Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Wellness fair promotes health, awareness

Sgt. Shawn McMurray, 62nd Engineer Company, 4th Engineer Battalion, runs on a treadmill to elevate his heart rate during the Fort Carson Wellness Fair at the Forrest Resiliency Center, Aug. 30. The cardio exercise determined McMurray’s average heart rate and how many calories he needs to eat in a day to lose weight or stay in shape.

Story and photos by Spc. Nathan Thome

4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

Soldiers and Family members learned about physical, mental and spiritual wellness during the Fort Carson Wellness Fair at the Forrest Resiliency Center, Aug. 30.

The open house provided guests with an opportunity to freely explore the resiliency center, talk to health educators and test out physical fitness equipment.

“The wellness fair explains and educates Soldiers and Families about what body, mind and spiritual wellness is,” said Rod Chisholm, deputy garrison commander. “Folks who have questions can come in and look at all the different aspects of what it means to be a well person, and use the resources we provide to attain wellness.”

Guests checked out stands topped with information and received a first-hand look at services available in the facility.

“The wellness fair was an opportunity for me to gather information about the facility and what types of services they offer … which included support, dealing with health, weight, exercise and stress relief,” said Brenda Donlin, spouse of Maj. John Donlin, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Donlin learned that, as a spouse of a deployed Soldier, she is eligible for services specifically for spouses.

“I really enjoy events like these, because whenever I move to a new place, I want to know what the post has that I can use to better my life and improve the quality of life for my Soldier,” said Donlin.

One of the features of the wellness fair included the “Bod Pod,” which measures body composition, body fat and tissue mass to help Soldiers reach the Army’s physical standard.

“The Bod Pod is Fort Carson’s newest toy, which is the gold standard in body composition measurement,” said Tony Hinz, nurse educator, Army Wellness Center. “We place Soldiers inside the capsule and then measure, with up to 99-percent accuracy, their level of body fat and composition.”

Another service determined a person’s resting metabolic rate to show Soldiers how many calories they burn in their resting state and how many calories they need to eat in a day to lose weight or stay in shape.

Soldiers and Families took the opportunity to use the facility equipment to check their body fat percentage and, after five minutes of cardio exercise, their average heart rate.

“The Army has put a lot of effort into looking out for the well-being of Soldiers and their Families,” said Sgt. John Camp, 62nd Engineer Company, 4th Engineer Battalion.

Soldiers responded positively to the fair, organizing their units to set up appointments for each Soldier to learn their body composition.

“Soldiers are feeling really cared for in the fact that they are getting individualized results and can use the information we give them to improve their physical fitness and overall wellness,” said Hinz.

In addition to promoting health and wellness, the fair signified the start of Suicide Prevention Month in September, increasing awareness of the resources and services to help Soldiers and Families in the struggle against suicide.

“During the month of September, there are going to be activities dealing with suicide prevention, talking about resiliency, and helping our force, which includes not only our Soldiers, but our Families as well,” said Chisholm.

The fair included a booth dedicated to suicide prevention, topped with brochures, resources and places to go for help.

“I think this event shows there are people who care and want to help those in need, whether to promote health, or help those contemplating suicide,” said Camp. “Everybody is part of the team, and the Army wants us to succeed.”

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