Participants can learn how to burn calories ahead of time, make healthy substitutes to stave off weight gain
What started as one Soldier’s class project is now giving members of the Fort Leonard Wood community a roadmap to avoid weight gain this Thanksgiving holiday season.
The Thanksgiving Virtual Burn to Earn is the creation of Capt. Sarah Hoyt, who is currently assigned to Company C, 554th Engineer Battalion, as a student in the Captains Career Course here. Hoyt is also working toward a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Wellness from Liberty University.
It was while looking to complete a requirement toward her master’s degree that Hoyt first approached the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Installation Wide Events Office about coordinating some type of physical-activity event for the community.
With COVID-19 mitigation measures in place, her initial proposal was reworked into a virtual event for the holiday. Hoyt spent many hours gathering, researching and writing what would become the “Burn-to-Earn” program.
To participate, visitors to the FMWR website can register to receive the plan by email. They can also download an accompanying PDF, which lists healthy eating options and substitutes that can lower calorie counts. It also lists calorie burn rates for a variety of exercises, plus a formula showing how much exercise is needed to burn off a traditional Thanksgiving meal, which averages 2,240 calories. The program is free and open to anyone.
“I hope people see (the program) as an opportunity to become or stay healthy,” Hoyt said. “I would like every person who signs up to meet or exceed their calorie burn goal. Further, I hope this program encourages people to continue exercising throughout their lifetime.”
Eli Wilson, FMWR Recreation Community Activities manager, said Hoyt’s program allowed the Installation Wide Events office to offer an additional virtual event for the Fort Leonard Wood community.
“She came to us about doing some type of program, and she’s very into health and fitness,” Wilson said. “So, she came up with the idea to create a typical Thanksgiving dinner along with the calories for each item, and then turn it into an equation with how many miles to walk, how many pushups to do, how many sit-ups to do, etc., to burn calories in advance of the meal. For her, it met a course requirement. For us, it was a chance to offer an additional fitness opportunity to the community.”
Hoyt has studied fitness and body movement for some time. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the United States Military Academy. She promotes fitness because she believes it’s important for everyone.
“As a Soldier, it is important to keep the body healthy and mobile in order to execute missions,” she said. “Being healthy not only helps me perform physically, but it also helps me perform mentally. When I am healthy, I am at the top of my game.”
Registration for the Thanksgiving Virtual Burn to Earn program is available at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/calendar/event/thanksgiving- virtual-burn-earn/4777504/54054.