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Adapted by the Defense Health Agency’s Health Promotion and Wellness department, Wellness and Readiness (WaR) is a program designed to support active duty Warfighters in achieving their short and long-term health goals to reach optimal wellness and resiliency. The WaR team is made up of experienced, highly-adaptable health coaches who empower program participants to be in the driver’s seat of their health roadmap. The program offers wellness assessments, health coaching and interactive classes that are accompanied by the team’s commitment to guiding participants from their current physical fitness levels toward a healthier lifestyle that lasts beyond their military service.
U.S. Navy Photo Illustration by Jonathan Donnelly, Warfighter Wellness
Wellness assessments are conducted by WaR health coaches at regular intervals through each participant’s time in the program. This allows the health coaches to gain a better understanding of the Warfighters they are working with directly. The first assessment is body composition using the ultrasound wand technology. Measuring multiples sites on the body, this device analyzes how much body weight is made up of fat versus how much is muscle. The second assessment focuses on measuring resting metabolic rate. This determines how many calories the body burns at rest, which helps participants understand the number of calories they should consume each day to achieve or maintain a healthy weight. The final assessment includes fitness testing. These tests identify the body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise and measure strength and flexibility.
The classes are structured to include centering (for balance and body awareness), proper warm-up, strength, cardio, flexibility, special pregnancy and postpartum exercises and relaxation techniques in each one-hour session. Participants appreciate the variety of exercises provided within the class sessions and the emphasis on safety.
“Assessments are extremely valuable because they give you something to look at and compare. Doing assessments every few months helps you see the change in your body composition. The assessments help you see that your fat percentage has gone down. It keeps you motivated.”
- WaR participant
The WaR program has six wellness classes that allow participants to build a foundation of knowledge on how to boost metabolism, stay active with little to no equipment, plan healthy meals, manage stress and establish a better sleep routine.
Images courtesy of Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS)
The program’s health coaching encourages participants to set SMART goals, build personalized action plans, adapt healthy behaviors and address potential barriers in exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress management. Regular sessions allow the health coach and participant to monitor progress, modify action plans or goals and celebrate the participant’s success.
“I really enjoy the accountability aspect of this program. Having to check in every two weeks keeps me on track. Check-ins allow my health coach and me to go over my day-to-day caloric intake in an app I use, which helps me stay aligned with the goals we set together.”
To maximize the participant’s time, little is required to participate in WaR. A time commitment of up to one hour for wellness assessments, 45 to 60 minutes for wellness classes and 15 to 30 minutes for health coaching sessions is all that is needed. Classes and health coaching sessions are offered in person and virtually. All resources, assessment results and progress are tracked on our interactive app called CoachMePlus. This app allows the participant to view their progress and chat with their health coach all at the palm of their hand. The app is free to download and is compatible with Android and iPhone. The WaR team is currently located in hallway C within Naval Station Norfolk Branch Clinic (formerly known as Sewell’s Point Branch Clinic) and is open for assessment appointments from 0730 to 1400 on weekdays.
For more information on WaR services and/or to make an appointment, please call or text the team at (948) 205-0105 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. The team is available weekdays from 0730 to 1530.
Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
7700 Arlington Blvd. Ste. 5113 Falls Church, VA 22042-5113
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