MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — From a 1.5-mile run in chilly northern Japan to all-day volleyball on balmy Guam, Pacific airmen have the chance Thursday to break a sweat and kick that champagne hangover.

And they’ll have incentive: a free T-shirt marking the dawn of a new era in fitness requirements. Starting Jan. 1, the Air Force fitness test will entail a 1.5-mile timed run, crunches, push-ups and an abdominal circumference measurement.

With the change in standards, Pacific Air Forces is discontinuing its “Fit 2 Win” conditioning program and launching “Fit to Fight,” which officials say will be more challenging.

To promote the program, free “Fit to Fight” T-shirts will go to the first 300 people at each participating PACAF base who log a workout Thursday on FitLinxx, a computerized fitness monitoring system. Some bases are going a step further and organizing fitness activities Thursday, which also can be logged onto FitLinxx.

At Misawa, airmen can gauge how ready they are for the timed fitness run with the 1.5-mile Polar Bear Run starting at 1 p.m.

“Our goal is to get everyone’s pin number and their name, so we can log them in and hand them their T-shirt when they finish,” said Tech. Sgt. Jerry Cataldo, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of fitness center operations at Potter Fitness Center.

Fitness center staff also will provide fitness assessments “to see where you are to the average person” starting at 6 p.m. Thursday. People need to realize the new fitness standards “aren’t going away and they need to get fit,” Cataldo said. “This is a no joke.”

Other fitness activities available Thursday at Potter are racquetball, basketball, volleyball and a spin class.

Cataldo said anyone including Defense Department civilians and dependents can participate in the events, log onto FitLinxx and win a T-shirt.

Yokota Air Base, Japan, also will give out “Fit to Fight” T-shirts to the first 300 people who sign up or log a workout on FitLinxx, said Staff Sgt. Antonio Mack, special events noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Main Fitness Center. The gym opens at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Other New Year’s Day organized fitness events at PACAF bases include a 5K fun run/walk at Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base and volleyball at Andersen Air Force Base’s Coral Reef Fitness Center on Guam.

Anyone who participates in volleyball — or any other fitness activity — for at least 30 minutes can log the workout onto FitLinxx and be eligible to win a PACAF T-shirt, Andersen officials said.

Individuals can automatically log a workout on FitLinxx by using weight-lifting or cardiovascular machines already connected to the system, or they can manually log in an activity such as biking, running, skiing or swimming, officials said.

FitLinxx records workout effects such as calories, distance and repetitions. Through FitLinxx, PACAF will promote “Fit to Fight” and award prizes to individuals who earn points for exercising.

“Each activity has so many points assessed to it,” Mack said.

It will be more difficult to reach each award level under “Fit to Fight,” Mack said. “With ‘Fit 2 Win,’ we had some people who had gone through the cycle at least two times. What they tried to do was scale it down to where if you’re here for three years, it takes that amount of time to reach the top prize.”

Keeping fit ...

Pacific Air Forces New Year’s Day Fitness Events include:

Misawa Air Base, Japan

Polar Bear Run 1 p.m., meet at Potter Fitness Center at 12:45 p.m.Single elimination racquetball tournament, co-ed volleyball, and 3-on-3 basketball tournament at 2 p.m.; participants must be at Potter Fitness Center by 1:45 p.m.Spin class 3 p.m., Potter Fitness Center.Introduction to circuit training 4 p.m., Potter Fitness Center.Fitness assessments 6 p.m., Potter Fitness Center, meet at front desk.Free Pacific Air Forces “Fit to Fight” T-shirt to the first 300 people who log on to FitLinxx.Yokota Air Base, Japan

Free “Fit to Fight” T-shirt to the first 300 people who sign up or log on to FitLinxx.Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Resolution 2004 “Fit to Fight” 5K Fun Run/Walk 12 p.m. Register starting at 11:30 a.m. at Risner Fitness Center.Andersen Air Force Base, Guam

author picture
Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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