By By Marie Berberea, Fort SillJuly 3, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. (July 3, 2013) -- While shopping at the Main Exchange, Soldiers and families received health and fitness tips from on- and off-post experts during the Family Fun Fitness Festival June 28 and 29.
There were booths and activities all over to help customers make healthier decisions.
The Main Exchange was chosen as the place for the festival not only because of the foot traffic, but because "It's a community center," said Eddie Devlin, Main Exchange store manager.
The different stations featured information from simple ways to eat healthy, bicycle safety, disaster relief, fitness demonstrations from Rinehart Fitness instructors and even how to make healthy choices when it comes to vending machines.
"The main goal is to stress not just family fun, but with the healthy base initiative coming into play we want to push our own healthy initiative,"
Devlin said. "Through our 'Operation Be Fit,' which started a while back, this is just a perfect proponent of fitness and health and I wanted to expand this to show home safety as well. That's where the fire department came in and the [military police]."
"This is nice," said Pfc. Nick Potozniak, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery. As an Advanced Individual Training Soldier, he said getting expert advice on what running shoes would be best for him is more than what he was expecting from his visit to the store.
"I'm trying to get a running shoe because the ones that I have from basic training blew out," he said.
Capt. Lindsay Nelson, Reynolds Army Community Hospital physical therapist, helped Potozniak along with other customers by giving them foot assessments. She said her goal was to get Soldiers and family members the right shoes to mitigate injuries.
"The goal is to keep them in training rather than in the hospital," said Nelson.
She had a quote from Dan Lieberman posted along with different types of shoes stating: "How one runs is probably more important than what you're wearing, but what you're wearing definitely affects how you run."
For Potozniak, who has a wide foot, she suggested he try New Balance or Saucony shoes, or wearing a normal shoe and changing the lacing pattern to allow for more room on the sides.
Alongside Nelson were more RACH experts with snacks for those passing by. They weren't giving out chips or cookies, but fresh quesadillas cooked with vegetables and low-fat cheese.
"You don't need a fancy recipe," said 1st Lt. Beatriz George, RACH registered dietitian. "Eating healthy doesn't cost as much as you think it does. So far, everyone that has tried something has liked it."
She also had plates set up to the new choosemyplate.gov standards. Children were able to take the different foods available and put them on their plate for a healthy meal.
"I think it's great to see kids excited about healthy foods or foods that are healthier for you," George said. "The idea is in order to build a healthy meal we have to incorporate all the food groups."
Devlin said he plans on bringing the directorates on post together again to offer customers a central location for health and fitness information.