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Fitness Center begins phased reopening

Airmen sanitize gym equipment

An Airman from the 19th Force Support Squadron wipes down a weight bench at the Fitness Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Mar. 20, 2020. The 19th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center has begun reopening its doors to patrons after a state-wide mandate forced the facility to close in response to COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

Airmen sanitize gym equipment

An Airman from the 19th Force Support Squadron wipes down a weight bench at the Fitness Center on Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Mar. 20, 2020. As part of the installation’s phased approach to reopening base services and facilities, access to the Fitness Center is now being granted to uniformed personnel, Department of Defense civilians and dependents over 16 years of age on a reservation basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jayden Ford)

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- The 19th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center has begun reopening its doors to patrons after a state-wide mandate forced the facility to close in response to COVID-19.

As part of the installation’s phased approach to reopening base services and facilities, access to the Fitness Center is now being granted to uniformed personnel, Department of Defense civilians and dependents over 16 years of age on a reservation basis.

Eligible patrons seeking to make a reservation must call the Fitness Center no more than 24 hours in advance. Walk-in reservations may be accepted on a space available basis, however, there is a 30-person limit in the gym at all times, and all members must wear a mask to access the facility.

Hours of operation are from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturday.

Currently, the weight room and aerobic room are the only spaces available for use, and the use of the cardio equipment is prohibited.

All of the following services and events remain temporarily suspended:

  • In-person events, sports or intramurals in the facility
  • Locker room use
  • 24-hour access
  • Basketball, wallyball, racquetball courts or equipment checkouts
  • Indoor track

The following are steps from the 19th FSS Fitness Center to take for simple at home fitness and healthy habits:

  • Make healthy choices. Start by eating one clean meal per day, and increase the number of meals as you go
  • Pick an achievable fitness goal such as increasing your push-ups and sit-ups, that don’t require any weights or machines; practice makes perfect
  • Listen to your body. Whether you are going for a run or working out at home make sure you don’t over train and cause injury. Also, wear a reflective belt when running in public spaces
  • Wake up at the same time you would for a normal work day. Sleeping late in the day on a regular basis can create a lethargic state and decrease the drive to be active and make healthy choices

“If you can stay safe and healthy, get outside,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Conger, 19th FSS sports program manager. “Do burpees and sprints in your yard and challenge others to do the same, while maintaining a safe distance. The longer you put off fitness, the harder it is to get back into it.”

It’s important, especially during this time of isolation, to reach out to your wingman to ensure they are on top of their fitness goals as well, said Shango Sheffield, 19th FSS fitness and sports director.

“Reach out to your teammates,” Sheffield said. “Check on each other and be good wingmen and remember ‘Tough times don’t last, tough teams do.’”

To make a reservation, call the Fitness Center at (501) 987- 7716, and visit their Facebook page here to stay up-to-date on closures and free workout tips.

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