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Rambler 'Wellness Wars' adds body-fat category

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing OL-B Public Affairs | Dec. 7, 2011

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Registration will begin next week and continue through Jan. 6 for the second edition of a 12-week challenge that encourages healthy lifestyle changes.

The second annual Randolph Wellness Wars, a collaborative effort of the Health and Wellness Center and the Rambler Fitness Center, will again offer the base community - active-duty personnel and their dependents, Reservists, retirees, Department of Defense civilians and contractors 18 years and older - an incentive program to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular exercise.

This year's Wellness Wars, which begins Jan. 16, adds a twist - an opportunity to reduce body fat.

"This time we'll have two different categories - weight loss for individuals or teams of four and body fat for individuals," Jennifer Sides, HAWC registered dietitian, said. "The body-fat category is for people who may not want to lose weight, but want to lower their percentage of body fat."

Participants in the weight-loss category must attend an initial weigh-in session at the HAWC the week of Jan. 9-13 and at least three of the four subsequent weigh-ins, she said. Weigh-ins will be conducted on a walk-in basis during the HAWC's business hours, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Participants in the body-fat category will be measured for the first time that same week using the HAWC's Bod Pod, a computerized, egg-shaped chamber that determines lean body mass. They must schedule a 30-minute session by calling 652-3644 and will be given instructions prior to their first session. Subsequent body-fat measurements will be taken during the middle and at the end of Wellness Wars.

"By adding the body-fat category, we hope to open the competition to a new demographic," Sides said.

Prospective participants may pick up registration packets, which include detailed instructions, at the HAWC or fitness center, and turn them in before or during their initial weigh-ins or body-fat measurement. Forms will also be available through e-mail and may be submitted to jennifer.sides.ctr@us.af.mil.

Participants will accumulate points based on their fruit and vegetable intake and amount of exercise and be eligible for prizes in these categories: individual and team percentage of weight loss, individual and team with the most points earned, individual with the greatest percentage of body fat loss and unit with the most participation.

Points may also be earned by attending group exercise classes and special events at the fitness center, 30-minute lunch-and-learn sessions and classes at the HAWC, and attending weigh-ins, completing a pre- and post-survey and referring a "buddy."

Sides said the first Wellness Wars was successful, attracting about 300 initial participants.

"All the participants lost almost 1,000 pounds in all," she said. "It really went well."

Sides said the lunch-and-learn sessions proved to be popular, so the HAWC will be offering even more this time. Those sessions will only be available to Wellness Wars participants.

"Some participants went to every single class," she said.

Sides also said the first Wellness Wars attracted a variety of participants.

"We'd like to have even more this time," she said.

For more information, call 652-3644.