Moving While Black

The health of African-Americans can be bolstered through engaging in regular bouts of movement. The importance, to me, of maintaining some modicum of fitness as a young, 61 y.o. African-American male cannot be overstated. I do (traditional) martial arts, tai chi / qigong, yoga, calisthenics, and some primal movement in accommodating, open spaces. Today (1 Aug 21), I was pleasantly surprised as a young(er than me) African-American female came to the place (where I was exercising) to execute her (own) personal fitness regimen. It consisted of some laps (about 250 yards) of light jogging interspersed with some light resistance moves and ab work. I would love to see this be more of the norm; for people, in general, and for African Americans, specifically.

The health disparities that exist among racial lines should not preclude regular. health supporting activity. Activity is a necessary part of living life on earth. Everything in this plane moves, even if movement is imperceptible. Movement is a response to the surroundings and the environment that one encounters. Yet, artificial, societal living has, for the most part, made movement a choice that can be nonchalantly dispensed. Good health depends on several factors. Money and time (lack of) can interfere with health pursuits. Many poorer people struggle with food and health maintenance over just . . . surviving. Yet, there are some basic things that can be done to preserve a healthier lifestyle.   

Go for a bike ride
Fun cardiovascular activity

The average level of inactivity among U.S. residents is 23.8% (2019 statistics: Colorado – 16.4%; Kentucky – 32.4%). One quarter of the U.S. population engages in no physical activity, none, zero, zilch. Knowing that physical activity is imperative is not uniform knowledge, per se. The perception of age related decline in activity is subtly ingrained into society. As a result many avoidable maladies are  appearing within all age group. This is especially problematic for Black(?) people born in the United States.  As a whole, men are less likely to exercise whereas women are more consistent in their health pursuits. This is partially due to women outnumbering men within society. Yet African- American women are ill-affected by the resultant consequences of their being less active / more sedentary than their white counterparts.

CDC guidelines for activity for ages 18 to 64  are as follows:

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity

(e.g., brisk walking) for 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week)

Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

(e.g., jogging or running) for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) every week

Muscle-strengthening activities

on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot.

Aim for the recommended activity level but be as active as you are able

Health Statistics_African-Americans
Some data reflecting the black health in the U.S.A.

It was a pleasure to see the young(er than me) African-American female exercising in the open space. She was motivated enough to come out and conduct her own session. In the location was a small track, lots of trees / shade / grass, a little basketball court and some ‘ monkey-bar type apparati. I am at that locale on a regular (weekly) basis, weather permitting. I see very few African-Americans taking advantage of that space; however, I am only there 1 – 2 times a week during summer break. As a 61 y.o. African-American male, it is critical that I do what is necessary to maintain my level of health. The young(er than me) African-American female doing her own routine was inspiring and an indication that there is some motivation among African-Americans, in general, and African-American Females, specifically, to live a healthy / healthier lifestyle.

So, if you are active, intensely, moderately, or minimally so, continue your routines (whatever they may be). To my African-American brothers and sisters, I say do what you can, improvise, innovate, and make your wellness a priority. No one else is going to be any more interested in your wellness than you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s