Control your health through wellness

Christina Chacon, health educator, AWC, observes Master Sgt. Larry Addy, student, United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, during his treadmill workout. Photos by Benny Ontiveros, WBAMC Public Affairs.

Christina Chacon, health educator, AWC, observes Master Sgt. Larry Addy, student, United States Army Sergeants Major Academy, during his treadmill workout. Photos by Benny Ontiveros, WBAMC Public Affairs.

By Allison Smith, WBAMC:

An exclusive opportunity for William Beaumont Army Medical Center beneficiaries to take control of their own health and well-being is now available.

The Army Wellness Center is open for active-duty members, retirees, family members, Department of the Army civilians and contractors. This Public Health Command-directed mission aims to provide primary prevention services intended to help promote sustainable, healthy lifestyles and reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular, metabolic and other preventable diseases.

The integration of the AWC into the new patient-centered health care model presents more opportunities for individuals to make mindful, educated lifestyle changes that impact the future of their health.

The six core programs offered at the AWC include health assessment review, healthy nutrition, physical fitness, stress management, general wellness education and tobacco education. Health and nurse educators work individually with each patient to assess their current health status and use the most modern technological innovations to help set nutrition, fitness and other wellness goals.

Metabolic testing will tell the client the number of calories his or her body consumes in a 24-hour period. Based on these results, the educator will assemble a weight management plan specific to both their metabolic rate and weight goals.

The fitness test assesses the client’s current level of cardiovascular health by measuring the maximal amount of oxygen that the body can consume. In addition, strength and flexibility are both assessed to define baseline fitness levels. Upon completion of the assessment, an AWC staff member will create an individualized exercise prescription aimed at improving cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and flexibility.

Clients walk out of the AWC with a comprehensive fitness plan and are encouraged to follow up as often as necessary to receive updated exercise routines.

Jennifer Gottshall, health educator, Army Wellness Program, tests the BodPod for operational capabilities before used by patients.

Jennifer Gottshall, health educator, Army Wellness Program, tests the BodPod for operational capabilities before used by patients.

An easy way for clients to monitor progress is to utilize the BodPod to identify any changes in body composition.

The BodPod uses air displacement to calculate body fat percent. Improvements in body composition will affirm the effectiveness of the nutrition and fitness services and serve as a motivating indicator of progress.

Physical health is not the only objective of the program. The AWC acknowledges that without mental and emotional stability, physical health may not be sustainable. The stress management program features an opportunity to participate in biofeedback sessions. Clients have the option of relaxing in the full-body massage chair while using a computer program that features techniques to control heart rate through breathing exercises and guided imagery.

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Join the staff at the grand opening ceremony of the new and improved Army Wellness Center, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 742-9566.

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