MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Editor’s note: This is the fourth article in a five-part series on Marine Corps Community Services.
Physical fitness is a top priority for Marines and is required to help them maintain their physical fitness standards.
On any given day, especially during early morning and lunch time hours, the Daniels Family Fitness Center here is crowded with Marines and other base personnel who are working towards achieving their desired fitness goals.
“The gym stays pretty busy from the time we open until we close because the Marines know they have to stay in tiptop shape and be combat ready at all times,” said Whitney Hendrix, fitness director, Marine Corps Community Services, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany. “A Marine never knows when he (or she) will have to leave this base and be deployed, so it is critical they be in the best physical condition possible so they can withstand the elements they may be going in to.”
Not only is the fitness center great for service members to meet physical fitness standards, but it also helps civilian employees and dependents stay healthy and active.
According to base officials and patrons, the fitness center is great for those looking to relieve daily stress and tension, build confidence and maintain physical requirements.
However, for some individuals, exercise is a hobby and stress-reliever.
“I have always enjoyed running, but long-distance and endurance running is relatively new to me, said Master Sgt. Rolanda Bailey, staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge, Supported Activity Supply System, Fleet Support Division, Marine Corps Logistics Command.
Bailey said she comes to the gym on a regular basis to run on the treadmill for an hour, but always looks for new ways to challenge herself physically and mentally.
“I recently tried the Insanity video with a few friends and it was quite a workout. I really enjoyed it even though it made me very sore the next day,” she said. “Regular exercise helps to ease my mind and relieve stress.”
Hendrix noted that for most patrons at the fitness center, it is not just about lifting weights, losing fat or getting fit, but an entire wellness program that focuses on the whole person.
“Fitness is only half of it. There must be a nutrition component to help individuals reach their fitness goals,” she said.
Hendrix said fitness is promoted all year long and there are six fitness competitions held each year: the bench press, squat and dead-lift competitions.
“Every Thursday, we hold a Mommy and me fitness class so parents can work out with their child under three years of age. We also host a Friday fit club for Marine spouses and a year-long running club where prizes are awarded when an individual reaches 500 and 1,000 miles,” Hendrix said. “The final competition is the Daniel’s Cup Challenge for Marines and civilians, which will be held at Boyett Park, Wednesday.”
The fitness center offers several classes such as aerobics, spinning, Zumba, kickboxing, Aikido martial arts and a weekly boot camp, which consists of body weight exercises and step aerobics. There is also a nutritionist on staff to help individuals with their eating habits and four personal trainers who will work to customize a fitness plan and training program for anyone who needs or wants one.
Hendrix said people of all ages and fitness levels use the fitness center and it is available to every patron here on base. It is important for everyone to focus on their health and wellness to lead a long and productive life.
One patron who recently won the bench-press competition with a lift of 425 pounds, said he comes to the fitness center almost every day to stay in shape and build his strength, size and endurance up.
“I usually practice good nutrition and diet and lift heavy weights to build my strength,” said Terrence Sutherland, Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicle program, components handler, Maintenance Center Albany. "I competed in the bench press competition to challenge myself and I like to work out as a hobby because it makes me feel great.”
Patrons as young as 12 years of age can use the fitness center, which is open Monday - Friday from 5:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. For more information, call (229) 639-6234.