Jogging tracks offer great way to get fit|
by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs
4/22/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Running is a great way to shed those winter pounds, and Maxwell-Gunter has plenty of facilities to suit everyone's needs.
Charles Atchley, Maxwell-Gunter's sports director, encourages use of the base facilities - three designated indoor tracks at Maxwell, two at Gunter, as well as outdoor tracks at both locations.
It is important the people using the facilities be mindful of rules and regulations and practice safety during their exercise routines, according to Mr. Atchley.
"Joggers and walkers should utilize the pedestrian lane that is on the road along the running route that starts and finishes at the Maxwell fitness center," he said. "If you are running at night or in inclement weather, wear reflective clothing of some sort. Only one ear bud or headphone may be used when running on the street. The ear closest to traffic should remain uncovered, and always look out for vehicles, especially when crossing an intersection or other high-traffic areas."
Walking and jogging can provide many benefits to men and women trying to stay in shape, but Mr. Atchley also encouraged people to vary their exercise routine.
"Jogging and walking increase a person's cardiovascular health, which in turn reduces the risk of heart and lung disease," he said. "That's good, but everyone that is physically able should add in some type of strength training as well. As we get older, we start losing flexibility and strength. By adding a weight training workout, as well as stretching, we are helping slow down that loss."
He also recommended combining physical activity with a healthy diet to provide weight loss and health benefits.
People may be eager to start a new program, but Jose Ramos, the health fitness program manager at Gunter, warns people to not do too much too soon.
"Don't run to get fit, get fit to run," Mr. Ramos said. "Most folks who begin a running program are usually weak, slightly overweight, full of movement dysfunctions and are generally out of shape. Start with a good walking program, add in some strengthening exercises and flexibility, and then gradually replace the time spent walking with time spent jogging. This helps the exerciser ease into a more strenuous program and reduces the risk of injury."
Mr. Atchley suggests setting small attainable goals, encourages people not to become discouraged, and reminds all people starting an exercise program to check with their physicians to ensure they are healthy enough for the activity.
Officer Training School track (.25 miles) Maxwell, behind OTS facility
Paperclip track (.66 miles) Maxwell, behind OTS facility
Annex track (.125 miles) Maxwell, in building 689
Gunter bowl track (.43 miles) Gunter, behind Gunter fitness center
Fisk Park track (.53 miles) Gunter, at Fisk Park (formerly elephant park)
Both Maxwell and Gunter feature outdoor tracks varying in length from .5 miles to 6.5 miles