Every Monday, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s (AAFES) BE FIT ambassadors Roy Montez and Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Sonja Berry host 20-minute workouts at 11 a.m. CST live on facebook.com/shopmyexchange. Soldiers, Airmen, retirees, Veterans and military family members can watch the series on the Exchange Facebook page. The workouts are a component of AAFES’s BE FIT Program.
Strategic Marketing Manager Roy Montez Jr. serves as the Exchange BE FIT ambassador, drawing on his involvement in NCAA Division I soccer. As a part of his contributions, Montez offers weekly BE FIT live sessions on Facebook. These sessions were created with a goal of reaching the military community during COVID-19. Senior Master Sgt. Sonja Berry is assigned to the Exchange as the assistant director of Public Health and Food Safety. She partners with Montez on BE FIT’s weekly Facebook Live workouts. “It’s like having a free trainer,” said Berry. “It demonstrates the Exchange’s commitment to fitness and healthy lifestyles.”
The idea for the live workouts came about to promote wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The workouts include interval training, core workouts, strength training and more. “These BE FIT workouts remind military communities that staying fit is critical—especially during the pandemic,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, Exchange senior enlisted advisor. “Joining the Exchange workouts through Facebook fosters a sense of community and resiliency.”
Each video begins with a short introduction, then Montez describes each exercise before he and Berry lead viewers on stretching. During the workout, Montez pauses to rest, provides advice, and answers questions from the online audience.
“BE FIT, which was launched in 2009, prioritizes the health of our Nation’s fighting force. The initiative highlights health-conscious meals and grab-and-go snacks as well as providing an assortment of fitness gear and wellness services. The Exchange’s BE FIT program empowers shoppers, their families, and the broader military community to make healthy lifestyle choices,” said Loyd Brumfield, PR Specialist, AAFES.
BE FIT initiatives include:
- A revamped BE FIT page on ShopMyExchange.com.
- New Healthier Choices shelf tags to promote meals and snacks that meet the BE FIT program’s calorie, sodium and fat requirements.
- Partnering with commissaries for Healthy Lifestyle Festivals and other wellness events.
- A social media campaign to post and share BE FIT content.
- Opening more than 20 restaurants, all with better-for-you options.
“Every Monday, the Exchange offers live workouts on its Facebook page. Through BE FIT Connect, which is part of the Exchange’s community Hub, shoppers can find exercise videos, health and fitness tips and links to content on the Exchange’s Facebook page and BE FIT merchandise on ShopMyExchange.com. The Healthier Choice tags displayed on all our BE FIT items in our Express stores have also resonated with customers as they make it easy to quickly identify healthier options,” said Brumfield.
The BE FIT program helps Military Families make healthy lifestyle choices. “The Exchange makes it part of our mission to support troops’ readiness and resiliency through a BE FIT lifestyle,” said President and Chief Merchandising Officer Ana Middleton. “Through our long-term BE FIT initiative, we are committed to providing the fitness information, nutrition tips, equipment and better-for-you dining, and snack options Warfighters and their families need to meet their health goals. “Our BE FIT initiatives also helps us develop lifelong emotional connections with our customers.”
For more information and updates on the program visit the AAFES’s Community Hub. The BE FIT content includes healthy recipes and fitness tips.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.PeggyWhereShouldIGo.com