Are you up for the Challenge San Antonio?
Last year, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) announced that the obesity rate in San Antonio and Bexar County plunged from 35.1% to 28.5% between 2010 and 2012. This meant that in just two years, 70,000 residents of San Antonio are no longer considered obese.
The City and its community partners have done a great job over the past few years increasing the awareness and availability of free and low cost fitness events for our residents, improving the built environment and advocating policies, such as Complete Streets, that promote active lifestyles.
Back in March, Mayor Julián Castro and the residents of San Antonio challenged the City of Houston for its first ever Million Pound Challenge to fight against the obesity epidemic in Texas. The YMCA of Greater San Antonio and H-E-B have teamed up with the Mayor’s Fitness Council and the City of San Antonio to launch a city-wide weight loss competition with the goal of moving our city from fat to fit.
The challenge is simple. Create a login and track your weight loss between now and November on FitCitySA.com. There is also an option to join a team, so encourage your family members or work friends to sign up with you! This challenge is more than just a weight loss competition; it is about making healthy choices in your home, school, worksite, and community. The challenge allows you to calculate your baseline BMI and track it throughout your transformation to see the progress you have made. You can also connect with others by simply typing in your zip code and selecting what type of workout you are interested in doing for that day. Did you know that the city offers over 500 free fitness classes in our public parks each month?!
The one thing this challenge does not offer is excuses, because there are resources for every type of person. If you are busy and only have 20 minutes a day to spare, there are options for you. If you are looking to train for your first 5K, workout for your heart, improve muscle tone, or simply want to start riding a bike again; there are resources available to help you along the way.
For those looking for extra motivation, the challenge offers a leaderboard which allows you to compare your progress compared to others in your area or by gender.
As a native San Antonian, I feel proud of the steps we have taken to recognize the challenging health issues our City is facing. The Million Pound Challenge is one of many pieces that will ultimately help solve the obesity puzzle presented before us in San Antonio. I have personally taken the challenge to become healthier and encourage you to do the same. Not just so we can reach our goal of one million pounds lost, but as a step towards a healthier you and a healthier community.