Healthy Streets: Local gyms fight back against obesity
Boxing plays an important role in San Antonio's sports culture and many events, including one day boxing tournaments, called "Smokers," are held year-round at local boxing gyms.
Recently, owners of several local boxing gyms came up with an idea. The idea is simple: To step forward and fight back against obesity by teaming up with city of San Antonio and work with the community to have a healthier San Antonio.
A recent survey done by the National Health System shows that the city of San Antonio is not only high in numbers of potential overweight candidates, but also high in numbers of obesity, with 65 percent of adults overweight. Thirty percent of students assessed are at unhealthy weights, too. There was also a 15 percent rise in cases of obesity-related diabetes, which is the leading cause of death among Hispanic males ages 45-65.
This is the work plan offered: To integrate city-owned and independent boxing gyms so they can be more actively involved with neighborhood children. By doing so, this will help educate the community on how to live a healthy life by, for example, creating an exercise program along with with a healthy, balanced diet.
The need for obesity prevention in San Antonio and Bexar County is urgent. If we could coordinate all local boxing gyms, city and independent, to accommodate at least 100 obese candidates and encourage them to lose weight appropriately (according to a professional nutritionist that will be in charge of the entire prevention program), this would help a lot of people at risk for becoming obese or already obese. Local boxing gyms will incorporate their own knowledge and their routine workout with lessons on eating properly.
Boxing has enough credentials to make me believe something can be done against obesity and its related diseases. San Antonio boxing gyms will team up and will no longer be fighting for gym's pride as usual -- they will also be fighting against obesity. Gyms like Ramos, Angel's and Castillos boxing gyms have teamed up to fight obesity and hope to give boxing fans an extra reason to love the sport.
The video below gives a taste of how boxing can help fight obesity by physical activity.
Arturo Ramos III, from Ramos Boxing Gym, is taking the first step by offering a boxing program named One on One Boxing. Using a program similar to the one he uses at his own gym, he has teamed up with Palo Alto College and will be offering a physical education course that will eventually be added to all Alamo Community Colleges as well. Mr. Ramos has been a good example, not only by working hard for his own gym, but also by changing the culture of boxing and the integration of it as a good source of exercise.
One on One Boxing will be offered at Palo Alto College beginning with the spring 2011 semester in January.
Daniel Acevedo is a boxing fan and longtime resident of San Antonio's West Side.