FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - This past winter was long and miserable, with record breaking temperatures, snow and ice. Maybe you spent too much time in front of the fire reading instead of cross-country skiing. Now that it is time to put on the spring clothes, you realize just how much weight you've put on and need to do something about it. No need to worry, May is National Sports and Fitness Month and the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation gyms have many options for exercise to help get that weight off and get on the road to good health and fitness.

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month has been observed since 1983. Its purpose is to make people aware of the value of physical activity in the pursuit of happier, healthier and more productive lives.

Fifty-nine garrisons from around the world, including Fort Wainwright, will participate in the "Strong B.A.N.D.S" promotion in support of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

B.A.N.D.S. stands for Balanced lifestyle, Actively motivated, Nutritional health, Determined to excel, Strength and conditioning. The MWR promotion is designed to energize and inspire community members to live a healthy lifestyle.

"National Sports and Fitness Month is a chance to get geared up for summer, try something new," said Stephanie Jilek, sports and fitness director.

"We have something going on almost every day in May. Some activities are in the morning, some in the afternoon or evening. We also have weekend events, so no matter what your schedule is, you can fit exercise into your day," she said.

In addition to ongoing classes, such as group cycling, aerobics, Cardio Sculpt, the Hour of Power and Zumba classes, the PFC will offer special events in May, including National Employee Wellness Day May 18 with a full day of group exercise opportunities such as aerobics and Pilates.

"There are a couple of important points to remember about fitness that I hope will motivate people to get started or to press on," said Heidi Watkins, fitness coordinator.
"First, everyone has to start somewhere. Even the most defined and dazzling person in the gym had a first day. Second, anybody who walks through our doors has the physical and mental potential to do great things. Whatever your goals are, with a little patience and dedication you can achieve optimal health."

Watkins said the Physical Fitness Center and Melaven Gym provide several no-cost services that can help users assess their current condition, including biometric testing, body fat testing and fitness evaluations.

"People can access the information they need to set in motion a lifetime of fitness," she said.

"For individuals who are just starting or re-starting a new fitness endeavor, it is important to find someone who can help them learn the basics," Watkins said. To meet that need, Fort Wainwright has two personal trainers available. Watkins is one of them.

"During a first training session, we talk about goals," she said. "If an individual has already set goals, I have them take a closer look and break them down into stair-step goals. Breaking larger or long term goals down in to stair-step goals makes for more positive achievements, more internal motivation and in turn, greater behavioral changes. If a client is starting from scratch, I will have him or her write S.M.A.R.T. goals.
In essence, the acronym S.M.A.R.T is a guideline that helps determine what you want and exactly when and how you plan to get it. S.M.A.R.T stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

"Gym orientation (the how-to's and where's) is always included in my meetings. I feel that it is vital to all clients to become masters of their own health and wellness- educating clients is just one more piece of that puzzle."

On a national level MWR clients have a chance to win health related and fitness prizes through the online "Strong B.A.N.D.S. Every Day in May Prize Giveaway."

A fitness or health question will be posted on the All Army Sports Facebook page at each day in May. Those who answer the question correctly will be entered into a random drawing for prizes ranging in value from $15 to $300.

For more information about National Sports and Fitness Month or Fort Wainwright Sports, Fitness and Aquatics Programs call 353-7275 or 353-9137.

For more information about the Army wide program see

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