The McAllen Mayor’s Wellness Council has officially launched its website livewellmcallen.com as a one-stop shop resource for health and wellness information. The city’s health and well-being council is part of the city’s efforts to change the perception of McAllen as an obese and unhealthy community,
One active feature of livewellmcallen.com is a calendar listing of health-related activities. Additionally, anyone hosting a wellness activity of any kind may submit their event for consideration for the website. This includes physical activity, health-related information, food, spiritual, financial or other type of event. Submissions may also take place outside of McAllen.
“The idea is that there are so many wellness journeys that we all can take, and we want the community to recognize all aspects healthy living, which is why this council’s motto is ‘Live well McAllen.’ We want everyone’s goal to be happy and healthy by living well,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “We also recognize that there are so many great health, active-living and well-being events and activities taking place throughout the Rio Grande Valley. We don’t want to limit people’s opportunities to start on their wellness journey because the event takes place outside of our city limits.”
The site is still a work in progress. It will need the entire community to build the calendar by submitting their events.
“This will ensure that the livewellmcallen.com website is the premier go-to calendar for health and well-being activities,” added Darling.
Starting wellness journeys
Another active feature of the website is that it serves as a guide to start a wellness journey. Resources to assess strengths and wellness goals and to find the right activity are available. Future goals of the website will be to help gauge the true health of the community. This includes benchmark data and other metrics.
“For the City of McAllen, we feel that the label of being an obese community is not entirely accurate,” said Jolee Perez, director of Employee Wellness for the City of McAllen.
According to Perez, the data in most obesity studies is from medical claims through insurance companies. For the Rio Grande Valley, this typically represents those suffering from chronic illnesses related to obesity. Claims for healthier individuals are typically only a small portion of overall claims. Many healthy individuals are rarely seen in doctors’ offices. The studies do not gauge the healthy activities of the entire community. They also do not represent the larger population that wouldn’t be represented solely by using claims’ information.
“For the past two years, the City of McAllen has won the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge. In fact, last year, had the most points of any city in Texas. This competition measures the healthy activities of an individual. That tells me that McAllen does indeed live well,” concluded Perez.
Taking the challenge
The It’s Time Texas Community Challenge runs through March 1 at 5 p.m. Communities earn points when registering as individuals of their city and can also earn points for their school district and place of employment. Participants earn points by snapping Healthy Selfies of them working out and eating healthy or drinking water. The City of McAllen will be competing once again in the Large City category. It hopes to also win the overall points competition as well.