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Winter workouts: Fitness centers help keep patrons fit, out of cold

Women participate in a morning pilates class at the Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center. Fort Rucker’s fitness centers offer many winter workout options in both gyms. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Women participate in a morning pilates class at the Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center. Fort Rucker’s fitness centers offer many winter workout options in both gyms. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: November 14, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 14, 2014) -- Working out can seem like a daunting task, especially during the winter months when the warm indoors seems so inviting, but Fort Rucker has ways for people to get their workouts in while staying warm.

Fort Rucker’s physical fitness centers include an abundance of indoor fitness activities to keep people working out through the cold winter months, including fitness classes, fitness equipment, sports, swimming and even personal trainers, said Kris Rach, Fort Rucker fitness specialist and certified personal trainer.

“We have many group fitness classes available at both Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center and the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center, and we also have an indoor, heated pool here at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center that people can utilize for exercise and therapy,” she said, adding that the pool is open seven days a week. “Both gyms offer ample cardio equipment, different weightlifting equipment, different classes and instructors, so there’s a lot to do here as long as you put your mind to it.”

The fitness centers offer traditional classes, such as an Ab Lab, which targets abdominal workouts, and spin classes, which utilize indoor cycling to help people reach their fitness goals, as well as some non-traditional workouts, such as kickboxing and a Rockwall Workshop.

The Rockwall Workshop is a basic climbing skills workshop that requires no experience, no signup and is free to those who wish to participate. The workshop is held Saturdays at 10 a.m. and is instructed by a volunteer who is happy to help those interested in rock climbing, said Rach. “It’s a good way to get your indoor workout.”

Other classes include Cardio Strength Intervals, which alternates athletic cardio workouts and strength training; Functional Athletic Strength Training, which builds strength and conditioning through challenging workouts; Hip Hop workouts, which utilize hip hop dance moves to get a good cardio workout; Strong Bodies, which works every muscle from every angle; Ultimate Conditioning, which combines weightlifting, cardio and functional lifting; Yoga, which is a complete body workout that strengthens both body and mind; and a plethora of combination classes that combine multiple workouts to give a full workout experience.

The fitness centers also provide personal training, with trainers dedicated to making sure participants get the workouts they’re looking for, said the fitness specialist.

Although the winter months are fast approaching, Rach said that it doesn’t get so cold in the South that people must refrain from all outdoor workouts.

“It doesn’t get super cold in Alabama like it does in the northern regions, but people still need to make sure to bundle up when doing their outdoor workouts,” she said. “There are bike trails on Fort Rucker that people can use to work out during the cold months, such as the Beaver Lake trails.”

Before heading outdoors, however, Rach suggests that people take the proper precautions.

“When it’s 30-40 degrees, even when you’re bundled up, you can possibly dehydrate faster because you don’t feel it. When running in winter running gear, some people tend to sweat more, so they need to make sure they are still hydrating,” she said. “Also, if it’s super cold and people aren’t acclimated to running in cold temperatures, they should make sure to take their time with their workouts and know their limitations.”

For those who are more experienced fitness nuts, the Winter Boot Camp will be available in January, which features a six-week program of tough physical fitness routines that promises to get people to shape up or ship out, said Rach.

For those who aren’t into a more intense workout, people can take part in the run/walk club, in which participants can rack up miles and earn patches and recognition for hitting certain milestones.

Rach said whatever people’s fitness levels, however, they should make a conscious effort to keep physically active during the winter months. “There really is no reason not to work out all year long, especially if you live in the South.”

For more information on classes or programs, call 255-2296.

This article was originally published at

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