April offers plenty of opportunities for national and international celebrations.
This includes Day of Silence, Earth Day, World Malaria Day, Arbor Day, World Autism Acceptance Day, Independent Books Day, National Parks Week, Poetry Month; and most important to meNational African-American Women’s Fitness month. This is where I will spend my focus in April.
Like any celebration, the end National African-American Women’s Opportunity Month is to raise awareness about proactive ways around significant health issues that seem to affect us more than any other ethnicity.
Let’s get into this one. First of all, let it be clear to anyone who doesn’t know, according to the American Heart Association, half, yes I said half of all African-American women in the United States have some form of cardiovascular disease.
It is a shaky figure. In fact, according to the March of Dimes, as of March 31, 2023, as black women make up only 14% of the US population, and if half of us have some form of cardiovascular disease, that means 7% of us. to fall into that category.
That is a scary number. And to add insult to injury, our men are 7% more likely to experience heart-related problems than women of any ethnicity.
This is very important; So I’m going to spend some time deliberating on this matter, hoping that one of these people will make a difference, and maybe save their life, by checking me out in my own situation.
Accordingly, report on the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease in African-American women. These are what I call The big four: blood pressure, severe pain, diabetes and smoking. These conditions arise mainly from our physical rest. But another factor that plays a part in our health trend is chronic stress.
And where does the stress come from? Believe it or not, there is a direct relationship between stress in African women and the sexism and discrimination that occurs in our homes and workplaces.
Therefore, in the eyes of some of our culture, if possible, our women are expected to stay at home and raise children, while this gesture is excellent, it is also another culprit because it leads to inactivity. And since everything is cyclical, these factors increase our chances of becoming hypertensive and obese, which in turn can lead to heart problems.
If that’s not enough to think about, in many of our family dynamics, the food choices made tend to be cheaper and less healthy foods because of economic conditions. Time, the choice of these, destroys our salvation.
But there is some excellent news! We can hit the big four by incorporating the following five exercises into our routines.
These exercises will help with heart problems and best of all, it’s never too late to start.
- Balancing Exercises This can be done through Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi. The benefits are tremendous and include strengthening your leg muscles and improving your balance. This exercise is necessary for women who are aging. There are, however, others that reach equilibrium or equilibrium, which have no age requirement. These are inner ear conditions or even diabetes. But this is not the only thing.
- Practice Flexibility and Balancing Exercises. Believe it or not, doing a simple stretch in the morning or standing after a little sitting is beneficial. Stretching exercises help improve our flexibility, but also help prevent joint pain and cramping. An added bonus is that it can lower blood pressure for those who are hypertensive.
- Exercises Strength Resistance Exercises While we should be careful about weight training, especially if we are older, weight training and pushups can help reduce fat and work towards lean muscle mass.
- Practice Full-Body Sports Exercises. These exercises are swimming, cycling, and tennis, because they require our arms and legs to fight. But what if you are not a swimmer, do not play tennis, or do not run? Well, I don’t, and I still don’t jump every day, which is how I meet my ten-mile-a-day goal. And yes, dancing is a total body workout. I enjoy it and it’s fun. It’s also good for your heart, makes you stronger, and can support balance and coordination. Good? A 30-minute circle session can burn between 130-250 calories, which is about the same as jogging. I know this to be true because I read it on my Fitbit every day! So approach it.
- Aerobics Exercises. There are several benefits that come from this practice. When we run or do cardio workouts and pushups, we help improve blood circulation, reduce the risk of diabetes and increase our overall fitness.
Our concerns are important for many reasons. Among the two main reasons is that we must incorporate care into our lives if we think about the years to come, and for those who have children, especially our daughters, we must propose to follow their examples.
When we do that, we break the cycle of poor past behavior. In turn, our daughters pass these positive practices on to their sons.
So, if you want to keep National African-American Women’s Fitness Month positive, lead by example by participating in exercise, visiting the gym, spreading the word, and sharing your experiences.
Next time, let your wings fly.