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Winter Swim
Capt. Matthew Moberg, 319th Medical Group, swims laps in the Grand Forks Air Force Base pool Sept. 10. The swimming pool on GFAFB is indoors with areas designated for lap swim and recreational swimming along with a spacious pool-side lounge area with comfortable seating. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Amanda N. Stencil)
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Base pool available for fun, fitness year-round

Posted 9/15/2011   Updated 9/16/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. R. Michael Longoria
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

9/15/2011 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.  -- As the temperature drops toward freezing, it's obvious that summer is over, the brutal North Dakota winter will soon be here, and it's time to trade in the swim trunks for ice skates.

That is unless you are stationed here, where Warriors of the North can enjoy summer fun year-round at the indoor pool. The base fitness center offers a U-shaped pool with a beach-front entry, water slide and water temperatures between 83 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Minus the smell of chlorine, entering our pool is like walking out into your favorite beach," said Jane Hutzol, 319th Force Support Squadron aquatic center manager.

Life jackets are available for children, but they aren't allowed in the deep end or on the slide for safety precautions.

The pool offers more than just a good time for kids of all ages - it also offers a good workout.

Mrs. Hutzul explained that swimming benefits other cardio exercise programs, such as running and cycling. Water aerobics also combines cardio exercise with water resistance for a total-body workout. You can also give your knees a break by running in the water while wearing an aqua-jogger that keeps your head elevated above the water.

"Even pregnant women have come to the pool to just walk in the shallow end, taking the baby weight off their joints for a short time," Mrs. Hutzol said. "We even have a water treadmill for others who wish to have a non-impact water workout."

Since safety is so important, a lifeguard is always on duty and the pool has strict rules for its patrons.

"Those younger than 18 who wish to swim in the deep end must first pass a deep-end test and then have their name recorded in our book," Mrs. Hutzol said. "Then these swimmers can use the inner tubes or noodles we have on hand."

The pool staff hosts youth and adult triathlon training programs and swim lessons.

"Down the line, we would like to offer opportunities for physically therapy as well as Wounded Warrior care," Mrs. Hutzol said.

The pool hours are:

Adult Lap Swim: Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. This is for adults 18 and older. Teens who would like to swim laps must be accompanied by an adult.

Open Swim: Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. There is no cost but youth younger than 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older and children 4 and younger must have an adult in the water with them within arms' reach at all times.

Youth Swim Lesson: Wednesdays at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. depending on level and Saturdays at 9, 10 and 11 a.m. Homeschooler swim lessons are held Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Adult swim lessons are held Tuesdays at 5 p.m. for non-swimmers and Thursdays at 5 p.m. for more experienced swimmers.

Adult Fitness Swim: Saturdays at 8 a.m. This is like a swim practice for adults who already know how to swim.

Parent and Toddler Time: Monday through Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. This is for children aged 5 and younger with parents in the water with them.

Water Aerobic: Monday through Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m.

For more information, call (701)747-3384.

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