African AmericansBlack InterestsBlack MenBlack Men In AmericaHealth & FitnessHealth and Wellness

How Black Men Are Getting Fit to Stay Alive


Freelance Contribution by Sally Writes

Following a healthy, balanced diet along with physical activity, are the two most underrated ways to stay healthy and save money. In fact, these vital rituals reduce the funds spent on medical co-pays, doctor visits, and prolonged treatment. According to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44% of African American men have some form of cardiovascular disease. Not to mention, there are more than 1.5 million heart attacks in America every year.

Along with these troubling statistics, African American men are three times more likely to have asthma, with 42% to experience high blood pressure, and 50% more likely to get lung cancer than white American men.  Why are African American men at a higher risk of serious health conditions?

How We Live Affects Our Health

According to research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, while genetics plays a strong role in our health, so does the socioeconomic status, environment, and even racism experienced today. In fact, 71% of African Americans live in communities that violate federal air pollution standards, compared to the 58% of white Americans. It is the daily stress that we must recognize and the way we practice health maintenance. So, how are black men fighting to stay alive? By becoming fit – as a community.

Running to Save More Lives

Black Men Run started when Jason Russel made a simple invite on Facebook in 2013. The post invited African American men to join for a community run. However, this was just the beginning. Russel started running to stay fit back in 2007, after discovering that he had high blood pressure and cholesterol. After changing his dietary and fitness regime to reverse the disease, he was inspired to help other African American men in the community.

Today, Black Men Run is an international group that is represented in 50 cities with a common goal. This goal is to change the trends of diabetes and cardiovascular disease within the Black community. It is also to encourage overall health and wellness among black men by promoting a culture of running to stay fit and build a “Healthy Brotherhood.”

Fight the Health Plague

With proper nutrition and exercise, most of the health issues that plague the African American community can be prevented. In fact, exercise such as running can reverse the effects and prevent further damage. Making simple changes in what you eat, how often you exercise, and how you manage stress can help stop the risk of heart disease.

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