Des Plaines Park District

Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies

Graduates from our Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies program

Healthy Minds Healthy BodiesAllen Force

What is Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies?

Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies (HMHB) is a trademarked program of AllenForce implemented by licensed fitness centers throughout the country that is offered FREE of charge to qualified veterans. Each facility and fitness professional complete specific training on veteran culture, PTSD, MST, injuries and illness specific to veterans and adaptive equipment.

How has Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies helped our Graduates?

Tom Strossner

I finished my 15 sessions for HMHB last night. Jon is very sincere about his efforts in the proper way to train one so they receive the maximum not only in strength training, but also keeping ones core aligned so your body performs more efficiently. I lost 9 lbs and toned some muscles while adding some also. I was able to lose some inches from my waist and hips. Being 67, he adapted a workout that was suited for me, not just a generic “one-fits-all” kind of workout. If I didn’t understand a procedure, he would demonstrate how to do it. After each session he had me stretch, making known the importance of that.  He is an ardent task master and kept me hustling each session. Jon has a great personality and shared that with me with his stories while I was working out. I believe Jon and HMHB are a great asset to the Des Plaines Park District in helping people to achieve their goals in fitness.

Philip Hengels

I was first told about Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies by my doctor at Hines VA Hospital. At the time, the closest location to me was in Bensenville. We tried it out, but the distance and times made it impossible for me to attend. Fortunately, thanks to the support of the Des Plaines Park District we were able to participate under the excellent guidance of Jon Kahney. He was our personal trainer and went out of his way to accommodate our schedule and needs. Thanks to his support, I lost 17 pounds and am stronger and have more endurance than I have had in a very long time. Jon was not only a mentor, but has become a friend and still encourages me on my path to being healthier and in better shape. The program is open to ALL disabled veterans and I truly wish more of them would learn of this program and take advantage of what it has to offer.

Ernie Davis

I am a veteran of an unpopular war, we did not receive a heroes’ welcome when we returned home. I felt as if I had done something wrong by serving my country. I had trouble dealing with society which led to severe depression associated with PTSD. I was recommended to the HMHB program by another veteran and reluctantly decided to check it out. It was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. It let me know there are people that care about veterans in a very sincere way. Jon is tough, but he got me to where I wanted to be. I always eagerly looked forward to our workouts. I dropped 8 pounds and 5% body fat in 15 training sessions.  My muscles are tighter and more importantly, I am able to sleep better.  The exercise has helped me manage PTSD issues. I highly recommend Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies to all qualifying vets.

Joel Schohn

Thanks to Allen Force, Alexandra at MNASR, and Jon Kahney at Des Plaines Park District, I was able to take part in the Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies program. While looking for a place to workout, I walked into Prairie Lakes just to look around. I was introduced to Jon who showed me around and told me about Allen Force. That led me to talking to Alexandra and then joining the program. Jon became my trainer for the 15 personal training sessions. He worked with me, tailoring a workout specifically for me to fit some of my limits due to physical problems. Overall, I will absolutely inform any Vets to learn about this program and to look for Jon to be their trainer. He is easy to work with, learns your limits, and works within them.


Frequently Asked Questions

This information is courtesy of the AllenForce Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies website.

How Did The Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies Program Start?

The former executive director of NEDSRA, Larry Reiner had a cousin who was a Vietnam veteran with whom he was very close. He watched as his cousin was denied benefits and not welcomed home into his community for years. Larry decided as a recreation agency with many resources available in many communities, that we could make a difference. Since most of a military person’s life revolves around fitness, it was a no-brainer that we start a FREE health and fitness program to use as a bridge for the veterans to transition back into their hometown and community through fitness, something very familiar to them. We realize that for various reasons after their discharge there may be weight gain – due to medication, and/or injuries, prevent them from working out like you used to, or depression, etc. Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies wants to help start up those endorphins, create a positive energy flow within, and get back into health and fitness. How does that old quote go? “If you look good, you will feel good!” But seriously, you know the benefits of exercise, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

What If I Have a Disability Rating That Is Only Related To Hearing?

The reason for the rating does not matter. Hearing, amputation, PTSD, spinal cord injury, chemical exposure, complications, etc. You were injured while serving our country and now is our time to serve you!

What Happens After My Free Year Has Expired?

AllenForce advises all licensed facilities to offer a large discount to HMHB veterans after their year is expired. This is intended to allow you to renew your membership and remain in the location with the people with which you are now comfortable. The monthly networking events are able to be attended for life. Once a part of the HMHB family, you are family for life!

Can My Family Or Friends Come To The Monthly Networking Events?
What Would It Cost?

YES! They are FREE!

When Will My Hometown Adopt The Program?

We are working on spreading the word nationally! If you can go into your home town health club and let them know about this program, give them a flier and ask them to call AllenForce. Or if you have the name of someone, or even the facility name, please call AllenForce or send an e-mail. They will follow-up with that district to get the ball rolling! 779-205-3314,

Do The Gyms Have The Adapted Equipment I Would Need?

The trainers are schooled in adapting existing equipment with for a variety of special needs. Depending on your specific needs, many gyms have hand cycles, NuSteps, cable machines, and most importantly, adapted gloves, wrist cuffs, elastic bands, etc. If your gym does not have universal equipment to fit your needs, please call your HMHB program coordinator.

What Qualifications Do The Trainers Have?

All trainers that work within the Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies program directly with the veterans have gone through specific training, in addition to their certification as a personal or athletic trainer. HMHB has put them through a course taught organized by NEDSRA, and taught co-operatively by the AllenForce and the doctors of the local Vet Center for additional specialty training on working with Veterans. This covers education on many physical issues such as; spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, diabetes, amputation, agent orange, Gulf War syndrome and more. The Vet Center doctors run a two-three hour training and panel discussion on Post Traumatic Stress, directly related to war. The two-day workshop concludes with our volunteer veterans attending and sharing their experiences both in the military and in the fitness center, and how it has benefited them with transition. The trainers then get to work with them, hands-on, in the fitness center.

What Will The Program Cost Me?


Does Our Facility Have Any Volunteer Opportunities?

YES! HMHB needs volunteers at many events including veteran specific events. This may include talking to other vets at the booth, informing them about the program and taking their registration. There may also be many opportunities to work with children or adults in other programs at the organization hosting, including athletics, martial arts, swimming, social clubs, weekend trips, etc.


Administrative & Leisure Center2222 Birch Street • 847-391-5700

Golf Center Des Plaines353 N. River Road • 847-803-GOLF

Lake Park Golf Course & Marina1015 Howard Avenue • 847-391-5730

Mountain View Adventure Center510 E. Algonquin Road • 847-391-5733

Mystic Waters2025 Miner Street • 847-391-5740

Prairie Lakes Aquatic Center515 E. Thacker Street • 847-390-4949

Prairie Lakes Community Center515 E. Thacker Street • 847-391-5711