Military Family, Food, & Fitness Fenestrations

Raising the Bar on Personal Expectation

Support Free Fitness Programs for Overseas Military Families

The FamFit proposal provides a detailed plan to introduce free fitness programs for overseas military families. There are comparatively few military family fitness programs currently offered for US Army and Air Force families stationed overseas, and many of those available are offered at considerable expense (for the average military family), inconvenience, and/or month-to-month uncertainty. I wrote the FamFit Proposal in order to introduce a feasible and permanent method of implementing family fitness programs for overseas military families at no cost. More importantly, however, I wrote it to raise awareness of the cause for providing free family fitness programs to overseas military families.

Local Ramstein Air Force Base Services Division management has been extremely supportive in allowing Military Family-Friendly Fitness Programs at Ramstein Air Force Base. The Services Division now offers fitness programs (yoga, prenatal, and core-strength), which allow participants to bring their kids (currently ranging in age from 3 months to 5 years) with them to class. I’ve updated the FamFit proposal (See Section III, Point 2,B) with more details. Unfortunately participants must pay a fee to attend any of these family-friendly fitness courses.

This is progress, however! Here’s more persuasive evidence that Family Fitness programs work for military overseas families, that they can be implemented in a safe manner for all involved, that they are enormously effective in enhancing participant fitness levels, that they are in high demand despite their fee for participation (all courses are currently wait-listed), and by all accounts (see testimonials) that they impact entire families’ perspectives regarding fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

At Ramstein Air Force Base Southside gym, FREE indoor cycling classes (currently 9 with 3 more planned for January), body sculpt classes (2), ab/core classes (2), a step class and a kickbox class (with 2 more planned in January) are currently offered. But all instructors are volunteers, and not one receives funding for their certifications, music, clothing, or personal childcare. Childcare is not provided for class participants; children are prohibited from being in the facility during a class (although a separate parent room is provided, it is unsupervised).

Although it is commendable that most military fitness facilities, at least in the Kaiserslautern Military Community, offer a room containing exercise equipment (normally a treadmill and an elliptical machine, sometimes a bike) equipped with toys and sometimes a TV for childrens’ entertainment, more can be done and needs to be done for military overseas families. Many stateside bases offer free childcare. In October 2008, DoD contracted the Armed Services YMCA to offer free “family” memberships with free child watch programs at local YMCAs to many military families living stateside (32,000 of which already actively participate in the program). Many family-centered fitness programs are already offered free to stateside-based military families. Now it is time to provide the same free services to Military families stationed overseas who arguably stand to gain far more in health and wellness benefits (read proposal for detailed explanation of the overseas military community need for such services).

Support us by joining our Facebook Group, being a “follower” on the Proposal’s Homepage, and by helping us spread the word!

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