FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Remaining physically active during the summer can be both tedious and hazardous, but Fort Rucker's physical fitness centers offer a variety of classes geared to make fitness safe and fun.

According to Nicole Crowley, fitness program coordinator, the group fitness schedule offers something for everyone.

"If you are looking to escape the heat and stay physically active, we have two gyms on post that offer group fitness classes," she said. "Schedules are available at both facilities.

"It is important to stay active during the hot southern summer," she added. "You want to maintain good health and mobility, so you are not starting your fitness journey over every year. Starting over is the hardest part for most people, but if you keep going (even during the hot summer months) you won't have to struggle to start back over."

Group fitness class availability and scheduling is subject to change, but patrons can grab the current month's schedule as they pass the front desk of either PFC.

According to Babs Jiron, Fort Rucker physical fitness specialist, group fitness classes currently include Aqua Zumba, HIIT (high intensity interval training), TRX HIIT, CSI (cardio, strength, intervals), AbsoGlutely (focusing on abdominal training and glutes), indoor cycling, sculpt yoga, and yoga.

However, if patrons decide to continue their workouts outdoors during the summer, Jiron urges caution and a close monitoring of water intake.

"Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate," she said. "Begin hydrating the body about 48 hours prior to exercise or activity.

"Your body is made up of about 60 percent water," she added. "It is inevitable you are going to sweat during these hot summer months, it doesn't matter if you are active or not. Replenishing those fluids in the body is vital to keeping everything running smoothly. An individual should consume around half their body weight in ounces of water per day to keep themselves properly hydrated."

Crowley echoed Jiron's emphasis on the importance of water intake and added a few additional precautions to take while being active in hotter weather.

"When exercising outdoors, try early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid those higher temperatures," Crowley said. "Light, loose-fitting clothing allows the body to breathe and cool itself off. This will help keep you from overheating in the sun.

"Don't forget to apply sunscreen -- you want to protect your skin," she added. "Ultraviolet rays are strongest and most harmful midday. Sunscreen should be applied 15 minutes before activity. When choosing a sunscreen, look for something with an SPF of 30 or higher, and something that is sweat or water resistant. You will want to reapply it every two hours."

Crowley added that runners and cyclists who remain active outdoors during the summer should be aware of their surroundings if they choose to dodge the heat by working out during the early morning or late evening.

"Also please be sure to wear reflective belts and clothing to help vehicles see you as they pass by," she said.

A digital copy of the current month's group fitness schedule may be downloaded at https://rucker.armymwr.com/programs/fitness-centers/.

For more information, call 255-2296 or 255-3794.