Fitness center to offer 24-hour access, other upgrades

The Family Workout Zone provides an opportunity for a Liberty spouse to workout while her daughter plays safely at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 19. The family-friendly workout area is one of several updates to the Lakenheath Fitness Center. The fitness center facilities are now available 24/7 by card reader. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kellie Rizer/Released)

The Family Workout Zone provides an opportunity for a Liberty spouse to workout while her daughter plays safely at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 19. The family-friendly workout area is one of several updates to the Lakenheath Fitness Center. The fitness center facilities are now available 24/7 by card reader. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kellie Rizer/Released)

An additional workout room has been converted from a racquetball court in order to ease the congestion in the weight room at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 19. The fitness center facilities are now available 24/7 by card reader. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kellie Rizer/Released)

An additional workout room has been converted from a racquetball court in order to ease the congestion in the weight room at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 19. The fitness center facilities are now available 24/7 by card reader. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kellie Rizer/Released)

Runners have the opportunity to watch brand-new TVs while exercising in the cardio room at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 19. The fitness center facilities are now available 24/7 by card reader. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kellie Rizer/Released)

Runners have the opportunity to watch brand-new TVs while exercising in the cardio room at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 19. The fitness center facilities are now available 24/7 by card reader. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kellie Rizer/Released)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Fitness enthusiasts wanting to get a good sweat in during the early hours of the morning or late into the night can now look forward to 24-hour access to the fitness center here.

"Twenty-four-hour access will be a nice advantage for shift workers or anyone who wants to do late-night or weekend workouts," said Mark Geairn, 48th Force Support Squadron fitness and sports director. "Right now, our hours are a bit limited, but with the new system, it doesn't matter what time you want to workout. You can just come right in."

The extended fitness center hours will be available to all Liberty Wing personnel and their family members using a card reader and passcode. Access will be permitted through military IDs for base personnel and alternate access cards will be available for family members.

The 48th Medical Group, 48th Security Forces Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, 48th Force Support Squadron and 48th Fighter Wing Safety office collaborated to create a risk assessment of the extended fitness center hours. In order to maintain a safe environment, the free-weight room, main lobby, racquetball courts, locker rooms and second floor aerobic room will not be open during extended hours.

Gym users, who must be 18 years of age or older, will have access to the over-flow basketball court, cardio room, bathrooms and plated weight area 24/7.

The fitness center is offering more than increased access to gym members. New equipment and changes to workout area layouts can be expected in the approaching weeks.

"We recently converted one racquetball court into a Crossfit-type workout area, which now gives us two. We also spread out equipment in the free-weight room to create extra space," said Geairn. "Now, it's less congested, and people can work out without the risk of bumping into somebody lifting weights."

The first floor Bun-Dee food vendor will soon be renovated and offer an expanded menu. Gym members will be able to fuel intense workouts with healthy smoothies, salads and paninis. 

"The juice bar will have all new furnishings and more menu options, which will be similar to the location in the RAF Mildenhall Exchange," Geairn said. "Everything will be brand new."

Even the parent-child fitness room from the Page Community Activities Center has relocated to the main fitness center, increasing the current operating hours. The newly-renamed Family Workout Zone opened May 18.

"Good physical fitness gets the Air Force mission done. Our fitness program here is working to offer even more in the future," Geairn said. "We are doing what we need to do."