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Fitness kiosk a solution to age-old problem

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Schriever aerobics class enthusiasts may feel like they are on the holodeck of the Starship Enterprise during the next few weeks. Thanks to a new apparatus about to be installed in the aerobics room at the Schriever Fitness Center, they'll be able to participate in an instructor-led class pretty much anytime the fitness center is open.

Fitness center staff have purchased an on-demand fitness-class kiosk with funding from the 50th Mission Support Group. Even considering today's modern technology, the new kiosk's level of sophistication may surprise most aerobics-room users.

"Users will walk up to a small kiosk that's mounted on the wall near the entrance to the aerobics room," said Seth Cannello, Schriever sports and fitness director. "Once they decide on the class they want to take, they'll simply punch in the information and walk into the room. Seconds later, a nearly 100-inch screen will drop down from the ceiling and a projector mounted to the ceiling at the back of the room will display an instructor-led video."

Users will be able to choose from a multitude of classes, including aerobics, Pilates, yoga and spinning, some of which haven't been offered at Schriever since 2011.

Cannello believes the kiosk will provide a solution to a problem fitness center staff and users have experienced for the past 10 years.

"We used to provide instructor-led classes like aerobics and Pilates off and on, but since we are a relatively small base, we've suffered from fluctuating demand," he said. "On some occasions, we would schedule a time and date for a class and have an instructor travel out here to teach it, only when they arrived we had no participants. Other times, we would have people show up for a class and then have no instructor. So, when we faced budget constraints in 2011 that was one of the easiest programs to cut."

The fitness center has offered a few classes since then, but only because a couple of instructors have conducted classes on their own time.

A contractor is expected to install the kiosk system in the next couple of weeks.

That's welcome news to Paula Krause, Schriever's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and an aerobics fan.

"I am extremely excited to try it out," she said. "I have participated in the aerobics classes previously and I have really missed them since the fitness center had to discontinue them. A number of us have bought workout CDs and we rotate them, but this would be better. I think it would definitely give the base population flexibility with their workout schedules."

Providing flexibility is the key aspect for Schriever, according to Cannello

"It will be nice to be able to offer set class times," he said. "For instance, we may offer spinning classes from 6 to 7 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but if those times and dates don't work for some people, they can come in and program the kiosk to run the spinning class at a time that works best for them."

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