April 1st is tomorrow and, not only is it my birthday in April (April 5th if you want to send me a gift 🙂 ) but April is also National Minority Health Month! Woot woot!
If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I have shared some startling statistics with you, regarding the health of African-Americans and the health of A.M.E. Pastors. If you haven’t seen these stats, here they are:
- The CDC states that African-Americans in their 20’s, 30’s & 40’s are living with or dying from high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke
- A study of South Carolinian African American Episcopal Pastors states that 93% of A.M.E. Pastors are considered overweight
- A study of South Carolinian African American Episcopal Pastors states that 68% of A.M.E. Pastors suffer from hypertension
- A study of South Carolinian African American Episcopal Pastors states that 35% of A.M.E. Pastors suffer from two or more chronic health conditions
- A study of South Carolinian African American Episcopal Pastors states that 30% of A.M.E. Pastors suffer from high cholesterol
- A study of South Carolinian African American Episcopal Pastors states that 20% of A.M.E. Pastors suffer from arthritis and diabetes
So you see, we definitely need to work together to change these numbers. You think you can’t? Oh, YES YOU CAN! The conditions I mentioned above are LIFESTYLE AND NUTRITION RELATED. That means, when YOU change what you eat and create a more active lifestyle, YOU can help change these numbers for the better. Here are 3 things you can do TODAY to make healthy lifestyle changes.
1. Add more whole foods to your diet.
Your parents were right….you need to eat your veggies. Studies have shown that eating a diet high in whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, are associated with a reduced risk of: cardiovascular disease, many types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.
You knew that would be no. 2, didn’t you? There’s no way around it! Our bodies were made for motion, so you need to move daily. Exercise, not only controls your weight, it also can reduce your risk of heart disease and it can help manage your blood sugar and insulin levels. On top of that, it is known to improve your mental health and mood.
3. Get some help.
Many find that they just can’t make these changes on their own. If that’s you, you need to hire a health coach. Health coaches support clients in achieving their health goals through lifestyle and behavior modifications. Health coaches hold their clients accountable, can customize plans specifically for you and they provide emotional support.
It’s true that the statistics for the health of minorities are dire. The good news is, we have the power to change them….WE HAVE THE POWER TO IMPROVE OUR HEALTH. You CAN do this! If you need help, I’m here to support you on this journey.
What are some ways you are taking control of your health? Does your church have a wellness ministry? If not, why not?