What does a young Airman, pregnant woman and retiree have in common? All three of them need to be fit and healthy to live a long and happy life.
The Silver Wings Pool at Luke Air Force Base has options available for those who want to get in a good workout. The pool offers water aerobics classes 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday from in addition to Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon. The entrance fee is only $2.
“Water aerobics classes are great for people who have injured knees, back problems and shoulder problems,” said Valeria Bowman, 56th Force Support Squadron Silver Wings Pool manager and water aerobics instructor. “Anyone can do the classes and they are a great workout. Many people might not think that it is, but what they don’t think about is the resistance of the water makes it a tough workout.”
In the water aerobics classes, Bowman and other instructors give students a variety of fitness routines. Some classes incorporate both on-land and off-land exercises, and can include a cardio workout, toning and exercises that target the arms, legs and abdominal muscles.
Instructors are able to observe student improvement throughout the classes, whether by students lasting longer class-to-class during the cardio portion or by students moving up in dumbbell sizes.
“I love the people, and I love doing the workouts,” Bowman said.
The Silver Wings Pool also offers lap swim free of charge from 6 a.m. till 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Lap swim is $2 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.
For people who are hesitant to get in the water out of fear of looking silly or sinking instead of swimming, the staff at the Silver Wings Pool has a solution.
“For $2, a lifeguard can get in the water with you for one-on-one instruction,” said Bowman.
Airmen should know that being fit to fight is an important aspect of Air Force culture. What they may not know about being fit is that cross-training – training in two or more physical activities – is integral to maximum fitness and avoiding injuries.
Utilizing the pool for cross-training not only prevents overuse injuries associated with running and body-weight exercises, but can provide a safe alternative for those already with injuries.
“The reason swimming is universally accepted as a good thing is because there is less impact and trauma to the joints in the body,” said Marlyn Shults, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Health and Wellness Center exercise physiologist.
However, make sure you take it easy if you are a beginner, she added. “Because you’re in the water, it’s less obvious when you are hurting yourself because it is harder to feel it,” Shults said.
For those looking for a challenge, one might consider entering the Luke Air Force Base triathlon on August 30. Signups for the triathlon are available now at the Silver Wings Pool. The fee is $20 for active-duty personnel, dependents and DOD employees, and $45 for non-DOD civilians.
“The triathlon will begin at the pool and entails a 400-meter swim, a 13-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run,” said Sam Harvey, 56th FSS Outdoor Recreation director. “Make sure to arrive at 6:30 a.m. so you can get ready to go.”
So whether you’re bored with your current fitness routine, looking for a way to stay healthy with injuries or are just looking to have fun, stop by the Silver Wings Pool next to the Health and Wellness Center and say hello to a lifeguard or instructor.