A trainer licensed by AllenForce for the Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies program goes beyond the typical relationship of an everyday trainer and client. It is a more personal relationship, maintaining a close contact with the veterans. The trainer also works closely with the HMHB Coordinators, communicating any adaptive needs for the gym and reporting on the fitness goals achieved. Being an HMHB Trainer means also having the ability to be a veteran’s battle buddy in the gym. The foundational knowledge for this step comes from the training achieved through our mandatory HMHB Workshop. Build up of the trust and rapport between the HMHB trainer and the veteran is imperative for success.
This workshop is designed to give professionals working with injured veterans up to date information regarding veteran topics, including veteran culture, general injury (physical and psychological) and disability awareness, barriers (and solutions) in a fitness facility environment and adapted exercise programming for these individuals. The goal is to build the professionals capacity of awareness of veteran specific issues, provide information and build confidence to run veteran interviews, provide safe and effective exercise and wellness programs and direction for collecting data and evaluative results. Participants receive the Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies: Serving Injured Veterans Manual for continual reference while working with veterans. Upon staff completion of the workshop, facilities are eligible to engage in a licensing agreement with AllenForce to represent HMHB at their hometown facility. Independent fitness professionals are eligible to work with veterans in their area at licensed facilities.
Talk with your fitness center about hosting the program. If you need advise or information, refer them to this web page. There are many benefits to being a host site! Make sure you have your personal trainer certification and contact us to find out about upcoming trainings.
This workshop is designed to give professionals working with injured veterans up to date information regarding veteran topics, including veteran culture, general injury (physical and psychological) and disability awareness, barriers (and solutions) in a fitness facility environment and adapted exercise programming for these individuals.
I’ve had the fortunate experience to work with Abraham, a marine, at the Lombard Park District for the past 8 or so months. During that time, I’ve truly come to know Abraham’s background which amazingly includes fleeing from the Sudan crisis some years back, and coming to America. Abraham’s family remain in Africa and although I’ve wondered how much this impacts him, he never seems to complain or show regret re: decision to come to America.
My main goals in working with Abraham have focused on establishing an environment where he can exercise and be accepted. Unique to Lombard’s facility, we are abundant in veteran retirees who exercise in the early morning hours (when Abraham and I work together)- all of whom have openly accepted Abraham and shown sincere interest in his military service, life plans, etc. Abraham’s free time is scarce due to the rigorous demands of being an Architecture student at C.O.D., and pursuing a part-time job.
At the end of the College of DuPage’s winter semester, 2011, I traveled to Abraham’s classroom to observe his Architectural portfolio presentation. While there, I was able to observe one of his projects up close and personal. He spends an unbelievable amount of time on these projects, which at times, has caused him to sleep in and miss our training session’s. I’ve also offered my support to Abraham as a job reference/resource person. He’s currently trying for a job as a Security guard and has listed me as a reference. His long term goals include transferring to a 4-year University (University of Illinois; Illinois Institute of Technology) to complete his degree in Agriculture.
Our training sessions have really focused on conditioning that at times, resembles his military training. Though he never complains, it’s quite apparent when he’s reached his VO2Max!
In conclusion, I’ve benefited, personally, from knowing and working with Abraham and am thrilled Lombard Park District has had this opportunity.
Lou Ann Chvatal, MS, RD, LDN, cpt
My name is Tom Snarich,ACE and I have been working with the HMHB program for nearly two years.
Men and women from the Iraqi war to Veterans from Vietnam. It has been my pleasure to work with such nice people. Not being a Vet myself I didn't have a clue what people go through to protect our freedom. Now that I have worked with people with different disabilities I am beginning to understand.
They talk freely about what they did in the service, and they all have the same positive attitude about serving their Country. Never once have I heard any negativity. They are proud for what they did, in the service as they should be, and the least I can do is give them an hour of a good workout.
I say Thank You to the Veterans.
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