its program will run through May 10.

Jump into Shape is a six-week initiative that promotes a healthy lifestyle by increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables and water and by exercising, said Jennifer Beeman, WAMC nutritionist. The program is open to anyone who wants to participant, not just TriCare beneficiaries.

Contestants begin by identifying their health goals and filling out a questionnaire pertaining to their health history. Participants are weighed with socks and shoes removed to determine accurate body fat information. A printout includes details such as fat mass and body mass index.
BMI, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, is calculated from a person's weight and height and is a reliable measurement of body fat. It is often used to screen for weight categories that could lead to health problems.

At registration, contestants are given a log for recording exercise duration, and fluid, fruit and vegetable intake, for which they are given credits. Prizes will be awarded to the person with the highest number of points earned throughout the program.

"We don't just like to focus on weight loss because some people are at a healthy weight, but they just want to firm up or make healthy choices," Beeman said.

Participants are also given a booklet that details how to aim for healthy weight and a program guide.

The program guide lists several improvements to health likely obtained over a 12-month span, such as decreasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers, among others.

Capt. Kelly Perez said one reason she joined Jump into Shape is to get sound advice from a dietician. Another is because it is a program that can be completed alongside co-workers.
"I think it's really good for building morale and teamwork," said Perez.

Thelma Rhodes is concerned with the rate of obesity.
"The rate of obesity now is just outrageous, so we need to be more concerned with our health than just sitting around the table eating all the time," said Rhodes, whose goal is to lose inches.
The log sheet may be important in reinforcing contestant's goals and for providing a means of physically tracking what a person eats and drinks and of tracking fitness activities.

"Research shows that people who keep regular food logs, especially when they're getting off track, they do better," Beeman said.

Jump into Shape is all about health, said Ashley Armstrong, an WAMC employee.
"People should participate because everybody should know about their health and their body weight and what's going on inside them."

The Biggest Loser contest will award male and female winners in three categories - most pounds, body fat and inches lost, according to flyer information. The person who loses the most weight in pounds, body fat and inches collectively will win $500. Everyone who enters will be entered into a drawing to win a free personal training package valued at more than $500.

The male and female winners of each group will win an hour of deep tissue or Swedish massage from the Massage Connection and a free prepaid drink card for 10 smoothies and shakes at the Power Blendz Juice Bar. The massage services and the juice bar are both located in the Pope Fitness Center.

With registration sites at the Pope and at the Ritz-Epps Physical Fitness centers, the contest is open to those who can get on base, said Leanne Heller, a NuCo spokesperson.

Healthcare and exercise professionals have long acknowledged the health benefits of managing weight. As more Americans are considered obese, controlling weight may contribute to the lower prevalence of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, lower costs associated with healthcare and higher productivity from workers less likely to miss work because of illness, as well as a longer lifespan.

Last year, 180 participants registered at WAMC for the Jump into Shape program. Those who completed lost 192 pounds and 100 inches. For more information about Jump into Shape, contact Beeman at 907-8088 or Renee Beringer at 907-8435.

For more information about The Biggest Loser, call 394-2671.

Page last updated Fri February 4th, 2011 at 16:02