No babysitter? No problem!

Master Sgt. John Lasky
Contributing Writer

***image1***At the Ramstein Southside Fitness Center there’s a secret thats fading away.
By word of mouth parents are learning of the parent’s and kid’s room at the southside fitness center.

“This is one of our busiest rooms, if not the busiest, in this facility, and this is the only one of its kind in USAFE,” said facility director, Isaac Melendez.
Previously, the room was a racquetball court accommodating two to four people. The fitness staff stepped in, with the self help program’s assistance, changing the room into an exercise area made for parents and children. Approximately 150 people use the room a day.

There are enough workout machines for eleven parents including cross-trainers, treadmills, recumbent and upright bikes, strength machines, and a step machine. Directly in front of the machines is a play area where kids have access to games, books, and DVDs.

Not only calories are burning away or muscles and joints getting stronger but physical activity also has positive affects psychologically, said Melendez. “This is also outlet to reduce stress and make you feel better about yourself,”
“As soon as I discovered (the fitness room) I started coming,” said Winnoa Lara, a dependent spouse. “I come here just as often as I can; morning or afternoon. When I first saw this fitness room I thought it was to good to be true, but here it is.”

Winnoa brings two of her daughters here while the third is in school. Her two-year-old daughter said she looks forward to going to the gym with mom after big sister goes to school.

Gliding on a cross-trainer next to Winnoa and Celeste was first-timer Lisa Altman, with her eight-week-old son Aaron next to her in the baby carrier. She heard about this activity from friends. “I am very happy to be able to bring my son with me here,” she said.

It looks like one less excuse not to workout has been pushed aside.
“Parents didn’t have anywhere to go with their children workout and keep an eyeball on them. This is definitely an improvement in the quality of life,” said Melendez.

Once all renovations on the southside facility are complete the plan is to increase the size of the parent and child room said Melendez.