By Staff Sgt. J. Aaron Breeden
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Spring in Colorado Springs brings back the familiar sounds of gravel crunching under a runner’s feet, bicycles whizzing down mountainsides and a general return to outdoor activities. Regardless of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction, these are sure signs that people with a passion for the outdoors have come out of hibernation.
For those who share this love of sports and the outdoors, the 21st Force Support Squadron’s fitness and sports center is certain to have the scratch for your itch.
Staff Sgt. Joel Key, Peterson Fitness and Sports Center shift leader, a Team Pete member for the last seven years, spoke about the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.
“There are a lot of benefits to (working out) and if you’re not doing it you should be,” said Key.
Working out regularly helps to fight fatigue while keeping you more alert during the day, Key added. Additionally, while it may sound counterintuitive, a regular exercise regimen also helps to keep you energized all day long.
Members who prefer organized sports have many options when it comes to the classes and activities offered by the Team Pete fitness center.
Zumba, one of the most popular classes offered, helps keep things interesting by mixing up the standard workout regimen.
“It beats the normal routine of lifting weights or running all the time,” said Key. “You’re actually working out to music and it’s a more exciting atmosphere.”
Although the Zumba class charges a small fee, the base intramural leagues and monthly tournaments are free of charge to those who would like to participate.
“I try to participate in all of (the intramural sports), but basketball is my favorite,” said Key. “That’s what I grew up playing.”
Key explained that base organized sports not only promote fitness; they also help build bonds among Airmen.
“For one, it’s going to help you stay fit,” said Key. “Secondly, it’s your squadron and it helps increase the morale. It also helps people open up.”
According to Key, one of the best ways to get people to open up is through a rousing game of dodgeball.
“Dodgeball always ignites people’s fire, especially if they’re quiet; it brings out the competitive nature in them,” said Key.
Another class offered by the fitness center is a boot-camp style workout called the Fitness Improvement Program.
“It’s offered every day of the week starting at 3:30 p.m.,” said Key. “It’s geared toward active duty members but anyone can attend.”
One of primary goals of FIP is to help those who have failed or are struggling with their physical fitness tests.
“It keeps (people) accountable when they have a set time and date … to be somewhere,” said Key referring to compliments they have received from class participants.
Key closed by emphasizing that staying active helps with normal everyday activities and is the key to living longer and healthier lives.
For additional information regarding any of the fitness classes, tournaments or base leagues sponsored by the Peterson Fitness and Sports Center, call 556-4462 or visit www.21fss.com.