Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Contests highlight importance of exercise

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 20, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:20 p.m.

Obesity is an uphill battle. Americans live increasingly sedentary lives filled with high-stress desk jobs, processed foods pumped full of sodium and preservatives, sugary beverages and more. With so many factors contributing to this national epidemic, it is essential that every individual find a way to maintain a healthy weight and stay physically active.

Randall Goode, a 53-year-old Formosa operator and grandfather of two, is taking control of his weight by competing in the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown. Goode is the second Crossroads resident to take part in this competition. The first, Reuben Ybarra, is now 93 pounds lighter and won $3,000 and the "Healthy Hero" award in the competition.

Goode is taking an important step by participating in this weight-loss contest. It is often difficult for people to admit they have a problem, much less start a new habit like eating well or exercising regularly. But Goode has taken that step and has already lost 21 pounds as of Feb. 11. With that weight loss, he also no longer needs to take medication for diabetes and high blood pressure every day.

This positive shift is an important one that anyone can perform if they have the drive to make a change and be healthy. February is American Heart Month, and the Victoria Advocate is partnering with DeTar Healthcare System to raise awareness of heart disease in women in the Crossroads. The Advocate is sponsoring a photo contest where participants can take pictures of themselves, their family, friends, coworkers and more wearing red and post the images on our website. Winners of the contest will be featured in the Crossroads section on March 3, and the winning photo will receive a three-month membership to DeTar Health Center.

DeTar's website features a list of heart attack warning signs, including discomfort in the chest and other areas of the body, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness and more. The website also features a heart risk assessment, where residents can answer a few questions and see what risk factors are present in their lives.

We encourage our readers to take this chance to make an effort and bring about positive change in their lives. Obesity and heart disease are not problems to be taken lightly, and we encourage our readers to make a commitment to improve their health. It can start with something as simple as walking twice a week or eating a vegetable serving in every meal. But the most important part is making the decision to change and following through. We applaud Goode for the success he has seen in his journey toward improved health, and we hope more will follow his example.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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