Soldiers in transition at Fort Carson use adaptive reconditioning to reach new heights

WTU Force Structure Staff Sgt. Yvonne Mace cools down after leg exercises. She and more than a dozen other Soldiers in the Fort Carson WTB participate in the Strength and Reconditioning program (Photo provided by Leigh Ann Slinger).

By: Whitney Delbridge Nichels, Warrior Care and Transition

ARLINGTON, Va. - Staff Sgt. Yvonne Mace says she had never taken a ride on a mountain bike before entering the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Carson, Colo.

“It’s not something I would have done on my own,” Mace said.

Now it’s just one of many adaptive reconditioning activities she uses to help with her recovery and rehabilitation.

“I’ve benefited greatly from a variety of adaptive reconditioning programs that have supported my goals both mentally and physically,” Mace said.

One activity that’s gaining popularity is the Fort Carson WTB’s Strength and Conditioning Program. Currently, Mace and 16 other Soldiers in transition participate on a weekly basis in a wide range of physical fitness activities - from resistance training and cardio to balance work and stretching.

According to the WTB’s adaptive reconditioning staff, one of their goals is to make sure Soldiers do not put their overall health on the back burner while focusing on rehab and recovery.

The program is customized for each individual and is designed to help participants develop proper form and core stability that will give them a solid foundation to excel in other adaptive sports and activities.

“Strength and conditioning has helped me understand the proper way to lift and given me a variety of exercises to use for the rest of my life,” said Mace.

And she isn’t the only one seeing the benefits. Adaptive Reconditioning staff members say the activities can help Soldiers lose weight and rebuild muscle mass that was lost as a result of injuries.

Mace plans on continuing to use the lessons she’s learned. “The fundamentals I have developed in this program will aid me in staying injury free while I continue to incorporate strength training into my active lifestyle.”