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FitFactor boosts healthy living for youth

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Parents and teens may find themselves wanting to make more positive healthy decisions about their nutrition but might also find themselves unsure of how to get there.

Air Force Airman and Family Services officials are helping achieve the participant's goals through FitFactor, a key component of the overall Air Force Youth Programs fitness and health initiative that has reached more than 75,000 youth.

The FitFactor initiative encourages youth, teens and families to be physically active every day, make healthy nutrition choices and "Get Up, Get Out and Get Fit."

"FitFactor is a wonderful opportunity for our community to get excited about exercise, live a healthy lifestyle and make positive eating choices," said Chad Barkalow, 509th Force Support Squadron assistant youth sports director FitFactor coordinator.

The program can be used as an online tool to log points, set goals and earn prizes to celebrate the accomplishments of youth and teens, according to Barkalow.

"Although FitFactor is for youth, ages six through 18 years, parents can also sign-up to challenge themselves to be healthy and help ensure their children participating stay on track," Barkalow said.

Emma, 9, a FitFactor participant and daughter of Angela and Master Sgt. Dan Hatch, 442nd Fighter Wing Force Support Squadron, said it's a great program that helps with healthy eating, exercise and chores.

"If you log all your points you win a prize at every level you pass," said Emma. "So far, I have won sunglasses, rubber bracelets, dog tags and a T-Shirt."

"You can earn 50 points for playing an organized sport, or 25 points for taking out the garbage," Barkalow said. "There are also monthly drawings for those who have logged at least 500 points the previous month."

The youth center will display a hall of fame for those who have reached 35,000 points in their gym.

"Other events will continue monthly to challenge members and reward them for their hard work," Barkalow said. "Many points can come from the sports and activities that numerous youth are already involved in."

The program's success is measured ultimately in the final outcome, children living healthy lifestyles, according to Barkalow. FitFactor gives the opportunity to families for a better healthier lifestyle.

For a list of prizes or for more information about FitFactor visit