Stay fit, stay smart, stay alive

You the might not remember all the rules imparted by the film Zombieland, but a pair of Califomia fitness enthusiasts are hoping you will at least remember Rule #1: Cardio.

Ben Rivera and Steve Zanco are the brains and brawn behind the Zombie Apocalypse Training Academy (ZATA), although they admittedly are not sure who is which.

The idea behind their group came in 2011 during a morning commute the two share each day from their

homes in San Diego to work in Riverside. The 90-minute drive gives them plenty of time to talk about a variety of topics.

“Many great, creative, and insane conversations come about on these road trips. We both enjoy the outdoors and being active,” Zanco said. “Exercise and fitness are important but only last if it is fun. We had been talking about the awesome movie Zombieland and rule #1: Cardio. This spawned the idea of fitness, exercise, health and staying alive against the zombie apocalypse.”

That conversation has since spawned a website (http://trainzata.com/) and a growing online community,

known as CommunityZ. The group exists as more than just a cybercommunity, however. True to their philosophy of active living, Rivera and Zanco take their message to the streets. The men take part in events that have huge numbers of people to meet and talk with. Many of the events are Zombie-genre events and the popularity and support for zombies is growing with each event, Rivera said.

“Since we live in San Diego, the events we participate in most often are closer to home,” Zanco said, noting that ZATA hasn’t yet hosted its own events. “Our goal is to have ZATA events in the future though. We have been focusing our efforts on building a community and following. We don’t want to be a ‘me too’ Zombie 5K or Mud Run .”

When ZATA does host an event, it will be planned out and have clear goals to reach.

“We want to promote fitness, being active, family, community, and charity,” Rivera said. “The events

should promote these things and generate money to give to local schools to promote physical fitness, music and art programs that are being cut too often.”

(This article appears in its entirety in Zombie Apocalypse Monthly Issue 3 and can be downloaded for free here: http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/421912)

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