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Get fit: Fort Rucker promotes healthy living with 2nd annual Fit Fest

Soldiers participate in a burpee challenge during Fort Rucker’s Fit Fest April 8. (Photo by Jenny Stripling)

Soldiers participate in a burpee challenge during Fort Rucker’s Fit Fest April 8. (Photo by Jenny Stripling)

Published: April 14, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 14, 2016) -- Soldiers, families and civilians made the most of a sunny afternoon during Fort Rucker’s second annual Fit Fest and Safety Stand Down April 8 at the festival fields.

Businesses and groups from Fort Rucker and the Wiregrass area offered attendees group games, activities and health information. Among the approximate 55 vendors on site were Medical Center Enterprise, the Directorate of Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Women’s Health Care of Dothan, American Family Care and more.

“This Fit Fest and Commander’s Fit Challenge is designed to help improve readiness across the installation, assess health of our Soldiers, provide awareness of community wellness resources and promote team building,” said Maj. JoAnne Ward, chief of preventive medicine at Lyster Army Health Clinic.

One of the most interactive events at Fit Fest was Zumba, which got participants moving and grooving.

Heather Rivas and her 3-year-old son, Axel, joined the group for the cardio dance session.

“This is a great event. Axel especially loves Zumba,” said Rivas. “This is a great event that provides information on health and fitness.”

Col. Gary Wheeler, commander of Lyster Army Health Clinic, said there are many different aspects of health besides physical health and Fit Fest focuses on all aspects of quality health including social, family and spiritual health.

“Making sure our Soldiers and their families are safe, healthy and fit directly contributes to health readiness overall,” said Wheeler. “Fit Fest is a fun, interactive way to reach out and provide knowledge to our Soldiers and families on ways to improve their health and fitness. Most decisions that people make to stay healthy don’t happen in the doctor’s office. They happen where people work and live – where they spend the majority of their time.”

Wheeler said Fit Fest is just one way for the Fort Rucker community to make a difference in their health and their family’s health. Throughout the entire year, Fort Rucker and Lyster Army Health Clinic offer healthy events, cooking classes and activities such as races, Zumba and yoga.

He encourages everyone at Fort Rucker to continue making good health decisions, even if they are small changes.

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