Military feature: Air Force program promotes youth wellness

By Liliana Castillo: Freedom New Mexico

More than 100 youth are participating in an Air Force wellness program at Cannon Air Force Base.

FitFactor is a program that promotes being active and healthy by utilizing a website where participants can log time for activities done and earn points. Participants earn points to earn prizes. The program is aimed at children ages 6-18.

The program is run largely out of the Youth Center and Youth Programs Director Daniel McBride said the success of Cannon’s program is a result of increased availability of activities for youth and teens.

FitFactor Coordinator Marjorie Sisnerios plans events for children Tuesday through Saturday at the Youth Center. She said clinics on several sports, relays, three-on-three basketball, indoor tennis, Wii Sports and Wii Fit are some of the activities she schedules. She said youth have three options of an activity each day.

“It gives the children a healthy life and helps them make healthy life choices when they are active,” Sisnerios said.

Chuck Kiser’s children lost weight and their endurance improved after three months of participating in the program, he said.

“They feel better about themselves,” Kiser said.

Claire Seaton, 11, has been participating in the program for two years. She said she and her sister are competitive about gaining points with the program.

Points can be logged for a variety of activities from any computer that has Internet access. Points can be earned by exercising, doing chores and more.

“Any chores count and it really helps parents too,” she said. “My favorite thing is seeing my energy level go up and up and up.”

Sadajia Blunt, 10, has participated for five months.

“I ride my bike, clean my room, eat healthy, drink eight ounces of water, all kinds of stuff,” Blunt said.

Sisnerios said the goal is to create good habits.

“In a perfect world, they would do this on their own,” Sisnerios said. “But this is a good way to motivate them to do it.”

Information: Marjorie Sisnerios at 784-2747