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NEWS | July 22, 2021

Army Wellness Center relocates

By Onyx Taylor-Catterson 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

On July 3, 2021, the JBLE-Eustis Army Wellness Center relocated to become more accessible to McDonald Army Health Center and the other health clinics on Fort Eustis.


The AWC is now located in building 500, Warrior Transition Unit Complex, at the intersection of 25th Street and Sternberg Avenue.


In addition to free health and fitness testing, the AWC offers classes and support to active duty service members, family members 18 and older, reservists on orders, retirees and Department of Defense civilians.  


The center provides clients with customized, evidence-based solutions to help them on their wellness journey in the areas of exercise, nutrition and stress management.


Samantha Melius, director of the AWC, suggests taking the three available health assessments to create a roadmap to better health and fitness. The assessments include body composition analysis (BOD POD), metabolic testing and exercise testing.


As the center’s most popular assessment, BOD POD helps to determine an individual's body composition and body fat percentage by using air displacement, explained Melius.


“This BOD POD is going to tell us how much fat mass you have and how much fat-free mass you have” she said.  “We can figure out what we need to do to help you get the results you are trying to achieve; the things you can't tell at home on a regular scale.”


Clients can use the BOD POD at a minimum of every 30 days. Melius recommends that clients get assessed every 6 weeks to track exercise prescription progress.


The exercise prescription is a plan that can be emailed or texted to participants; complete with videos and optional tracking for added accountability. The plan can be customized to the client's lifestyle to include injuries or limited exercise equipment.


Metabolic testing provides participants with the number of calories their body uses while resting and the actual rate of their metabolism to determine how many food calories are required for weight loss, gain or maintenance.


“One important thing, we don't want to eat below that [resting metabolic rate] because that's what we need to function,” Melius said. “Under-eating will still put fat on us. If we see weight loss when we're under-eating, it's usually a muscle loss.”


The exercise testing includes three parts: it measures flexibility, muscular fitness and a VO2 Submax test. The VO2 Submax test measures cardiorespiratory fitness and heart rate training zones. This testing combination takes about 90 minutes. Heart training zones help patients train for their specific goals based on height, weight, gender and age.


In addition to fitness assessments, the AWC offers a variety of wellness classes: stress management, upping your metabolism, meals in minutes and fueling for health. Stress management is available by private appointment.


By utilizing emWave technology, AWC staff are able to find the stress relief technique that works best for the client, Melius explained. “There are four different stress relief techniques, which are guided imagery, mindful meditation, progressive muscle relaxation and deep breath or box breathing.”


“emWave measures your heart rate variability and your level of coherence,” said Melius. “When your heart and your head are on the same page, you're in coherence, you're in a calm state.”

AWC staff will also visit units and other community organizations on Fort Eustis to provide health-related services.


“The big goal is community health and population health on this installation,” said Melius.


To make an appointment, call (757) 314-7724. For more information, visit: