City offers 60 day health challenge

A man rides his bicycle Tuesday at Dean Porter Park in Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

Health officials report its pretty common for individuals to gain one to five pounds over the holidays, but what if there’s an ongoing pandemic too and how do you get rid of those unhealthy pounds and mindset?

You hit the trails and parks. This is what City of Brownsville officials are encouraging residents to do during its #LetsMoveMore #60Day Challenge.

The challenge started Nov. 1 and every day officials with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department have posted inspiring messages on its Facebook page offering words of encouragement and new locations where people can hit the trails.

“Today’s #LetsMoveMore #60DayChallenge park post comes to you from the Alice Wilson Hope Park (1300 E. Levee St). We hope it reminds you to enjoy and explore your city parks and trails. Walking, running, rolling and strolling…A few mins of movement everyday can make all the difference,” a Wednesday post stated.

City officials heard about the 100 Day Challenge late this year and wondered why they couldn’t have a 60 day challenge to end 2020.

Besides getting people moving it has also introduced them to parks that some had no idea are located in the city, said Graciela L. Salazar, assistant director for the Parks and Recreation Department.

For those who like to dance, Zumba classes are also offered via Facebook.

“We thought it was a great idea to showcase our parks and trails and that is why we have been trying to post at least once a day on social media, that way people can learn more about our parks and get that vitamin D that everyone is talking about right now,” Salazar said.

According to a report published in the Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing there is some evidence that shows Vitamin D might help a person from being infected with the virus. People with low levels of Vitamin D may be more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections.

Another Facebook post states “Day 28–you’re doing great! It’s almost the half way point in the #LetsMoveMore #60DayChallenge. We are very proud of all the strides you’ve made and hope you have been enjoying discovering or rediscovering your parks and trails.”

Salazar said the feedback from the public has been positive with their followers stating that they like that the park’s department is offering this.

“You have to change it (your routine) a little bit. You can’t just be working out at home all the time. You need to go outside a little bit and change it up,” Salazar said.

Although the challenge ends on Dec. 31, there’s a possibility that the department will come up with something else to keep the public moving.

“We are definitely thinking about doing something else because I think it is important for people to do outdoor activities, especially now. It has always been important but more now,” Salazar said.