Fitness instructors make keeping fit fun

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Clay Murray
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Spangdahlem Air Base is the home of the oldest fitness facility in the U.S. Air Force. As part of the Spangdahlem Evolution plan, a new local fitness facility is part of the overhaul during the next few years.

Workout regiments, on the other hand, are something that don't take years to update. The aerobics instructors at the Skelton Memorial Fitness Center are doing what they can to provide modern aerobics classes for Sabers searching for energetic workouts.

Keyra Elmo, lead fitness instructor, is one of two full-time instructors at the fitness center. She also works as a personal trainer at the gym, helping service members and civilians meet their fitness goals.

"I get here first thing in the morning, and I will have clients up until about thirty minutes before my class," Mrs. Elmo said. "I can go in and have plenty of time to prepare and focus before that. Personal one-on-one is a lot different than one to 20 or one to 30 people. Between the classes and training, it goes back and forth."

Classes taught at the fitness center include butts and guts, abs boot camp and MaxFIT, all classes are aimed at improving aerobic abilities. When there are a higher number of instructors, other aerobic classes become available such as Thai boxing.

"It requires a lot of creativity," she said. "When you first start everything is pretty basic, and sometimes you run short (on time). The more you do it and the more you get used to it, you know what you can throw out, what people are capable of doing and what they aren't. "

Creativity benefits instructors on many levels, and beyond gripping how to handle classes in the best way, they can also make the most of what equipment they have.

"(Creativity helps) especially when we have limited equipment," Mrs. Elmo said. "In here it's not bad, but it's more limited than what we had at the last base I taught. The creativity comes out to figuring out what to do and trying to use body weight to keep heart rate up and to make it complete. They feel like they've got a good workout when they walk out."

Having a good time in her classes is an important aspect of teaching, Mrs. Elmo said. When she can have fun and work hard at the same time, it's a great way to have class.

"I love to have fun in my class. We laugh and joke, but we work hard," she said. "I think that is what is fun for me - to see people having a good time but still working hard. I try to keep it fun for them."

Incorporating hard work, lots of fun and a good aerobic plan are critical parts of class for Mrs. Elmo. The most valuable part, however, is the stories of people who she helps make a difference.

"(One student lost) 50 pounds taking a class of mine very similar to MaxFIT years ago," she said. "That was amazing. I was a brand new instructor, and he was a crew chief. He wanted his guys to start going to the gym because they were failing their PT tests. He started changing his diet and his energy went through the roof. He was able to keep up with his four or five(children).

"The success stories of people losing weight and being able to do things they haven't been able to do before is awesome," she said.

If interested in becoming an aerobics fitness instructor, email or call 0175-567-3291.