BRUSSELS -- Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Brussels Fitness Center went to great lengths to ensure that U.S., NATO, U.S. Mission, and U.S. Embassy ID cardholders are able to access the facility at any time after registering their ID card.

Twenty-four hour access to the fitness facility enhances individual personal fitness opportunities and aligns with garrison commander's community readiness and resiliency priority. Community members can take advantage of having flexible fitness opportunities for many different reasons.

"Not everybody's schedule fits into the 9-to-5 work schedule," said Dan Frazier, supervisory sports specialist at the Brussels Fitness Center.

Flexibility means there is always opportunity to complete a work out even when working a non-traditional schedule or having to accommodate childcare schedules. This is important for active-duty service members in maintaining fitness standards and equally important for all patrons in sustaining personal wellness goals.

THE REGISTRATION PROCESS

It is easy to register an ID card and this is a necessary step in order to access the facility after hours. Customers must stop by the fitness center's front desk during regular business hours, with their ID card, to read and sign the Statement of Understanding/Release of Liability form. Fitness center staff collect the completed form and register the customer's ID card in their system to authorize after-hours access. The process only takes a minute, and the results are instant. Registered ID cardholders then simply swipe their ID card to gain 24-hour access to the fitness center, seven days a week and on U.S. federal holidays.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Safety and security are paramount when using the facility unmanned. Fraizer said that "everything we do has risk," but Family and MWR staff members took steps to safeguard patrons such as installing multiple cameras and limiting access to the sauna. Camera feeds are continuously monitored and an emergency telephone rings directly to the Military Police desk.

However, there is no substitute for common sense and customers must abide by their signed Release of Liability Statement. Frazier recommended that patrons practice the buddy concept with other registered users when using the fitness center after hours. Guests are not permitted when the facility is unmanned. The staff is very clear that a customer's failure to adhere to the signed agreement will result in their immediate and permanent loss of 24-hour access privileges.

FITNESS OPPORTUNITIES

In addition to improved access to the fitness facility, Brussels community members have many other fitness opportunities to look forward to in the coming year. A popular fitness class, Les Mills Body Pump, a group barbell exercise class, has recently been added to the schedule. In addition the fitness center runs two new challenges every month.

Frazier added that "The point of the challenges is for customers to try something new." New challenges ensure that routines stay effective and help customers reach their fitness and wellness goals.

Dave Coldwell, MWR Business and Recreation Division chief in Brussels, said the fitness center at Chièvres also offers 24-hour access to registered ID card holders and community members in Schinnen can look forward to extended access once the move to JFC Brunssum is completed.

For more information about fitness centers, visit Benelux Family and MWR's website.