By Alfredo Camacho for South Kern Sol
LAMONT, Calif. – In spite of a surprise winter storm the night before, close to 100 South Kern residents came together on April 26 to celebrate the completion of the “Live the Challenge” campaign, where participants devoted 100 days to a healthier lifestyle. The 4th annual “Live the Challenge” celebration, which was held at Sunset School in Weedpatch, included both a 5k and a 10k race across three divisions, child, youth and adult in both races.
The campaign comes as Kern County is ranked as 58th in California’s 58 counties in incidence of heart disease, and ranked 57th in incidence of diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In Kern, 6 out of 10 residents are considered obese.
“Live the Challenge” was sponsored by Building Healthy Communities, a community initiative comprised of over 1,200 residents, youth, business and organizations to make positive change in the communities of Arvin, Lamont, Weedpatch, and the unincorporated areas of Southeast Bakersfield.
South Kern Sol attended the event and asked participants: “What change or changes did you make during the challenge and what change will you make for the future?”
“We ate more healthy, more fruits and vegetables, less fats, and less meats. We’re going to start exercising more, especially with my children.”
“I ran more in the last hundred days, and for the future I’m going to keep running so I can stay healthy.”
-Jason Alvarez (1st place 5k in the child division)
“Something I’ve been trying to do is cook at home rather than buying food outside. Because of my work schedule I don’t really get the time to cook a lot so I’d like to cook for three days, save money and eat healthier food.”
“I wasn’t aware of the 100 days, but a change I want to make is to start doing a physical activity every day. I work eight hour days I want to do something for my health, even [for] my mental health like just watering my plants.”
“The change I proposed myself was going to Zumba [dance class] twice a day, morning and afternoon, and to this day I’ve been doing it. I feel exhausted at night, but I feel better overall. I’m going to keep this routine now, and in the future I want to walk a lot more.”