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New fitness area offers safe workouts for injured Airmen

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brent Osborne, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management technician, uses a ski ergometer, Feb. 2, 2017, at the Fitness Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The ski ergometer is an alternative to a rowing machine and is part of a new adaptive fitness area at the gym. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brent Osborne, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron material management technician, uses a ski ergometer, Feb. 2, 2017, at the Fitness Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The ski ergometer is an alternative to a rowing machine and is part of a new adaptive fitness area at the gym. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

Aaron Leach, left, 19th Force Support Squadron fitness director, trains Michael Smith, retired U.S. Army sergeant first class, on a recumbent elliptical Feb. 2, 2017, at the Fitness Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The recumbent elliptical is a new addition to the Fitness Center and creates an adaptive fitness area for those with injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

Aaron Leach, left, 19th Force Support Squadron fitness director, trains Michael Smith, retired U.S. Army sergeant first class, on a recumbent elliptical Feb. 2, 2017, at the Fitness Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The recumbent elliptical is a new addition to the Fitness Center and creates an adaptive fitness area for those with injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

There are many benefits to working out: increased energy, improved mood and reduced weight. Service members may have difficulties reaping the benefits if they’re on a medical profile or restricted from performing certain exercises due to injury.

In an effort to help Airmen remain mission ready, there’s now an adaptive fitness area for injured personnel to work out safely and effectively.

“One of our main missions is to provide an environment for Airmen to be fit to fight,” said Aaron Leach, 19th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center fitness and sports director. “We’re really proud of this new area.”

The new fitness center additions includes an arm ergometer, leg ergometer, combination arm and leg ergometer, ski ergometer, recumbent elliptical, recumbent stepper an air assault bike and a duel adjustable pulley  system. Most of the equipment is located inside the cardio room.

Although the area is directed toward service members on profile, retirees also use the machines to get a workout in.

“Some of the retirees use (the machines) because they can’t put as much impact on their legs and feet,” Leach said.

By creating an adaptive fitness area, Little Rock Air Force Base raises the bar for taking care of those with adaptive needs.

“According to the Air Force Services Activity, we’re the only base that has a specific area dedicated to those with adaptive needs,” Leach said. “It’s kind of an Air Force first.”

Although the new machines make the gym more inclusive, the Fitness Center always keeps the customer in mind.

“The gym is designed for safety and accessibility for the different populations,” Leach said. “We wanted to give people a little bit of everything.”

No matter what one’s physical status may be, the fitness center employees maintain an environment inclusive to all patrons and promotes mission readiness.

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