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Beale family selected as Air Force FitFamily of the month

The Harrison family plays a game of basketball in front of their residence on Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Williiam and Janice Harrison, along with their children, were selected as the Air Force FitFamily for the month of March. (Courtesy photo)

The Harrison family plays a game of basketball in front of their residence on Beale Air Force Base, Calif. Williiam and Janice Harrison, along with their children, were selected as the Air Force FitFamily for the month of March. (Courtesy photo)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The family of a 9th Support Division Squadron member here was selected as the Air Force's FitFamily of the Month for March after logging more points than any other Air Force family on the program's Web site.

The FitFamily Web site provides a venue for families to participate in family activities and track points using the Web site. It includes healthy recipes, fitness tips and is updated with the latest fitness and sports information and articles on family activities.

Mr. William Harrison, a computer support administrator with the 9th SDS, and his wife Janice, who works at Beale's Youth Center, always have maintained an active lifestyle with their four children.  However, this program has allowed them to form a closer bond.

"It opens you up to doing more things with your family," Mr. Harrison said. "Knowing that this program is out here, and you want to honestly log points in, it gives you more of a motivation factor to go outside and throw the ball, shoot hoops and ride bikes. It has even helped us out to eat dinner together more."

Mrs. Harrison loves the program because points are earned for daily household activities done together.

"Chores are part of it as well," she said. "It helps me enforce responsibility for the children.  I normally would do (household chores) myself, but this way if we do (them) together and go on the Web site and honestly say that we did this, we can log more points."

Mr. Harrison said children who like to play video games can even earn points with the program as well.

"If you have a kid who loves playing video games, I recommend getting the Wii fit game," Mr. Harrison said. "That game has a lot of good fitness exercises on it, from kids doing jogging to aerobic exercises, and if the kids do it right they will burn calories and get fit. On a day where they can't get outside, and they're cooped up in the house, put them on that and that is a good way to get points."

"I think every family should try it," Mrs. Harrison said. "We have a lot of single parents here, and it would be something nice for them to get more of a closeness of relationship with their child; this way they get to know each other more."

"Around 80 percent of married couples in the U.S. are now dual income earners, meaning that both husband and wife work outside the home," said David Brittain, FitFamily program manager at the Pentagon. "The challenges to find time for family activities and physical exercise are greater than ever."

FitFamily is constantly updated with the latest fitness and sports information and articles on fun activities to do as a family.

Each month features a different aspect of fitness, and families are encouraged to send fitness photos of their family and share how they stay fit.

Last year, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz designated July 2009 to July 2010 as the Year of the Air Force Family, a year-long focus on Air Force programs highlighting the importance of, and commitment to, the entire Air Force family.

"Taking care of families is a solemn promise we make to each Airmen and family member," Secretary Donley said during his remarks to the Air Force Sergeants Association last year.

Eligible families of active duty, Reserve, Guard, and DOD civilian members are encouraged to register online to participate and log points at www.usafFitFamily.com.

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