Fitness facility offers aquatic activities
Soldiers from the Noncommissioned Officers Academy participate in unit physical training at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility indoor pool Jan. 25.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 26, 2012) -- The Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility on Andrews Avenue offers various aquatic programs, many of which are free, for all ages and skill levels.

The aquatic programs offered by the fitness facility range from swimming lessons to physical therapy, said Jon Cole, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation aquatics manager.

"We offer programs tailored for different types of people ranging from youth to senior citizens," said Cole. "We have physical therapy for all ages, and we offer swimming lessons that range from beginner level to competitive swimming."

The full range of aquatics programs offered, according to the aquatics manager, include:

Lap swim: Free program and available during all operational hours.

Lap swim is designed for people who wish to swim continuous laps for fitness and training. Patrons must be able to swim a minimum of four continuous, unassisted laps and allow up to four swimmers to share each lane, said Cole. There is no age restriction to lap swim.

Open swim: Free program and available during all operational hours.

Open swim is designated for any fitness or recreational swimming activity. This ranges from aqua jogging, personal therapy or even playing games. Open swim takes place in areas of the pool that are not sectioned off in single-lane intervals and is available on a first come, first serve basis. Those participating in open swim are asked to follow the general pool rules and to be conscious and considerate of others.

Swim for Life: Free program and available during all operational hours.

This is an "at your own pace" non-instructional program in which participants can track the mileage they swim. The aquatics staff will log the times in a database and a spreadsheet will be posted at the facility. Participants will also earn mileage badges, medals, T-shirts, etc., for completing various distances.

Senior swim: Free program available Mondays through Fridays from 9-10 a.m. and 10-11 a.m.

This program is led by volunteers and is a low-impact water aerobics for seniors.

Unit physical training/military training: Contact aquatics office for availability.

The facility reserves free pool space for units to participate in pool physical training or to coordinate military training. Aquatics staff are also available to facilitate Combat Water Survival Tests and drown-proofing.

Active duty instructional swim: Free program available Mondays through Fridays from 6 - 7 a.m.

This program is for active duty Soldiers that wish to acquire or improve their swimming skills for fitness, event training, water survival tests, etc.

Adult swim lessons: Available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-6:45 p.m. Cost of lessons is $33 per month for eight, 45-minute sessions.

Youth swim lesson: Contact aquatics office for days and times. Lessons are $33 a month for eight sessions. The program is facilitated through child youth and school services' School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills program. For more information, call 255-1867

Water aerobics: Available Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Cost is either $3.50 per class, $7.50 per week, $15 per month or $30 for all fitness courses provided by DFMWR sports, fitness and aquatics, including those at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility.

Physical therapy: Days and times vary. Program is facilitated through Lyster Army Health Clinic, and those interested should contact their physician at Lyster for more information.

Pregnancy physical training (post-partum): Days and times vary. Contact the aquatics officer for more information.

The fitness center also hosts programs offered by non-military, post-approved organizations such as the Wiregrass Aquatics Club and the Aquarians Dive Club.

"We also offer lifeguard training courses," said Cole. "We typically train about 100 lifeguards between February and April every year. [The fitness facility] trains all of the lifeguards for our staff and the majority of people that work in the community as lifeguards."

The lifeguard training course is $75 for the course and the minimum age for the course is 15. The times will be announced in February, according to Cole.

"We also have a program called GuardStart for youth that aren't old enough to take the lifeguarding course," said the aquatics manager. "GuardStart is a program for ages 13 and 14 in which the participants will learn lifeguarding and water safety techniques while shadowing certified lifeguards. This way they can learn and get a head start before they are able to take the lifeguarding course."

Cole emphasized the importance of swimming and aquatics, saying that it is a "life skill" that everyone should possess. He also spoke of the added benefits that aquatics add to physical fitness.

"Swimming is a full-bodied exercise," Cole said. "You can utilize it as an aerobic or anaerobic exercise; work on cardio or get a muscular workout -- you get the benefit of both.

"You get 50 percent more out any exercise you do in the water because of the resistance it creates, which gives you a harder workout," he said.

For more information, call 255-9162.

Page last updated Thu January 26th, 2012 at 11:53