Fitness Center hosts 2.5 hour Aerobathon

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- I thought I was too good for aerobics. I swam competitively for 10 years and ran on elite track and field teams. I got in hard, painful workouts through these sports, and I simply thought that aerobics could not hold a candle to them.

Well, while participating in the Osan Aerobathon on Saturday at the base fitness center, I had a humbling experience. Not only did I break a big sweat, but I had a challenging workout.

As Tech. Sgt. Bobby Chaves of the 51st Medical Group said in the middle of the Aerobathon, "I feel like I am in shape, but I come here and I really get tired."

Looking around the gym throughout the event, it seemed to me that many people shared those same thoughts.

Lasting two and a half hours, the base aerobic instructors broke the event into six sessions to showcase aerobic classes offered at the fitness center.

First up was spinning. By adjusting the speeds and positions on the stationary bikes, we did sprints, hills, ups and downs, and the list continues. I definitely felt the burn in my legs and my heart rate definitely rose.

Chisel came next, which aims at body toning and sculpting. The instructor used resistance training equipment such as barbells, aerobic balls and a stair step to target the major muscles in the body. Joining my legs, now my arms felt the strain from all the lifts and pulls led by the instructor.

Sports conditioning is a new class being offered at the fitness center. During this high energy session, the class did many movements while running in place, doing jumping jacks and shuffling across the room. I felt like a contestant on "So You Think You Can Dance?" I was kicking up legs, raising my hands, swaying to the left and jumping to the right. This class was very fun.

I am in pretty good shape, so I thought the abs class would be a breeze. Going beyond the standard sit-up, the instructor made us do all sorts of sit-up variants to target all the areas of the stomach. Besides the pain of working areas of my stomach that I never knew existed, I felt slimmer by inches. If you are thinking about getting that bathing suit-ready body, this class is definitely for you.

Interval training is another new class being offered. The class has exercises like suicide running, kickboxing-inspired movements and step movements to work your heart. This is the best way to lose weight because it varies your heart rate. Mine was racing from running around the gym.

Yoga ended the Aerobathon and nothing fit better. With calming music playing in the candle-lit gym, the instructor directed the class into the different positions. It was a low impact workout that proved both relaxing and challenging moves. Yoga became a test of my balance and flexibility.

Thinking that I was more flexible than I was, there were a couple times I found myself in some painful situations. However, I quickly realized I am not a rubber band, and I found that harmonious balance between getting the intended effect from the position and not splitting my muscles.

Running and swimming will always hold a special place in my heart, but now aerobics is a way for me to spice up my fitness routine. I can promise you that you will find me attending many more of the aerobics classes at the fitness center. They are fun, motivating and, most importantly, you will leave them sweaty from a great workout.

For more information or the class schedule, stop by or call the fitness center at 784-5568.