San Angelo Competes in H-E-B Community Health Challenge
It’s time to get fit, San Angelo, with the second annual H-E-B Community Challenge!
Running from September 1 through October 31, the eight-week competition is a test to Texans in participating communities to demonstrate their commitment to healthy lifestyle choices.
San Angelo entered the competition on the first, following the promotional efforts of Shannon Medical Center and a motivational video from Mayor Morrison, who himself has set a goal of losing a little excess baggage.
“It has come to my attention that really I am too much mayor for the city of San Angelo,” Mayor Morrison said in his challenge video, “and I have made a conscious effort to lose about 40 pounds of this mayorship,” he continued.
The challenge is based on individual and group participation, and rankings are broken down among five community size categories.
There are four basic categories where you can earn points, such as by posting an activity and the duration on the website or by snapping a photo of yourself in action. Hosting healthy house parties and neighborhood rallies also rack up the points.
And participation is easy: just sign up online at http://hebcommunitychallenge.com/ and start earning points for the city.
So far, San Angelo has had a great run, ranking second among 44 competitors in the mid-sized class in week one, and dropping down to third behind Sugarland and Pearland at the beginning of week two.
The city’s success will be contingent on participation, but it’s not just about winning.
“Experts tell us that too much weight—especially belly weight—is bad on the back, is bad on the knees, it takes away your energy, your go,” said Mayor Morrison in the challenge video, “and I can assure you on all three points that is absolutely correct.
“But the most important thing about it is that obesity and belly fat lead to diabetes, and this is something that we simply want to avoid.”
September Summers at Shannon Medical Center emphasizes the importance of leading a healthy and active lifestyle, as well as of raising awareness of the problems that can result from inactivity.
“[Being inactive and not eating healthy] causes heart disease and stroke,” said Summers. “People who tend to be overweight can have mobility problems, it can cause arthritis…it can cause cancer too,” she said.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the adult and childhood obesity rates in Texas are around 30%, which, according to a study conducted by the CDC in 2012, puts the Lone Star State at number 11 on a scale of our nation’s fattest states.
The obesity rate is, however leveling off, an effect Summers attributes to raised awareness.
“What’s exciting is that H-E-B has recognized this problem,” Summers said. And they’re putting their support behind the effort.
Shannon Medical Center has been a huge proponent of bringing the challenge to the community and has been pushing for involvement with local businesses, schools and at ASU.
‘Even though the competition only lasts eight weeks, it’s the awareness side that’s going to make things better,’ Summers said. And that’s really the main objective of the competition: to give communities the opportunity to show how active they are and to be proud of it, while raising awareness of the health problems our society faces.
For more information on the H-E-B Community Challenge or to register, visit http://hebcommunitychallenge.com/ .
If you’re looking for a place to start, but don’t want to do it alone, check out the San Angelo Road Lizards Running Club website at http://www.roadlizards.org/places-to-run/ . Here you’ll find information about the best running locations and meeting times for group workouts and races in and around San Angelo.
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