HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — It can be difficult to stick to a healthy routine during the holiday season.
With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve within a month of each other, the holiday season can be a time of rest, relaxation and sometimes over-consumption.
But, cancer-survivor Mayra Arellano takes her health seriously.
She’s been leading a class full of women to a healthier lifestyle for over a decade.
“I always tell my students don’t wait,” Arellano said. “For example, we have the holidays and we have the new year, [we’re] always waiting for the new year resolution. This is one of the things I always tell my students… don’t wait till it’s too late.”
Dancing to the sound of fast-paced beats, women of all ages meet at the Brownsville Rec center to exercise.
“Start young because, by the time you get to my age, you don’t know in what condition you might be,” Maria Altamirano said. “It’s very good for your health.”
Altamirano just celebrated her 70th birthday, and for the first time in her life, she’s exercising daily.
“I really don’t want to get sick,” she said. “I want to be healthy and I’m trying to eat healthy and keep physical — and in shape.”
Many of the women in Arellano’s class have goals of losing weight.
Some are maintaining, and others, just want to just live a healthier lifestyle.
It’s the reason Arellano began her journey about 12 years ago.
“I started the routine being overweight — being 187 pounds, with all the health issues,” Arellano said. “You know the cholesterol, being borderline for diabetes so I had an option … medication or try and lose weight and exercise.”
The exercise worked.
Arellano says she loves seeing women transform their lives.
“[They tell me] My doctor gave me good news, my cholesterol is normal, my sugar levels are normal, so that to me is an extra [bonus] of what I’m doing,” Arellano said. “It does work.”
“I love it,” Altamirano said. “I’ve been at it maybe 12 days, 14 days … so far so good.”
So, if you’re trying to make a change, Arellano says, just go for it.
“We need to start more than anything, I always tell the students — start now so you could enjoy your holidays.”
Her classes are held Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., at the Brownsville Rec Center.
The classes are free, and if you can’t join in person, they’re also live-streamed on Facebook.