By Nancy Parrish, Staff Writer
When Shawn Kelly found out last year that he had high blood pressure, he was determined to do something about it. Luckily for Kelly, an instrumentation technician III, Facilities Maintenance and Engineering, he works at the Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF), where he can take advantage of the gym there, known as the Wellness Center.
He began a program of working out at the Wellness Center four days a week. “I do anything from 10 to 15 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill, and about 30 minutes lifting,” he said. The lifting routine varies according to the muscle group he is focusing on. Mostly, he says, he uses the universal weight equipment as well as free weights.
After 11 months of dedication to his fitness program, Kelly saw dramatic results. “Before I started working out, I got daily headaches from the high blood pressure. Now, I don’t have high blood pressure anymore, so no more headaches,” he said. He also dropped 20 pounds. “I feel rejuvenated after my workouts,” he added.
Wellness Center Open to All Employees
Employees at the ATRF aren’t the only ones who can use the gym. Earlier this year, the ATRF Wellness Center was opened to all government and contractor employees at NCI at Frederick, regardless of their work location. It is equipped with elliptical trainers, treadmills, and universal weights, and has changing rooms available with showers and lockers.
To use the Wellness Center, you must first complete a pre-fitness questionnaire, which is reviewed by Occupational Health Services. Once you are cleared and have received and acknowledged that you have read the Wellness Center guidelines, you will be given access to the ATRF through your PIV card. Then you are free to use the Wellness Center at your convenience.
While there is no support staff for the Wellness Center, the workout area is equipped with security cameras that are monitored by Protective Services. Employees using the center voluntarily assume all risks associated with using the equipment, and are encouraged to exercise at their own level and pace.
Hours of operation are from 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from noon until 11:00 p.m. on weekends. The Wellness Center is open to employees only. For more information, contact Occupational Health Services at 301-846-1096.