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Want to get fit? Take AFMC's Team Lean Challenge

Airman 1st Class Joshua Langenfeld, 66th Medical Operations Squadron, weighs in March 28 at the Health and Wellness Center for Air Force Materiel Command’s Team Lean Challenge. TLC is a command-wide initiative that begins April 16 and runs through Sept. 28. (US Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Clinton Atkins)

Airman 1st Class Joshua Langenfeld, 66th Medical Operations Squadron, weighs in March 28 at the Health and Wellness Center for Air Force Materiel Command’s Team Lean Challenge. TLC is a command-wide initiative that begins April 16 and runs through Sept. 28. (US Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Clinton Atkins)

Hanscom AFB -- As April approaches, many may find resolutions made at the beginning of the New Year -- promises to lose weight, employ healthier eating habits and begin regular and vigorous workout routines -- to be difficult endeavors. 

Opportunities on base have recently come available to help the Hanscom community strive toward building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. One program in particular, Air Force Materiel Command's Team Lean Challenge, offers the chance for the Hanscom community to band together in five-person teams with the goals of losing weight and changing exercise habits. 

This command-wide initiative, which begins April 16 and runs through Sept. 28, is designed to promote weight loss for healthy living -- with the goal of participants reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, states the AFMC Wellness Web site, www.afmcwellness.com. 

Team members will compete by working out regularly and changing their eating habits in order to lose weight. At the completion of the program, the team with the highest percentage of weight loss will be deemed the TLC winner. Awards will be presented for the winning team at each installation. The unit awards will be based on the greatest amount of weight lost per unit member (total amount of weight lost divided by the number of unit members). Winning installation awards will be based on the same criteria, states the Web site. 

Hanscom is off to a strong start -- ten teams had signed up as of Monday, the first day of registration and initial weigh-ins. It is not too late for those still wanting to participate, however. Those ready to begin the endeavor and team up with co-workers, friends and family can join the journey to a healthier lifestyle by logging onto the AFMC Wellness Web site and visiting the link for the TLC. 

In order to enroll, however, participants must first take the health risk appraisal listed on the Web site's homepage under Health Assessments. Once taken, individuals can visit the TLC site and follow the instructions to become a team player. 

After registering online, individuals will be teamed up with four other TLC participants. Hanscom teams must then attend an initial weigh-in at either the Health and Wellness Center or the Fitness and Sports Center. See the schedule at the end of this article for dates and times available for weighing in.

Tools for staying focused
The AFMC Wellness Web site offers numerous tools to help teams form goals, workout plans and track weight loss during the challenge. Participants can follow the link titled "Session One: Preparing for the Challenge" on the TLC link where they will find resources such as an example goal sheet to help teams form their own objectives, an overall game plan worksheet to guide participants through the process, and a daily food and exercise log to aid in weekly workout routines and eating habits. 

Participants wishing to tailor workouts and meals to their goal weight and current lifestyle can use the interactive tools available in Session One that include the Daily Calorie Needs Calculator, Body Mass Index Calculator and Food Group Calculator. As part of AFMC's "10,000 Steps a Day" campaign -- an ongoing program that promotes active lifestyles -- the HAWC is offering complimentary pedometers at initial weigh-ins as an incentive for registering for the TLC. 

Hanscom fitness opportunities 
For teams looking for fitness opportunities to spice up their current workout routines, the following events and classes are scheduled:
 
Aqua Workout: This activity meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and every Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. at the base pool. This workout combines shallow and deep water exercises and focuses on working different muscle groups to increase muscle tone, strength, endurance and flexibility. 

Cycling A.M.: This class will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:45 a.m., and is open to all levels. 

Cycling P.M.: This moderately intense class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5 p.m. It uses speed, strength and endurance to burn calories. 

Muscle Conditioning: This class is held every Monday and Friday at 10 a.m., and focuses on burning calories while strengthening and toning muscles. 

Physical Training Boot Camp: This intense workout is held every Monday at 7 a.m. at the Tennis Bubble and every Wednesday at 7 a.m. at the Fitness Center. 

Total Body Sculpt: This strengthening class is held every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:45 a.m. It concentrates on working a combination of all the large and small muscle groups, including the core, using different types of resistance training. 

Yoga: Held Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, and Wednesdays at 10 a.m., this class seeks to enhance and improve participants' strength and flexibility through basic and effective moves. This class can also act as an excellent cross-training activity. 

All classes meet at the Fitness Center unless otherwise noted. TLC weigh-in times, locations Heath and Wellness Center April 2 to 5: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 10 to 12: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fitness and Sports Center: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays: 5 to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays: noon to 2 p.m. (Registration closes April 12.) To make an appointment, call the HAWC at (781) 377-6560 or the Fitness Center at (781) 377-3639.