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Texas, New Mexico lag behind other states in physical activity
By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas - The annual America's Health Rankings report shows Texas and New Mexico are behind other states in physical activity in 2013.
Texas ranked number 36 out of 50 this year; that is down one point from last year.
New Mexico improved slightly, ranking 32 this year in comparison to its 36 ranking last year.
However, both states are still behind in areas of obesity and physical inactivity.
The report revealed 29.2 percent of adults in Texas are obese and 27.2 adults are physically inactive.
In New Mexico, physical inactivity decreased from 25.3 percent to 21.8 percent of adults; however, data shows there are still 330,000 adults in New Mexico who are physically inactive.
Although Texas and New Mexico are lagging behind other states, overall the report indicated Americans are making strides in key areas of health.
The report showed less Americans are smoking and the obesity rate has stayed the same in comparison to 2012.
Santiago Multisport in El Paso is working to change these numbers and make people in El Paso more physically active.
The group started two years ago and now consists of a dozen athletes who train on a daily basis for triathlons and other races.
"I've been around people that are unhealthy and I see the illnesses that come about with the unhealthy lifestyles," said Bobby Gonzalez, a coach for the Santiago Multisport team. "I would like to encourage as many people as possible to get them out and stay fit."
Merle Smith of west El Paso joined the group earlier this year.
The 55-year-old said she has already picked up on some everyday exercise and eating habits that she never would have learned on her own.
"I think that's what Texas needs to do is start educating their kids and their families to make good habits," Smith said.
Isabel Speer from east El Paso said she never misses a day of training and she always brings her two kids along for a ride when running or riding her bike.
"Whenever I run, I do feel God's joy," Speer said. "Being active, that gives me the time to think about what's important. Overall, I encourage other women to be active too."
Gonzalez said Santiago Multisport is planning a splash and dash program where children will be trained to do triathlons as well.
The program is still in planning stages and is tentatively scheduled to start sometime in the summer of 2014.
Santiago Multisport group is always looking for new members to join.
For more information on how to join the Santiago Multisport, go to its website at www.santiagomultisport.com.