October 28, 2014
By Libby Smith
On Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Rude Recreation Center, families gather for a boot camp style exercise class. Parents bring their children, some participate in the class, others sit and watch. The goal is to make exercise a natural part of family life.
“We certainly approach families. We don’t only approach the kids … we approach the whole family,” said Julissa Soto, Director of Programs, Latino Market for the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
The Association’s Por Tu Familia program directs education and services toward the Hispanic community. ADA statistics indicate that Hispanics are twice as likely to develop diabetes as others racial groups.
“Obesity is growing rapidly in the Latino community,” Soto told CBS4.
Soto blames the stresses of adjusting to life in a new culture, as well as, the easy accessibility of cheap unhealthy food. She says programs like boot camp are designed to get participants out of that unhealthy spiral.
“It’s because my mom … she forced me to join it, then I started liking the class,” said Jeovani Solis, a high school student and regular participant of boot camp.
Solis was diagnosed with pre-diabetes when he was 9 years old. Pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar is elevated, and they’re showing the markers for developing diabetes within 6 years. Many people can make lifestyle changes and reverse their pre-diabetes diagnosis. That’s exactly what Solis did.
“I lost about 20 pounds,” he told CBS4.
Solis joined his high school track team and now he competes in the 1600 meters and relay events.
“At first I just wanted to join to lose weight, but then I realized that I like running,” Solis explained.
He still goes to boot camp twice a week and works out with his family.
You can find out more information about boot camp or the Por Tu Familia program at the ADA’s Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. The 5K walk and officially-timed 10K run are Saturday, November 1st at 8a.m. at the Downtown Aquarium. At the end of the walk, there is a large festival with food vendors, a kids zone, and information about healthy living and diabetes management.
Source: CBS Denver