Fort Rucker fitness centers offer motivational run, walk program
February 6, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 6, 2014) -- Of the many fitness programs offered on post, one free program that has been around for a while is just starting to pick up traction.
The Run/Walk Mileage Club, offered at both Fort Rucker fitness centers, is a program designed to be a motivational tool to help people on the installation get fit at their own pace, while providing a way to keep track of their progress, said Kris Rach, fitness specialist and certified personal trainer.
The program is an honor-based system in which participants track their miles from month to month. People can run indoors on treadmills, or outdoors on tracks and trails, wherever they feel the most comfortable, said the fitness specialist.
"This is just an incentive to give people a way to challenge themselves," said Rach. "They may see that this month they ran 20 miles, so the next month they can try for 25 or 30. It's just a good way to hold yourself accountable and work toward a healthy lifestyle. It's a good way to get out and challenge yourself."
Participants are awarded patches for hitting certain milestones, and results are posted each month in the physical fitness centers so that members can see exactly how far they've come, as well as compare themselves to others.
"Some people just lack the self-motivation to work out - they need somebody to push them," said Rach. "Normally when using an honor-based system people only have to answer to themselves, but if it's posted where everybody can see, then it becomes a bit of a competition. People will walk by and see, so that might be a motivational tool for some."
For Penny Proctor, who is an avid runner and member of the club, the program started out as a way for her to just log her miles, but once she got into it, she said its become somewhat of a competition for her.
"As I got more into the program, I wanted to be the one who ran the most," said Proctor, who has been running since she was 15. "I just wanted to start pushing myself to see how many miles a day I could do."
Proctor is now up to running 16 miles a day and has logged more than 200 miles in January alone. She's run more than 2,400 miles in total since she started the program, which she said was a surprising accomplishment.
Although competition is what drives Proctor, others have different reasons for joining the club.
W01 Adam Sniffen, B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, is a flight student on Fort Rucker and joined the club purely to keep track of how much he runs.
"It's just a great thing and I'm not in it for the competition -- I just do it for fun," he said, adding that it's also a way that he keeps track of when he needs to buy new running shoes.
Sniffen, who has been in the Army for eight years, said he started running in the early years of his military career because he found himself struggling to meet physical training test requirements.
"I was out of shape and I would just pass the PT test at the minimum, and one day I'd just had enough," he said. "Over the course of a year I just got myself in shape and I just feel better. I plan to make the Army my career and physical fitness is key."
He also enjoys running because he said it's one of the easiest exercises to keep track of and see improvement in.
"You can improve so fast at it," said Sniffen. "Every day you run you're better than the day before, and (the Run/Walk club) has helped me stay motivated by sticking to my goals."
Sniffen said he sets a goal at the beginning of the month, and regardless of what has happened during the month, the program helps push him to hit his mark.
Proctor agreed that the club helps keep her motivated, but also added that it's helped introduce her to other aspects of fitness, as well.
"It's helped keep me conscious about taking care of myself," she said. "It's showed me that I've got to eat healthy and helped me even incorporate strength training in my day because it improves my running endurance.
"No matter where people are in life, it's never too late to start taking care of your body and working out," said Proctor. "People don't have to be like me because I'm somewhat extreme. They can take it at their own pace; it doesn't happen overnight."
For more information on the club, call 255-2296 or 255-3794