By Catherine Okafor
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual Sacramento Black Women’s Health & Wellness Conference. It was a day-long conference dedicated to empower and educate black women on the health issues that we face within our community.
When I first heard of this conference I was super excited to learn more about how to take care of myself but also educate my family members who weren’t able to attend. Within my family there are a number of people who have health problems such as diabetes, thyroids, heart attacks, etc. While this can be scary, it’s nothing that I want to scare me to the point where I avoid and neglect my well-being and allow heart disease to creep into my personal life.
That’s why I’m going make a promise to myself to continue to do my best in taking care of myself and stay educated on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I can personally commit to maintaining healthy eating habits but exercising is another story. I’ve never been a big fan of working out. However, at this year’s conference, they encouraged participants to get up and work out for at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week. This can range from going to the gym, dancing, swimming and much more!
Below are two organizations that are dedicated to inspiring black women to get up and get moving! Please take a moment to check them out. They both have active groups within the San Francisco Bay area that you are able to join. So, who’s with me? Ready, set, go, let’s get moving!
“In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks-Rocha created Black Girls RUN! in an effort to tackle the growing obesity epidemic in the African-American community and provide encouragement and resources to both new and veteran runners. The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage ALL (especially African-American women) to make fitness and healthy living a priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 80% of African-American women are overweight. BGR! wants to create a movement to lower that percentage and subsequently, lower the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. The organization is open to ALL women, no men allowed! “
“GirlTrek, the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. With nearly 100,000 neighborhood walkers, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities. As women organize walking teams, they mobilize community members to support monthly advocacy efforts and lead a civil rights-inspired health movement.”