Healthier Choices: Hundreds register for weight-loss challenge - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Healthier Choices: Hundreds register for weight-loss challenge

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2020 6:30 pm

Hundreds of people registered from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Linear Park in Brownsville to be part of The Challenge RGV, a weight-loss program in which several organizations come together to motivate the community to be healthier and reach their goal weight.

The organizations include the University of Texas School of Public Health and the City of Brownsville.

As part of the challenge, those who register can attend free workout classes at several gyms, such as Breathe Hot Studio, Metanoia Wellness Center, Hardknox Strength & Performance, Just Dance Fitness & Zumba Studio, Fit Body Boot Camp and more.

"I would like to tell everybody to step out of their comfort zone and try something different, just to try something new,” said Thania Ugalde Parra, instructor at Breathe Hot Studio. “Everybody is welcome, bring a towel, water and make sure to hydrate before. Just sit there in the room, breathe and enjoy the energy that flows through the room.

“ Everybody is flowing and doing the yoga poses. It's a really nice way to connect with yourself, mentally, physically and with your soul.”

Belinda Reininger, regional dean and professor at the UT School of Public Health, said the annual challenge is a great way to jump start the New Year and focus on healthy living. She said the main goal is for the community to learn to make healthy choices and maintain a healthy body weight.

"We started the challenge 11 years ago recognizing that our region and our city of Brownsville has higher rates of obesity than other places in the country and more diabetes," she said. "So, we have a bigger disease burden, but that doesn't have to be our fate or our destiny. Having those conditions of obesity and diabetes are preventable and healthy eating, physical activity are ways to prevent that."

Reininger said she invites the community to be part of the challenge.

Those who lose 5% or more of their body weight will enter a raffle in which three people will win $1,000. There will be several more prizes, such as gift cards for those who reach their goal.

"It's the start of a new year,” she said. “Come out, remind yourself how to be healthy and remind yourself how it feels to be at that healthy weight. You feel so much better, you have so much more energy, you sleep better, there are so many benefits and we are here to support you throughout the challenge.

"Having a healthy body weight is the best way to prevent chronic diseases, such as obesity and heart disease."

There will be other registration sessions at the UT School of Public Health at 80 Fort Brown St. in Brownsville;

>> From 12 to 2 p.m. Wednesday;

>> And from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday.

For a full list of registration events in other cities, visit "The Challenge RGV" on Facebook.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com

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