Binational fitness challenge wants to create new appreciation for exercise on both sides of the border

LatinaLista — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in July that the percentage of obese U.S. adults grew from under 24 percent to 25.6 percent between 2005 and 2007. Yet, if they had singled out one particular part of the country, they would have found a far worse situation.
In South Texas, 30 percent of all South Texans are obese but 34 percent of Latino residents in South Texas are obese. Needless to say, too many of these Latinos also suffer with diabetes.
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But there’s one South Texas Latino who wants to change those dismal numbers. His name is Jorge Vela and he’s a personal trainer by profession and the creator of the first binational fitness boot camp dubbed The SPI Boot Camp Challenge.
Vela lives in one of the most beautiful parts of Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley (RGV). Within the borders of the RGV is South Padre Island, a popular beach and summer vacation resort. It’s on the beach that Vela would like to bring families together to compete in a team fitness challenge that includes a 3 mile natural dune obstacle course run for adults, military style obstacles, push up stations, muddy obstacles, bay area water obstacles and a 1 mile obstacle course for kids.
Of course, Vela’s intent for the boot camp is to raise awareness on being fit and healthy. He has an ambitious goal of eliminating obesity and creating a healthy mindset towards exercise and physical activity.
In fact, he hopes this first SPI Boot Camp Challenge will attract 1,000 men, women and children from all over the state of Texas and nearby states, as well as, Mexico. Vela is so passionate about eradicating unhealthy lifestyles in the South Texas Valley that he is dedicating a portion of the proceeds to two local scholarship organizations for students who are majoring in exercise science at any college or university in South Texas.
The SPI Boot Camp Challenge takes place Saturday, November 8, 2008. Online registration deadline is November 1.
While a beach resort area may be the last place anyone would want to compete in a fitness challenge, it makes a perfect reward to enjoy after the competition is over.

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