The Health and Wellness Center finished its second Walking for Wellness 10-week program with a 10K walk on base April 10. The 10K walk was the program's culminating event to help its 47 members set and achieve a significant fitness goal.
Kristy Carson and Jessie Gold were the two student interns with the HAWC who revived the Walking for Wellness program this year in part to complete a project for their bachelor's degree in Health Promotion at Weber State University.
"This program was created last semester by another student intern and it was very well received by (Team Hill)," said Gold.
Gold and Carson decided to spearhead the program for the spring semester and make a few improvements to the original program.
"We made the program a bit longer, we added more instructional classes, and we opened it to both men and women," said Gold.
Gold noted the first program was available for women only. "It was nice to have it open to both men and women because we saw a few couples going to this together and we even had a guy come all the way out here from Dugway (Proving Grounds)."
The program is also open to both civilian and military members of Team Hill. Several of the program's members were active duty military.
The instructional portion of the program included classes about proper nutrition, strength training techniques and, the most popular topic with the program participants, stress and time management skills.
"Everyone who filled out a survey about this program said they enjoyed the stress management class the most," said Carson. "It is probably because there are not that many classes on this topic that are offered at the moment."
The program kicked off Feb. 3 with initial recordings of each participant's body mass index, weight, and arm, hip and waist measurements. Their progress was then measured by the final recordings of these health indicators during their final meeting on April 7.
"We are happy to report that everyone improved in their final measurements," said Carson. "Another bonus was hearing that one of our participants signed up for the (Hill Air Force Base) half-marathon in May! He started out walking in February and now he's running."
Kate Fisk, a mechanic with the 531st Commodities Maintenance Squadron, reported losing several inches throughout her body since she joined the program in February. "That's good," she said about losing the inches, "but I feel so much better and that's the real reason why I joined this program. When I started, 30 to 40 minutes of walking was really hard, but now it's a breeze!"
Other tangible rewards and incentives were offered to participants throughout the 10 weeks of the program, such as receiving free healthy recipes each week, a plethora of handouts regarding many health issues and a book to track progress. A prize of one free training session with a personal trainer at the Warrior Health and Fitness Center was also given to the participant who recorded the most walking days in his or her log book.
Gayle Sisson, a civilian dependent, won the prize with 47 walking days logged. "I used the log book plus I used the Web site, Sparkpeople.com, to track my fitness progress and to stay motivated. I also used a pedometer to help keep track (of distance)."
At the end of the 10K walk, five other prizes were given to participants in a random drawing, including a $50 gift certificate to Big 5 Sporting Goods, a gift certificate to the ENC Juice Bar, movie tickets, golf balls and boxing gloves.
Although the Walking for Wellness program will not begin again until another HAWC student intern picks up where Carson and Gold left off, some participants still plan to meet twice each week to continue their walking routines together.
"Many of the participants have built friendships throughout this program and they want to continue to meet on their own," said Gold.