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Getting Fit: The Path to Better Health Starts with Small Steps

It is by now well known that America has a weight problem. But did you know that a staggering 80% of one particular group of our population—African American women—are considered obese or overweight?

As a black woman, I couldn’t believe it when I first heard this statistic. Then I resolved to make a difference. How? By educating others about how to get healthy and slim down. My role at the national running organization, Black Girls RUN!, helps me do just that.

For many of us, the secret is to start small.


Every journey begins with one step, whether it’s walking or running. No matter what your color, having a healthy diet and be physically active can lessen your chances of getting heart disease or any other major health condition.

In celebrating your journey to a better heart health, keep in mind:

  • Not to be overwhelmed: Whatever first step you take, it is not too small. What matters is you are taking that first step.
  • Do not do it alone: What better way to celebrate getting healthier than to do it with a friend or family member. Celebrate health together.
  • Do not get discouraged: It’s okay, we all have to fall down to get back up stronger.
Running for better health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “regular exercise is the best thing you can do for your health.” To get started, follow the steps below and you will be on your way to a more active and healthy lifestyle. 

  • Start moving. Even if it's just taking a brief walk after dinner, walking during your lunch break or walking at the gym, try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily schedule. Regular exercise will help to relieve stress and anxiety.
  • Drink water. Staying hydrated throughout the day will help to curb your snacking and keep you fresh.
  • Eat healthy foods. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables in your diet will help you to start lose the pounds.

The national running organization, Black Girls RUN!, is also doing its part to encourage women to get up, be active and healthy. In January 2013, the group kicked off their inaugural Preserve the Sexy Tour sponsored by ESSENCE, and locally sponsored by Publix. They are traveling to cities across the United States that are heavily affected by obesity and other serious health problems. The cities selected along the tour have been defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the “Stroke Belt.”

“The rate of adults and children diagnosed as overweight or obese is staggering. It will take a collaborative effort from the community to build a healthier community,” said Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls RUN!.


“The rate of adults and children diagnosed as overweight or obese are staggering. It will take a collaborative effort from the community to build a healthier community,” said Ashley Hicks, co-founder of Black Girls RUN!.

The Preserve the Sexy Tour will feature Black Girls RUN!’s unique “Walk Before You RUN!” training program, guiding women in their journey from walking to running. Participants will also receive information and tools on choosing the best running gear, hair maintenance tips, nutrition and healthy eating, and more.

Upcoming “Preserve the Sexy” 2013 tour stops include:

  • March 16 – Richmond, Va.
  • April 20 – Atlanta
  • May 11 – Jackson, Miss.
  • June 8 – Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.

For more information on the tour, please visit the Preserve the Sexy website.

Make a pledge today to better your health. It just takes one step, the first step, to change the rest of your life.

Posted on at 11:00 AM

Tagged: African Americans, Fitness and Running

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a good path to better health, cool.

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Get Fit. Great. Except REI is putting the CEO of the Vitamin Shoppe, Anthony Truesdale on our Board. The Vitamin Shoppe, which sells nutritional supplements, sells Jack3d containing DMAA. Developed by Eli Lilly as a decongestant, DMAA was banned by the World Anti Doping Agency in 2010. Britan, Swede, Denmark, Finaland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have effectively banned supplments containing DMAA. Jack3d has been banned by the US military after the death of a recruit during training. A British coroner sited Jack3d in the death of Calir Squires who collapsed and died during the London Marathon. So what is this merchant of dangerous supplements doing on the REI board. Get Fit. Get Dead. Its all good.


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