If your health and overall wellbeing have taken a backseat like many since the pandemic, it may be time to have a seat at the Army Wellness Center.
From personalized fitness and nutrition programs to stress and sleep management, the Army Wellness Center offers a number of services designed to help achieve optimal health. One of the main tools used to get there is the center’s Bod Pod.
The Bod Pod is a large egg-shaped, seated device that uses air displacement plethysmography, or ADP, to determine body composition (fat mass and lean mass). Once inside the Bod Pod, the assessment lasts about 30 seconds.
“The biggest thing that you’re going to feel as a client is your ears may pop, similar to being in an airplane,” said Adam Plagens, supervisory health educator, AWC.
Despite being almost too quick to be true, Plagens emphasized that the Bod Pod is a highly reliable source and is calibrated daily for maximum accuracy.
“When we put you into a Bod Pod, if that Bod Pod comes out at 15 percent, we know that you’re at 15 percent,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence in the machines and in the calibration process to know that we’re giving you reliable and valid data.”
Results from the Bod Pod and the client’s health assessment questionnaire are used by Plagens, or one of his other health education specialists, to develop a personalized plan based on the client’s goals.
“It’s really beneficial to us because then we’re able to give a more personalized approach to helping them get better instead of just saying, ‘Hey, do more, eat less,’” Plagens said.
Keeping health and safety top priority, the AWC has several COVID-19 mitigation measures in place including a restriction on the number of people in the building at one time and an improved disinfection process. To limit foot traffic, clients must call or ring a doorbell prior to being let inside.
“When clients come in here, we want it to be safe for them and for them to feel comfortable when they come in here, and we want to reduce risk of exposure as much as possible,” Plagens said.
In addition to appointments, the center now offers Bod Pod walk-ins every Thursday and Friday from 7:30 to noon. The process is similar to curbside pickup in that it minimizes contact. Clients simply park their vehicle in a numbered parking space then call the center to let staff know they are there for a Bod Pod. A staff member then takes a health assessment questionnaire to the client. Once completed, the client is invited inside for the Bod Pod assessment. What happens next largely depends on the client’s goals.
“We can focus on better eating, stress management, exercise … there are many possibilities,” Plagens said.
Clients also have the option to undergo metabolic testing through a series of movements.
“When we do the metabolic [test] with the Bod Pod, we’re able to identify if you’re losing the right kind of weight, and the calorie intake that we determine you need gives you a targeted intake to reach your goal,” he explained.
A variety of classes (currently offered on MS Teams) and personalized coaching sessions (in-person or remote) are also available. Regardless of where one is in their health journey, the center can offer something for everyone. And it’s all at no cost to the client.
“We can provide you with specific guidance on how to reintroduce activity safely and effectively, and then if you’re dealing with any injuries, challenges or limitations, we can actively address those to help you get better,” Plagens said.
For those who are already active, service members in particular, there is always room to develop.
“We’re here to help you get better in terms of performance, so if that’s improving your body composition, improving your strength training, those are things that we can help you with.”
And since the services offered at Fort Gordon’s AWC are consistent with what they are on other installations, clients have the ability to track and continue their progress if they relocate within the Army.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 706-787-6757. The AWC is located at 411 Barnes Avenue. All military ID cardholders are eligible to receive services.