FMWR Fitness Department offers classes for wounded warriors
June 14, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Soldiers who are wounded in the line of duty face challenges and life-changing decisions. For those who wish to continue their service to their country, the road to recovery can be a long and difficult one.
"Here on Fort Jackson, Family and MWR and the Warrior Transition Unit work together to bring quality fitness and recreational fun. It is a program that is taking root and growing. Family and MWR is committed to promote growth and the development of programs to meet the needs of the new Soldier," said Pam Long, fitness programmer.
One class that the Fitness Department created is WTU Aquatics. This class began more than a year ago and is offered at Knight Pool. The class meets every Tuesday and Thursday at noon for one hour. Class size continues to grow as Soldiers embrace the ability to exercise without putting stress on the joints.
"I am inspired with the willingness of the Soldiers in the class to try new exercises to help their current conditions," said Pamela Sulton, aquatics instructor.
Sulton said adapting programs to meet the needs of WTUs can be challenging.
"It is fun to help change the Soldiers' ideas about the use of water as a reconditioning agent to the body," said Sulton, who is an expert in special population fitness.
"I experience great progress with this diverse group of individuals. Teaching the WTU Soldiers at Fort Jackson continues to enhance my teaching skills," she said.
Sulton has seen her students improve dramatically after a few weeks of water reconditioning.
"Some of them, when they start the class, can barely walk and have very limited range of motion. I can see their mobility improving in just a few weeks," she said.
One of the participants, Spc. Wesley Brock, said the program has improved his back injury. "It's helping a lot. It really helps alleviate the pain," Brock said.
Soldiers participating in the class said it wasn't just their physical health that improved, but their overall well-being. This was evident as the Soldiers smiled, and pushed themselves through the lunchtime exercise class. The Soldiers volunteer to participate in the program.
"(Sulton) is very interactive and helps you do it the right way," Brock said. "She demonstrates each exercise and motivates us."
The Fitness Department also has launched a series of daily physical training fitness classes for WTU Soldiers. A full description of classes and locations can be found at www.fortjacksonmwr.com/fitness.
In addition to adaptive aqua classes, Family and MWR Fitness offers classes for the WTU Physical Training program in adaptive yoga, strength and conditioning, spinning and TRX. Each of these classes has been adapted to meet and serve the needs of WTU Soldiers and is taught by certified instructors.
"In yoga, there are so many different skill levels (for) the WTU Soldiers. This keeps the Soldiers challenged, but not frustrated. This will allow them to grow in their yoga practice," said Jim Lewis, adaptive yoga instructor.
Long said that Family and MWR cares about all Fort Jackson Soldiers.
"We are here to serve the Fort Jackson community with the best programs possible," she said. "The Fitness Department embraces this opportunity to create adaptive ways to bring daily fitness to support the importance of good physical health to the WTU Soldier."