Navy unit defies the winter blues

Published on Ms Dallas McMaugh (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): HMAS Albatross

Petty Officer Physical Trainer Chris Vale, records official timings of Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) personnel, as they cross the finish line as part of their health and fitness challenge. The challenge aims to promote healthier lifestyles in a supportive, fun and safe environment. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Petty Officer Physical Trainer Chris Vale, records official timings of Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) personnel, as they cross the finish line as part of their health and fitness challenge. The challenge aims to promote healthier lifestyles in a supportive, fun and safe environment.

Sport is a major part of life for many personnel at HMAS Albatross. The base offers a state of the art gym with dedicated areas for weights, cardio & indoor cycling and an even more dedicated team of Physical Training Instructors who organise three group fitness classes each day, weekly sporting challenges and personal training sessions.
 
There are outdoor fields for cricket, soccer, rugby, touch, Australian Rules Football & hockey, a 'ditching pool', a wide variety of sporting clubs and, for those wanting more of a marathon, there’s the rather large airfield to run or cycle around.
 
But, even the keenest athlete can feel their enthusiasm wane when faced with the winter chill and wind factor, which is why the Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) has implemented their own Health and Fitness Challenge to overcome what Executive Officer, Lieutenant Danica Thompson describes as 'the traditional winter lethargy.'

Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) personnel step off during the 2.4 km walk component of their health and fitness challenge. The challenge is open to all Australian AJAAC military and civilian personnel and aims to promote healthier lifestyles in a supportive, fun and safe environment.

Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) personnel step off during the 2.4 km walk component of their health and fitness challenge. The challenge is open to all Australian AJAAC military and civilian personnel and aims to promote healthier lifestyles in a supportive, fun and safe environment.


More than 18 personnel from AJAAC have signed on for the challenge, which is being conducted with the support of Physical Training Instructor Chris Vale.
 
“The program revolves around fortnightly 'fit checks', a body fat measurement, prone hold test and 2.4km walk test,” Petty Officer Vale said.
 
“Physical training staff are also delivering presentations on health, nutrition, physical training and rehabilitation,” he said.
 
Lieutenant Thompson said the Challenge was designed to promote healthy lifestyles in a supportive, fun, and safe environment.
 
“There should be quite a few positive outcomes,” Lieutenant Thompson said.
 
“While the benefits of taking time out for physical exercise and a healthy diet are immeasurable at home, it’s also proven to be a capability multiplier in the workplace.”
 
Having hit Week 3 of the program, Lieutenant Thomson acknowledged that there was testing times ahead.
 
“I think the main challenge will be keeping up the initial momentum, but results have started coming in and everyone is making such progress that I think momentum should take care of itself.”

Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) perform the plank strength exercise as part of their health and fitness challenge which aims to promote healthier lifestyles in a supportive, fun and safe environment.

Australian Joint Acoustic Analysis Centre (AJAAC) perform the plank strength exercise as part of their health and fitness challenge which aims to promote healthier lifestyles in a supportive, fun and safe environment.


Petty Officer Vale said his team of Physical Training Instructors were prepared for a midway motivation lag.
 
“The point based system for this challenge should drive continued results and attendance,” he said  
 
“Consistency and visibility of results will be the keystone strategies for continuous improvement.”
 
“While we do expect these results to plateau at around four to six weeks, we will use this to give more education about rehabilitation and increasing intensity and volume safely,” Petty Officer Vale said.
 
The competition will last for twelve weeks, and will end just in time to add some extra spring into everyone’s steps in the warmer months.
 
Asked what his primary goal for his participants of the AJAAC Health and Fitness Challenge was, Petty Officer Vale simply said “A long and healthy life.”