By Marie BerbereaJanuary 16, 2014
FORT SILL, Okla. Jan. 16, 2014 -- The Fires Center of Excellence is helping Soldiers, family members and civilians turn New Year's resolutions into lifestyle changes. They're doing it with a network of fitness centers and opportunities to engage in healthy choices throughout the year.
"It should not be just a January to March thing. You need to start realizing that you're not just exercising for the looks. You need to start realizing that you need to do that for your health," said Claudia Mejia, Rinehart Fitness Center manager and Fort Sill Garrison fitness coordinator. "Take that step and get your foot into a fitness center or outside in the park. You need to find what you like and stick with it."
Mejia said those who want to know what steps to take to get healthy should start at the Fort Sill Army Wellness Center at 2868 Craig Road, across from the Graham Resiliency Training Center. The center gives individual fitness plans by measuring a person's body mass index, testing their cardiovascular endurance and finding out how many calories they should be getting every day.
Stephanie Ryan, Fort Sill Army Wellness Center director, said they measure the resting metabolic rate through indirect calorimetry, which tells you how many calories a person burns at rest in a 24 hour period.
She explained if a person laid in bed all day, but was awake, they would burn a certain percent of their calories at rest, by doing nothing.
Then they determine how active that person is during their daily lifestyle and factor how many calories are burned from exercise. Then they give nutritional advice and programs on how to eat healthy.
"It definitely gives you a good starting point it tells you where you are. Sometimes it's surprising," said Mejia. "They collect your data so if you go there and then maybe three months later you go back and check your body fat percentage again you can see they can print it out for you what exactly is your progress so you can see it in front of you where were you three months ago and where are you now."
Army Wellness Center programs are free and available to all Soldiers, their family members, retirees, Army civilians and contractors. The center is open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. To make an appointment, call 580-442-0680/0681.
Working out on post is easy with three fitness centers and a fourth in the works. For information on classes and schedules visit www.sillmwr.com/recreation.
"You do not find equipment like on Fort Sill outside of Fort Sill. It doesn't matter where you go. They don't have state-of-the-art equipment, or as much equipment," said Mejia.
Rinehart Fitness Center offers basketball and racquetball courts, a pool, weight room, circuit training room, and cardio rooms. Rinehart has the latest Precor and LifeFitness cardio equipment, as well as, Hammer Strength free weights and selectorized weight equipment. There are also basketball and racquetball courts, and an eight-lane 25-meter indoor pool.
Honeycutt Fitness Center has basketball courts, cardio and weightlifting equipment as well as equipment for Crossfit. Honeycutt provides ample opportunity to improve cardio fitness, as well as strength endurance. The center has a designated Spinning room with more than 30 bikes as well as a sound and light show during the workout. There is also a designated fitness/pilates/yoga area for those who want a more relaxed workout.
Goldner Fitness Center has weightlifting equipment and more weightlifting equipment. Enough for all those serious about gaining muscle mass. Goldner has Hammer Strength Free weight, and Selectorized weight equipment available for weight lifters of all levels. It also provides more than 25 pieces of Precor and LifeFitness Cardio Equipment.
Mejia said once a person starts exercising, they might not see the change right away, but they will feel it.
"Working out helps with stress, depression, it boosts your confidence. It definitely sets free those endorphins. It can also make you addicted. I'm addicted. This is what keeps me going."
She said to stick to a workout goal, get a friend to do it with you.
And also be realistic about your goal. She said in order to really keep weight off a realistic goal is losing 20 pounds over three months.
"Get a workout buddy who motivates you. That definitely helps. Once you get out of your comfort zone and notice that you can do it that's usually when you become addicted to it," said Mejia. "It's about adopting this into your lifestyle. Once it's not a chore anymore, it becomes a part of your life and you will make time for it."
Mejia shared two of her favorite quotes, "Food is the most abused thing in our society and exercise is the most underused anti-depressant," and "Sorry, I can't. I have to go to the gym."