FORT RUCKER, Ala., Aug. 11, 2011 -- Being in shape and living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just for Soldiers at Fort Rucker, according to the organizers of the Civilian Fitness Program.

The purpose of the program is to help those with less active jobs put more physical activity in their lives during their work day, said Denece Clayborne, Lyster Army Health Clinic community health nurse and program organizer.

“The program is beneficial to both the Army and civilians because it aims to help keep the civilian work force healthy,” she said. “By having healthier employees, it keeps the mission going smoothly. You have less sickness and fewer people getting injured if they are in better physical condition.”

The program is also aimed at other forms of health, not just physical activity, she added.

“We try to cover spiritual wellness, eating healthy and the whole health picture,” she said. “Army Regulation 600-63 addresses physical health of both Soldiers and civilians, and we’re using that as a base for designing the program.”

Civilian Fitness Program, or CVP, is a six-month event that requires three hours per week of on-the-clock exercise for participants, with supervisor permission. It will also include health and wellness assessments, educational brown bag lunches with guest speakers, fitness center guided tours and more, Clayborne said.

One of the long-term goals of the program is to make sure those who participate stick with the exercising and eating healthy after the six months is over, Clayborne added.

“Some folks aren’t familiar with the resources available to them on this post and this will help them get to know them,” she said. “We hope this encourages them to spend more time with the gyms and the walking trails and other physical activities available to them here. This post does a very good job of providing Soldiers and civilians with exercise options.”

One advantage civilians will have here that they might not get elsewhere is access to a trainer who can help them get used to equipment if they’ve never used it, or help them come up with an exercise routine that works for them, said Kristi Fink, Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility fitness program coordinator.

“We have lots of different equipment at both facilities on post, so they should be able to find just about anything they might need,” she said. “Our trainers are available to show them how to use the machines. I wouldn’t suggest someone who’s brand new to working out to go to free weights, but if they establish a routine, then trainers might be able to help get them started.”

Another issue Fink said people should watch out for is staying hydrated during workouts.

“Most people should work out indoors during these hotter months,” she said. “Some people do prefer to work out outside, but they should try to utilize the cooler parts of the day like the mornings or late afternoons and early evenings.”

For those who might be intimidated by the fitness facilities, Fink said she and her staff are there to help.

“That’s where our trainers can really help get them used to being here and using the equipment,” she said. “New people should also consider bringing a friend with them. It makes working out a lot easier if you have someone there with you. Once you’ve been here a little while and gotten used to the equipment and people, it really isn’t a big deal.”

Fink said she participated in the program over a year ago and it helped her to develop some good workout habits and made her enjoy doing it even more.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I think anybody who’s thinking about trying it should give it a shot. Once you get into the habit of doing it, you don’t want to stop.”

Participants must preregister before Sept. 6. The first meeting is Sept. 9.

To register for the program, visit Bldg. 5700, Rm. 230 or call (334) 255-9908, Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.