FORT STEWART, Ga. - As Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division continue to deploy, the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield Civilian team remain on standby to support the Army's mission. Ready for the call, Army Civilians are given the opportunity to get into tip-top shape all the while incorporating the command philosophy of teamwork, caring, training and having fun. Civilians jog, lunge and tone their way to health with the Fort Stewart Civilian Fitness Program at Newman Fitness Center, June 16.

“The Civilian Fitness Program is a promotional health program submitted by the Army,” said Devin Bradley, facility manager at Newman Fitness Center. “It’s a program for Army Civilians to engage in physical activities and education to encourage them to adopt good eating habits and physical fitness.”

Selected civilians have engaged in a six-month fitness program, which encourages good health practices and regular fitness routines, said Bradley.

According to the Army Health Promotion, Army Regulation 600-63, supervisors may approve up to three hours of administrative leave per week to allow employees to participate in command sponsored physical exercise training as part of a total fitness program and limited to six months.

Participants exercise physical fitness activities for an hour three times per week, and the program is limited to 25 participants. It reflects the five components of fitness in the areas of cardiovascular, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition.

“[The Army] gives us an incentive by giving time during the workday to be able to work out,” said Lisa Edwards, a Civilian Fitness Program participant. “They give us the time. It doesn’t count against us. This is part of the workday; this is our place of duty.”

Edwards is a Civilian from Central Issue Facility, Directorate of Logistics, at Fort Stewart. She said she has seen results. She has lost 10 pounds and looks forward to losing a couple more and toning-up. She says that the fitness program is an avenue for stress reduction.

“It’s a good stress reliever,” she said. “The program helps you set goals to be healthier, eat healthier and learn how to be healthier. It’s just a good educational and beneficial program.”

The fitness program also makes it convenient and fun for participants to measure their workout progress by using the President’s Challenge Program. The Challenge program is an interactive tool participants use to log their physical activities, earning points as they progress through their fitness goal.

“In order to enroll into the program, participants must first fill-out the enrollment packet located on the Fort Stewart Web site Download the forms and get permission from your supervisor to participate,” said Bradley. “Participants also must enroll in the President's Fitness Challenge. It is used as a tracking mechanism to assess how the participant is doing throughout the program. Not only do we track [their progress], but the participant can track [their progress] with the President’s Fitness Challenge as well.”

Monica Johnson, a Civilian Fitness Program participant at Hunter Army Airfield and a Civilian from Hunter’s Official and Distribution Center, said that she finds the programs beneficial.

“I am an active member in the fitness program and the President’s Challenge Program,” Johnson said. “People can benefit from the programs because it helps keep up with a physical appearance. It helps emotionally and physically.”

Johnson said that she has lost a couple pounds and has seen results with her waistline.

“I lost inches in my waistline,” she said. “I will continue the program all the way through September.”

Johnson said that if the program extended farther than the September timeframe, she would be more than willing to continue her participation with the fitness program. Her goal is to tone-up physically and mentally.

“The mission is to get physically fit,” said Bradley. “They receive education on stress management, nutrition and how to get an exercise program started.”

For more information about the Civilian Fitness Program, call 912-767-3031.