FORT RUCKER, Ala. (February 7, 2013) -- With beach season looming, the fitness facilities on Fort Rucker offer different ways to keep on track with workout goals, and one class is more than meets the eye when it comes to fitness intensity.

Shred and Tread at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility is a water-based fitness class that uses intense aerobic exercise that utilizes the resistance of the water to give people a total body workout, according to Kristina Rach, certified fitness specialist.

"It's a lot more intense than basic water aerobics, which you can get a good workout in, but this class is a bit above that -- it's outside the box of other fitness classes," she said. "We use weights, resistance belts and floatable dumbbells, and we even get out of the water and do squats, pushups, and other workouts on the pool deck."

The class utilizes workout tools like 10-pound dive bricks, ankle and wrist weights, flippers, aqua joggers and water dumbbells to provide the intense workout.

The aqua joggers are strapped around the participant and cause the user to tread water behind them as they run through the water, providing extra resistance.

"I change up the routine every class," said Rach. "With the aqua joggers, they will run with them on and they pull you back, so you're forced to use your core more.

"When in the water, you use your core a lot more than people think," she continued. "Your heart rate gets up faster in the water than it does outside because of the added resistance."

The class also utilizes the use of kickboards and peanuts, which force participants to use their upper body strength, said Rach. The peanuts are placed between the legs with ankles crossed and class members must use their body to balance themselves out.

"We also use the [water dumbbells] to add to our workouts, which threads water through to add a counter-weight effect," said the fitness specialist. "We also use the regular dumbbells when we do the workouts outside of the pool on the pool deck."

Along with the increased intensity of the workout, the class has other added benefits for elderly patrons, people that have joint problems and pregnant women since the workout is low impact, according to Rach.

Crystal McDaniel and Helen Bradley, Army spouses, joined the class to reap the added benefits of Shred and Tread because of health issues.

"I have really nasty joints and this class is really gentle on them," said McDaniel. "I still wanted to be able to get the muscle mass from a good workout and this provided that with a low-impact workout that was easy on my joints."

"I started out doing this because I couldn't do high-impact workouts anymore because I have arthritis," added Bradley. "When I got pregnant, I kept doing it through my pregnancy because my first child had some problems during labor and I wanted to make sure it didn't happen again."

Bradley's doctor said that because she stayed active throughout her pregnancy, it gave her an easy birthing process.

"This is a total body workout," said Rach. "I think if people want a challenge they should definitely try it out. A lot of people automatically assume that since it's in the water, it's something like a senior water aerobics class, but it's not."

The classes are offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. to accommodate people's different schedules. The cost is $3.50 per class, or $30 a month for unlimited classes, which also grants access to any class that either fitness facility offers, according to Rach.

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