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Free fitness assessments available

Northwest Guardian

Published: 12:00PM January 7th, 2016

If you go

What: Army Wellness Center

Where: Jensen Family Health and Fitness Center, Building 2022 on Lewis Main

When: Open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

The beginning of the year is often when people think about their fitness; because what do people frequently declare for their New Year’s Resolution? Losing a few extra pounds.

Whether you want to lose five, 10 or more pounds for the summer, it’s best to go into the world of fitness armed with knowledge. Some of us have been guilty of walking into a gym without a real plan of how the workout is going to go.

That’s why it’s important to speak with professionals who can help you design a workout plan for your needs and goals. The Army Wellness Center at Jensen Family Health and Fitness Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord can provide that with health assessment testing.

They do that with biometric screening and other tools to educate and manage nutrition, stress and various health factors.

“We’re looking to have a comprehensive program that focuses on measuring your life; it’s very individualized and very targeted towards their goals,” said Dr. Teresa Bruder, director of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Wellness Center.

The first step to developing one’s health plan is for the staff to administer a free fitness assessment inside the Human Performance Lab. The subject runs or walks on a treadmill while wearing a mask that helps track cardiovascular health and heart rate.

The results are downloaded into a program where those numbers, along with other measurements, are factored into an exercise plan based on the individual’s health and physical abilities.

“For most people, we see when people take (exercise resolutions) to the extreme, it doesn’t work,” said Katie Willet, who administers fitness assessments for the AWC. “(The assessment is) really meant to determine the best ways to develop a specific plan — we like to focus on training smarter, not just harder.”

The next step is measuring one’s resting metabolic and biometrics in the Army Wellness Center’s Metabolic Lab. The exam requires lying down for about 15 minutes while oxygen use and resting heart rate are determined.

After that, nurse educators like Lynn Bock enter information based on lifestyle, weight loss and muscle gain goals.

Completion of these tests will ultimately help decipher how many calories one should consume on a daily basis to achieve goals.

From there, individuals receive a workout plan, a diet guide and access to other resources such as fitness and wellness classes offered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“We’re able to do a warm handoff to (the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation), and they can do the classes here,” Bruder said. “(Clients) not only learn about AWC services; they can learn about Family and MWR programs, too.”

Assessments and classes are free to all Department of Defense ID cardholders in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community. For more information, visit or call 253-966-3757.

Dean Siemon: dsiemon, @deansiemon