(NAVY TIMES) -- Onshore or underway - if you want to get in shape, there's an app for that.
The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series released an iPhone app in April to let sailors access their library of exercises, workout routines and meal planning while at sea, according to a fleetwide message, NAVADMIN 169/12, released May 30.
As of the end of May, the app had been downloaded nearly 5,500 times.
WHERE TO GET IT
The Navy Operational Fitness and Fueling Series app can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store for free. Because it is such a large file, it needs to be downloaded over a Wi-Fi connection or on iTunes, and then synced to the phone. Lisa Sexauer, program manager for fitness, sports and deployed forces support at Navy Installations Command, said an iPad version of the app, which is better formatted to the larger screen, is expected to be released in the next few months. Versions of the app for Android and Windows phones are being developed, though there is no set release date.
Though it hasn't been out long, feedback from sailors has been overwhelmingly positive, said Lisa Sexauer, program manager for fitness, sports and deployed forces support at Navy Installations Command. It is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by users in the iTunes App Store.
"They like the food choice features and the fact that there are videos so they can refine their own movement efficiencies," she said.
The videos, like the entire app, can be accessed without cellphone service or an active Internet connection once the app is downloaded to the iPhone. That means that a sailor's entire workout is available anytime, anywhere, even aboard a ship. This is important because most ships have limited Internet access and no cellphone service while at sea.
"The app is actually housed on the device. When you head to the gym, by selecting your parameters, your entire workout is available to you," Sexauer said.
Parameters include fitness level, duration of exercise, equipment that is available and stage. The fitness levels relate to both overall health and familiarity with NOFFS exercises; Sexauer suggested that everyone begin with Level 1. Within each level are four stages, labeled A through D. Sailors just beginning the exercise would begin with Level 1, Stage A and move up to Level 1, Stage B. Each level has an increased number of sets and repetitions.
The exercises, which take into account how much room is available for fitness on different kinds of vessels from subs to aircraft carriers, are in line with the Navy's 21st Century Sailor and Marine wellness initiative, Sexauer said.
One key to the app is ensuring that sailors don't injure themselves doing the exercises. While videos, detailed descriptions and still photos show sailors how to correctly perform each exercise, "some of the exercises in NOFFS are things that folks may not have been exposed to before," Sexauer said. CNIC trained 140 instructors stationed at fitness centers across the Navy. If sailors are interested, they can receive this training prior to deploying on any ship from their shore command.
The fueling portion of the app explains how to eat a healthy diet, with tips like eating foods of different colors for the most nutritional value, telling how many calories each meal should be depending on a sailor's size and weight goals, and the 80/20 rule: Eat things that are good for you 80 percent of the time, and favorite foods that aren't as healthy 20 percent of the time.
Without the app, the NOFFS program can be accessed at www.navyfitness.org, where sailors can download and print the program elements. Ships also have laminated cards demonstrating the exercises that can be checked out at fitness centers.