WASHINGTON, DC -- In honor of Air Force Fitness Month this May, fitness facilities at bases around the world planned healthy activities for troops and their families.

At the Elmendorf Fitness Center on the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, the staff hosted a bench-your-own-weight competition today. A pet fun run is scheduled for tomorrow, then on May 14, the center will host a racquetball tournament as well as an armed services run on May 15.

While these events are the focus of the center’s activities in May, Tom Lawson, Elmendorf Fitness Center manager, says they are only part of a bigger picture.

“We promote fitness every day of the year,” he says. “Not only is being in shape important to pass the Air Force PT test, but it also improves the way people feel about themselves. It provides good mental health and helps people in every part of their physical being.”

At Ramstein Air Base, Germany, troops and their families participated in the second annual FitFactor Triathlon on May 2. About 70 people participated in the event designed to bring families together and raise awareness about fitness.

“This was our kickoff event to put focus on Fitness Month, Air Force FitFactor and the FitFamily program, plus our newest program, Club Fit, which is a collaboration between the Ramstein Health and Wellness Center and Youth Programs,” says Dorothy Choate, the 86th Services Squadron family member programs flight chief.

In January, Air Force officials started the FitFamily program to encourage healthier lifestyle choices for airmen and their families.

At Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, the fitness staff scheduled a series of events, including a half marathon to kick off Air Force Fitness Month on May 1, as well as a four-hour Aerobathon, scheduled to take place Saturday. A Family Fun Run is planned for May 15, and an awards ceremony will finish out the month’s activities on May 28.