A ‘different’ world: Nutrition, exercise seminar at Gaffney focuses on health

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April Hartsook, a personal trainer at Gaffney Fitness Center, leads about 40 Gaffney patrons on Saturday in “The WDDD - Want Different, Do Different Nutrition Seminar and Class Sampling” that featured a 30-minute nutrition class and 60 minutes of exercises. (Photos by Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Members of the Fort Meade community had an opportunity to get a jump start on New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

On Saturday, Gaffney Fitness Center offered “The WDDD – Want Different, Do Different Nutrition Seminar and Class Sampling.”

Personal trainer April Hartsook leads a 30-minute nutrition seminar focusing on the importance of knowing one’s basal metabolic rate in order to determine how many calories and how much exercise can lead to healthy weight loss or maintenance.

April Hartsook, an independent health and wellness contractor/trainer at Gaffney, led the 90-minute nutrition and exercise seminar. The class was based on the principles she teaches in her personal business and shares with her clientele of service members and Department of Army civilian employees.

“I wanted to bring my philosophy of [physical fitness] to people so they can learn how ownership and accountability of both exercise and nutrition can be beneficial,” Hartsook said. “I wanted to show people how you don’t have to give up all the things you love, just make small sacrifices by understanding the body’s need for fuel, versus its daily caloric and exercise expenditures.”

About 40 men and women participated in Saturday’s event.

During the 30-minute WDDD Nutrition 101 segment, Hartsook spoke about the importance of knowing one’s basal metabolic rate in order to determine how many calories the body burns at rest, and how that knowledge coupled with exercise can lead to healthy choices in weight loss or maintenance.

The basal metabolic rate is the rate of energy expenditure at rest. Once that number is determined, people can add the number of calories that are burned during an exercise workout to give them a snapshot of their total calorie burn for the day.

To lose weight, Hartsook said participants must subtract 200-300 calories for their BMR, never dropping below 1,200 calories, before adding in the total number of calories burned. Keeping in mind that every person is different, each formula is based on the individual.

Personal trainer April Hartsook leads a group of men and women at Gaffney Fitness Center in a one-hour sampling of exercises she teaches at Gaffney.

The total number is divided by the number 5 — three meals and two snacks. The result is the number of calories a person should eat at each meal and snack.

“Food is fuel and should not be used for ‘fun’ or to ‘forget’ the stresses of life,” Hartsook said.

Participants discovered their basal metabolic rate by using a calculator on a health and wellness website. Afterward, they estimated their daily caloric intake and the calories they burned through exercise as basis for their individual nutritional plan.

Hartsook then led the class through a series of four, 15-minute exercises as an example of the classes she teaches at Gaffney. The exercises included WDDD Butts and Guts, WDDD PLYO, WDDD Total Body and WDDD Resistance Bands.

“I try to get people to make things simple,” Hartsook said. “Take it one moment, one day at a time and do something different with the way you eat and exercise.”

Hartsook said there is no magic number to reach on the scale.

“There is no finish line and there is no numeric goal,” she said. “You should go by the inches lost, your body composition and how you feel — not the number on the scale.”

About 40 service members and civilians take part in a sampling of exercises that are led by April Hartsook in her classes at Gaffney Fitness Center.
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