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IRAHC hosting inaugural ‘Lunch with the Commander Bike Ride’

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By RACHAEL TOLLIVER

Ireland Army Health Clinic will host an inaugural “Lunch with the Commander Bike Ride” Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in recognition of National Ride your Bike Month. During May this national campaign encourages people to ride their bikes to work, in play and for exercise—riding could not only save money on gas, but save some lives through exercise.

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Col. Bob Cornes, IRAHC commander, is an avid biking enthusiast and saw NRYBM as an opportunity to better educate the Fort Knox community about the Army’s Performance Triad initiative—the three key ingredients to a healthy life.

“It’s no secret that exercise is one of the keys to healthy living,” he explained. “We all have an activity that we like better than others and once we find our niche we are likely to be involved and stick with it.”

The ride won’t be long—about 3 miles—it starts at the IRAHC flag pole at 11:30 a.m., and runs through the historic district. Everyone is invited to join, including Families who live along the route or elsewhere on post, and everyone is invited to brown bag a lunch for after the ride or donate for snacks from the clinics family readiness group.

The IRAHC back parking lot is where the ride ends and is also where the clinic will have several booths set up focusing on diet and exercise.

“For example, we’ll have our nutritionists on hand to answer questions, hand out healthy
recipes and they’ll have samples to try so people see that they don’t have to eat tree bark to eat healthy,” Cornes added.

“Our sports medicine team is setting up to demonstrate proper usage of foam rollers and talk about the benefits of using them—a lot of therapy clinics use them now and you can buy them almost anywhere. And our preventive medicine folks will be there with the Army Wellness Center team—the AWC can help you even if you are a (Department of Defense) civilian or DOD contractor. They can answer questions about healthy workouts and stretching.”

Additionally visitors can stop by the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association and Central Kentucky Wheelmen booths to find out where good, safe bike routes and trails are located, pick up on some basic mountain biking skills, and learn some maintenance hacks and safety tips.

Then, May 19—National Ride your Bike to Work Day—the clinic will host a “Ride your bike to work ride” that will start from the Saber & Quill parking lot at 6:30 a.m. Anyone who doesn’t live on post but wants to ride is welcome to join. The group will leave for a short 3-mile ride around the historic district, circle the parade field and end up in the IRAHC back parking lot.

Once there, IRAHC nutritionists will have some healthy, tasty recipes for riders to take home, and the Religious Support chaplains and assistants have offered to prepare breakfast for riders on a first-come-first-serve basis using those recipes.

Nutrition and sleep are the other two pillars of the Army’s Performance Triad, and Cornes said that one of IRAHC’s priorities is educating the local community to the benefits and importance of the triad. For military personnel that combination also translates to readiness—something that Soldiers can’t afford to ignore.

“While we need to be the best at the jobs we have—whether a mechanic, an engineer or someone in the medical field—we also have to be ready to perform those jobs in whatever surrounding we find ourselves,” he explained. “And, if necessary, perform our common core Soldier tasks—basically we have to be at the top of our game, all the time. And to do that we
have to be healthy.”

But, individuals don’t have to be a Soldier to benefit from the triad. Statistics show that eating better, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly helps keep individuals from heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses associated with lack of exercise and poor diet. And that translates into less time in the doctor’s office and less money spent on prescriptions.

“Bicycling is a healthy, activity that you can participate in whether you are 4 or 94,” Cornes noted. “These rides aren’t designed to be long or even to give you a hard workout. We just want people to experience a fun ride, learn a little and find out if this is the activity that works for them—that ‘thing’ that can help put someone on track for a fit life.” n