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CHIPS Articles: Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System

Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling System
An App for fitness and health
By Sharon Anderson - July-September 2012
Forget Angry Birds, the Navy has an app that is beyond cool. Called the NOFFS, or Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series, the app provides Sailors with world-class physical fitness and nutrition information. It is designed to assist Sailors in maintaining peak physical readiness and is consistent with the 21st Century Sailor initiative to maximize personal readiness, maintain the resiliency of the force, and to sharpen the most combat effective force. But mostly it looks like fun

No need to hang out at the gym, the NOFFS program is portable and readily accessible whether Sailors are underway or at home. Just like the advantages of working with a personal trainer, the program can be adapted to any environment or fitness level and encompasses comprehensive fitness and health elements that can be tailored to an individual. NOFFS includes a movement library, virtual trainer, virtual meal builder and other educational materials for a well-rounded fitness program. Developed as a component of the fitness package, the fueling aspect of NOFFS provides Sailors with the tools required to make healthy nutrition choices in both shore-based and operational environments. All exercises in NOFFS are fully illustrated with photos, performance instructions and videos so there are no excuses not to get or stay in shape.

Feedback in response to NOFFS has been encouraging, said Lisa Sexauer, fitness, sports and deployed forces support program manager for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). "It has been very positive. The app is rated as four out of five stars and as a whole [Sailors] are pleased with its overall functionality. We do plan for further enhancements," she said.

The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for free. Because it is a huge file, it is recommended that you download it over a Wi-Fi connection or on iTunes and then sync to your phone. An iPad version of the app is expected to be released in the next few months. Versions of the app for Android and Windows phones are in development, but no release date is available as of this writing.

The entire app can be accessed without cell phone service or an Internet connection once the app is downloaded to the iPhone. This is a great feature since most of the bandwidth on ships is devoted to mission-critical systems; also, personnel are often deployed to remote or austere locations where Internet access is unlikely. What this means is that Sailors can stay motivated anytime, anywhere.

NOFFS will get even better; improvements will be released in phases that will add functionality and overall appeal, according to Sexauer.

"NOFFS 1.0 is complete, but we are currently in the midst of developing three new workout series. Specifically, there will be a strength series, an endurance series and an austere series, and each will be delivered on the same tech platforms as the current series. Further, the meal builder will be revised to offer 10 zones vice the five we have now.

"We also plan to develop the virtual meal builder on our website and the app to allow users to populate their food choices into a personal meal plan for the day. Once NOFFS 2.0 is released, we'll begin work on 3.0. Fitness programs have to be dynamic to remain relevant and effective so additions are important," Sexauer said.

Zones refer to components in the meal builder (http://www.navyfitness.org/nutrition/noffs_fueling_series/interactive_mealbuilder/) that allow you to customize your meal plan based on your current weight, gender and goal (lose, maintain or gain). Once you make your selections you are assigned zones which outline the number of calories you should take in each day, for example. Calories are broken down by each meal.

The NOFFS iPhone app was developed as a partnership between the CNIC Navy Fitness Team, Center for Personal and Professional Development (CPPD), and Athletes' Performance Institute (API), but Sailors also weighed in on their preferences.

"Sailors were involved. In fact CPPD conducted a baseline assessment and over 750 Sailors were interviewed prior to development. They were very clear: do not deliver this program in a manual or on a CD. This was the drive behind providing multiple delivery platforms such as the web-based virtual trainer, the iPhone app and the laminated card sets provided to ships," Sexauer said.

NOFFS provides naval personnel with the same caliber of fitness training used by professional athletes; it can also be accessed from the Navy Fitness, Sports and Deployed Forces Support website at www.navyfitness.org/ and produced in hard copy. The website contains a plethora of tips and downloads to support healthy eating and exercise and encourages use for the "entire Navy family."

The goal of the Navy Fitness Program is to create "Fitness for Life" for the entire Navy population, including active-duty Sailors, family members, retirees and Defense Department civilians.

Get in on the action — exercise and healthy eating just got easier!

Navy Fitness, Sports and Deployed Forces Support: www.navyfitness.org/.

Sharon Anderson is the CHIPS senior editor. She can be reached at chips@navy.mil.

Photo of the NOFFS iPhone version.
Photo of the NOFFS iPhone version.
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