CHIÈVRES, Belgium -- Fitness mobility may sound like an odd name for a class. Aren't the two words the same thing?

According to Jeffrey Bradford, recreation assistant at Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Chièvres Fitness Center on Chièvres Air Base, Belgium, mobility is the ability to move a joint through a full range of motion. His Fitness Mobility class, which starts March 12, aims at improving participants' flexibility, and, ultimately, overall health.

"Mobility is an important aspect of being healthy," said Bradford. "Most people sit behind a desk for eight hours a day and put their bodies in wrong positions. By doing so, their muscles tend to shrink over time and that leads to back and knee pain, for example. Taking mobility classes instead of medicine is a natural and better way to deal with that pain."

Mobility has many benefits. It will decrease the chance of injury and keep joints healthy.

"It is like putting grease in a joint to protect it," Bradford said.

The class will also help participants become stronger, because being able to move in a fuller range will help with other workouts such as weightlifting.

Moreover, people can do mobility training whenever and wherever they want as it does not take a big time commitment.

"I want to educate people on the importance of doing it. All you need is five minutes," said Bradford.

There is gym equipment, such as a simple cross-ball, which can be used to release the tension in a muscle. However, people need to keep in mind that it will take time before seeing significant improvements.

"You have to undo what you have done, and it can take months or even a year," he said.

The Fitness Mobility class be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 12:30 p.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chièvres Fitness Center.

While the classes will help participants with improving their fitness ability, making small, but important, lifestyle changes outside the gym is also key.

Bradford recommended that people make healthier diet choices, move around more throughout the day (such as increasing their step count) and stretch before and after physical workouts. His tips echo the Army Performance Triad, which promotes sleep, activity and nutrition in improving Soldier and family readiness.

In addition to the mobility class, Bradford will also instruct a Functional Fitness class on Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. For more information on upcoming classes and events at the Chièvres Fitness Center, visit www.chievres.armymwr.com/programs/fitness.