Since 1984, May has been recognized Army-wide as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and Fort Huachuca plays an active role in promoting and participating in the many events held to raise awareness of the benefits of exercising and eating better.
In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the 2013 Army Strong B.A.N.D.S. campaign is underway through this month, encouraging Soldiers and their Families to work towards Balance, Activity, Nutrition, Determination and Strength to enhance their lifestyle.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Strong-Ready-Resilient Soldiers, Families and Communities.”
This year, 71 installations are participating in the Strong B.A.N.D.S. campaign, and Fort Huachuca is on that list. Each location can host three fitness events.
Carole Herr, Strong B.A.N.D.S. coordinator, explained, “They pick a minimum of three events that they want to highlight. We’re not asking them to create new programs, just to highlight existing programs to help generate extra buzz and participation in a class or program that already exists.”
The Fort Huachuca Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate has already held some events. The six-mile qualifying run, to place for the Army ten-miler in October, took place on May 4. Soldiers and Families experienced the fun of the Where-Is-It? Scavenger Hunt on May 11.
Today, Fort Huachuca Sports, Fitness and Aquatics will host the Strong B.A.N.D.S. Indoor Triathlon, beginning at 8 a.m. at Barnes Field House.
“We at Fort Huachuca love putting on fitness activities,” said Leslie Woods, chief of Sports, Fitness and Aquatics. “The added emphasis of May being the National Sports and Fitness Month just further encourages folks to get out and move for recreation. It’s the best time of the year to be outside in Southern Arizona.”
While May is dedicated as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, Fort Huachuca offers a variety of physical fitness and nutritional options that assist people with staying in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the entire year.
The two fitness facilities on post, Barnes Field House and Eifler Fitness Center, provide activities, services and equipment to suit most everyone’s needs. These include: basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts; weight rooms; an indoor, heated pool; an outdoor 400-meter track; group fitness classes; and one-on-one, fee-for-service personal training. For hours, class descriptions and schedules, visit www.facebook.com/HuaSportsandFitness.com.
Physical fitness is not limited to adults. For those who want to include their Family in their workouts, the Family Fitness Facility has several activities for children to do while their parents are working out. If children are old enough, they and their parents can build strength and endurance by working out together.
Keith Wallen, recreation aide, said, “We cater to Soldiers and their Families with younger children, allowing them to work out and watch their children at the same time.”
A post-wide Commanders Cup Program is offered at Fort Huachuca, allowing units to compete against each other in flag football, cross-country running, basketball, racquetball, soccer, softball, golf and volleyball.
Other Fort Huachuca options for keeping fit include golfing at the Mountain View Gold Course, hitting balls at the batting cages, playing paintball at Pauley Field or hiking in the Huachuca Mountains.
While keeping active plays a large part of a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet is just as beneficial. Those who have access to Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center are invited to visit the nutrition clinic for information on what to eat to promote a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a certain health-related goal.
Sonia Blodgett, a Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center nutritionist, explained that a lower fat, lower cholesterol and higher fiber diet can decrease the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
“Good nutrition plays a role in improving overall health and can decrease the risk of developing certain diseases later in life,” she said. “Individuals that are overweight or obese tend to develop blood sugar or blood pressure problems at a younger age. Proper nutrition promotes a healthy body weight.”
To contact the nutrition clinic, call 533.9033 or 533.2066.
The National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and healthy nutrition, at home, at work and in the community. Warmer weather offers more opportunities to get the entire Family outside together, riding bicycles, playing with the dog or grilling healthy foods on the grill.
In his 2013 National Physical Fitness and Sports Month proclamation, President Barack Obama said, “Alongside our friends and Family, let each of us recommit to leading a healthy, active lifestyle, and setting our children on the path to a brighter future.”
Regardless of how it is done, make healthy living a way of life.