A poor diet and stress seem to be the leading factors behind the high obesity rate among African American women. Eighty percent of black women are considered to be overweight when looking at American standard norms. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, African American women have a 70% higher chance of being overweight compared to Non- Latino and Caucasian women. Overall, the entire African American population has the highest obesity rates in the United States.
As black women, how can we overcome these life threatening obstacles? We need to once again take control of our health. This means making adjustments to every part of our lives.
Let’s start by taking care of the stress. With busy work schedules and school schedules and everything in between like…motherhood; we have very little time for ourselves. That must change because the numbers don’t lie.
Breathe—it works! Despite your busy lives, try and take at least 15 to 30 minutes a day and mediate or just practice breathing exercises as directed by a licensed, professional physician. Really…you may think that this amount of time is not enough, but you may see a decrease in your stress levels. Exercise is another way to combat stress. It detoxifies the body of chemicals by releasing them through sweat. Having extra toxins in your body does add more stress.
Let’s move on to maintaining a healthy weight. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! You must have a nutritious diet. Yes, I know firsthand how tasty, delicious, and traditional our diets are, but if something is slowly destroying you, you have to reject it. Your diet should consist of greens primarily, fruits and the most important…water! Exercise goes hand in hand with keeping a healthy weight. Again, just take 15 to 30 minutes a day and do minor stretching, Pilates, yoga, and strength training as directed by a licensed, professional trainer. You don’t have to overdo it, especially if your body is not familiar with exercising. Slowly develop into the habit of exercising. You will get it down pact sooner or later. We black women have too many commitments and aspirations to let something as manageable as our health get out of hand. Let’s take our health back!
*The information in this article is not written by a licensed medical or licensed fitness professional and should not be followed as actual medical and fitness advice. Consult a licensed, certified professional for medical and fitness health advice.