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JBER Glide Fit sees growing demand

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Story by SrA Crystal Jenkins on 06/28/2019
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska Due to steadily growing participation, Glide Fit classes are now offered three times a week at the Buckner Physical Fitness Center aquatics department at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

The newest aquatics-based stability program combines the benefits of stand-up paddle boarding while providing a controlled-intensity fitness class focusing on core strength, stability and overall conditioning.

"Since the class' inception nine months ago, we have had more than 100 participants join in on the fun," said Christian Taylor, a 673d Force Support Squadron life guard and Glide Fit/swim instructor. "Reports from continued users tell us they have seen great benefits from the mixture of activities themselves since they require compound versus isolated movements.

"Imagine yourself doing a curl in the gym; the repetitive motion is only engaging a small group of muscles because it is isolated," Taylor said. "Although Glide Fit is considered a low-impact, high-intensity workout, the compound nature of the exercise causes you to work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. While going through each motion, it adds a whole new level of core engagement you just can't get on the ground."

Cardio Wave is the method taught at JBER. Developed to give class participantsthe most efficientone-hour workout, it combines the benefits of aquatics-based stability training and high-intensity interval training. It is designed to burn calories more rapidly than land-based versions of the class, while effectively improving strength, balance, and flexibility.

"Although working out in water may seem like too big of a challenge, you can decide how difficult you'd like it to be," Taylor said. "Adding the challenge of balancing on one of these inflatable workout mats means suddenly basic squats are far from easy. If you do manage to fall off it just gives you a chance to cool off in the pool."

Some other benefits of working out in the water include development of endurance, power, reflexes, agility and coordination.

"This class is challenging but I definitely get a great workout," said retiree Brooke Thompson. "I could really feel my core and back muscles engaged throughout the entire class. Despite falling, I laugh the entire time. It is so much fun that I plan to make this a part of a weekly routine."

Sign-ups are only available same day up to 45 minutes before the class starts, and requires a $2 registration fee. There is a 15-person maximum per class and participants must be 13 or older. Additionally, you must know how to swim. Classes are currently scheduled for Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Fridays from 10 to 11 a.m., and Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with registered 24/7 Fitness Access.

"I enjoy helping people achieve their fitness goals," Taylor said. "I believe Glide Fit is an all-inclusive program that anyone can do no matter what their fitness level is. I'm really happy we have a growing program people can really benefit from and have fun at the same time."


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