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NEWS | Aug. 1, 2012

HAWC: A full house now

By Senior Airman Dennis Sloan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Interested in eating healthier, losing a few pounds, running more efficiently or just checking your blood pressure? The Joint Base Charleston Health and Wellness Center has it all.

The HAWC's mission is to cultivate a fit and healthy force. They achieve this through classes and services that address nutrition, exercise, tobacco cessation wellness and relaxation.

To fulfill this mission, the HAWC recently added two new staff members to their team.

Wendy Wyatt, HAWC dietitian, and Betsy Wagner, HAWC exercise physiologist, joined the team making the HAWC fully staffed for the first time in more than a year.

"Now that we have an exercise physiologist and dietician we have the subject matter experts to help our Airmen and their families stay healthy and reach their fitness and nutritional goals," said Capt. Stephanie White, 628th Medical Group chief of public health operations.

Nutritional services offered include: meal planning for a healthy heart, weight management, diabetes prevention and management, nutrition for athletes and healthy cooking.

"We don't just sit in a classroom and talk about nutrition, we do hands-on activities and have group discussions," said Wyatt.

With funding provided by the Comprehensive Airman Fitness program to address healthy eating practices, the HAWC hosts a cooking class at the Trident Technical College culinary school with local chef Ken Immer once a quarter.

"When we first started this class at TTC, we were worried we wouldn't have many participants," said Staff Sgt. Amanda Hastings, HAWC office manager and 628th MDG technician. "We couldn't have been anymore more wrong. We now have a waiting list that continues to grow for this class."

The HAWC aslo offers several exercise services as well as a wide selection of workout DVD's that can be checked out for weeks at a time.

"We truly have something for everyone," said Hastings. "Our workout DVD's range from the newest P90-X videos to Zumba. We even have workout videos for children to burn off some energy during the day."

If a customer is looking to get a body-fat analysis, the HAWC has a machine called the "Bod Pod" that can do just that.

"The Bod Pod is not just for those who are overweight or struggling with maintaining a certain weight," said Hastings. "The machine is also available for those who are looking to lose a little weight by showing them areas they need to concentrate on during their workout."

Runners can also benefit from the HAWC's gait analysis, which helps determine which running shoe is best for them by being videotaped on a treadmill and then reviewing it. There are also several running clinics held throughout the year.

The HAWC even has a standalone blood pressure screening table that can be used on a walk-in basis.

The HAWC also offers wellness and relaxation classes and a variety of DVD's and CD's that have relaxing music for sleeping or meditating in a relaxation room with a massage chair.

"The relaxation room has mood lighting, relaxing music and a massage chair where an Airman can take a few minutes to relax and reflect on their day," said Hastings. "We've had Airmen come in during their lunch break and sit in the chair for 30 minutes just to take a little mental break from work. It's a great resource and we hope more people will use it."

Smokers are also one of the HAWC's priorities and they offer a tobacco cessation program that includes: classes, pamphlets, support groups, nicotine gum and medication. Contact the HAWC for more information on how to enroll in the program.

Massage therapy is also offered at the HAWC, but it does require a fee for service.

The HAWC is located behind the JB Charleston - Air Base Fitness and Sports Center in Building 225. Their hours of operations are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 963-4087 for more information.