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Owww! Pain can be a beautiful thing

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Pain doesn't always appear where you expect it. In high school while running track and playing basketball, after a summer of swimming and lounging, the pain was a brief soreness for about the first week of the sport. Now every muscle calls attention to itself, just like in Physiology class. Memories of our teenage bodies betray us into denial about our current physical condition. I ran and ran, or used to, so the legs will do just fine. They don't! They're carrying more weight, and haven't run or skipped or hopped or balanced or kicked in a while. That's a wakeup call.

Fortunately, the cure for the pain is more pain, and the Buckley Fitness Center is just the place to deliver it. The Health and Wellness Center and the Fitness Center have joined forces to sponsor Buckley's Biggest Loser. We're coming into the middle stretch with a mandatory mid-point weigh-in on Mar. 6. Lots of opportunities have been offered to be educated and pared down.

Sandi Jefferson continues to offer the 3-part Cholesterol Management course, an interesting look at how to control your cholesterol through changes in eating habits. 

"All animal products have cholesterol, so if it had a mother, or came from a mother, then it has cholesterol," Mrs. Jefferson said. 

Mrs. Jefferson also offers a cooking demonstration at the HAWC, one Friday a month. Buckley's Biggest Loser participants, and the loyal following of the cooking demos already in place, enjoyed a healthy Mardi Gras feast last month. Mrs. Jefferson, with help from Molly Wray -- who is just learning to cook -- demonstrated, and then served, a delicious Shrimp and Andouille sausage jambalaya, a 20-minute chicken creole, cornbread, shrimp po'boys, spicy collard greens, red beans and rice, and berry topped cupcakes. It was easy to understand why there is a loyal following of the cooking demonstrations. 

Dave Warfield taught a fitness education and planning course that focused on starting your fitness regimen where you are right now -- not where you were in high school. Ignoring this resulted in my current pain. Mr. Warfield explained how different workouts focus on health, workouts with more intensity focus on physical fitness, and the most intense workouts are for performance, like Olympic or professional athletes undertake. He explained different exercises that work different muscle groups, and stressed that to avoid burning out, increase workout intensities, when you are ready, by only 10 percent. If you are running two miles, increase it to 2.2 miles when you are ready. If you are lifting 100 pounds, increase it to 110 pounds. This practical progression will build stamina and strength, without over-burdening the body.

Ms. Wray has faithfully e-mailed all BBL's the Fitness Center's group exercise schedules and the HAWC BBL class schedules. She has also put together weekly newsletters that discuss healthy eating, physical fitness goal setting, and maintaining healthy habits.

The Fitness Center is an Ali Baba's cave of fitness equipment. The good folks there patiently explain how to use the machines, how to properly use the track, they check out heart monitors, and provide a well-rounded calendar of fitness classes. 

After one spin class -- bicycles hell-bent on building your wind, stamina, and leg strength -- and a very sore butt, I have to regain my courage and make another spin class my short term goal -- my long term goal would be to attend Mrs.Jefferson's spin class, and keep up.

The Power Sculpting class is the perfect class. It's a combination of aerobics, step, free weights, calisthenics, a lot of heavy breathing and the sweating that produces that good workout glow. At a recent lunchtime Power Sculpting class I ran into the good ladies of the 460th Comptroller Squadron. They were huge fun, encouraging each other, teasing each other and at all levels of fitness, representative of the rest of us. That's been a common denominator of every Fitness Center experience. In each class and workout room there are folks of different fitness abilities, so no one would feel alienated, too out-of-shape or too old to work out.

Ahead lays at least one yoga experience, a highly-touted kickboxing class, and that ultimate goal -- spin class where I keep up and leave with my gluteus maximus intact. Fitness Center workout calendars are available at the gym. Call 720-847-5699 for more information on HAWC classes and the infamous cooking demonstrations.

May the best man lose!
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