Thanksgiving is just around the corner and GirlTrek has so much to be grateful for.
What began in 2012 with us—two friends being sick and tired of the women in our lives not living their best lives due to a host of reasons like battling preventative illnesses, overworking and taking no leisure time for themselves—has now grown into a full-fledged health movement across the country for black women and girls.
At GirlTrek, change starts with a woman making a commitment to improve her health by walking. Her commitment to a healthier, more fulfilled life leads to the development of healthier family traditions, and her engagement in local policy can improve the health of her entire community.
GirlTrek trained outdoor trip leaders from 15 cities to lead hikes in partnership with the Sierra Club. These women took their skills and brought even more black women and girls out into nature by leading outdoor trips during the GirlTrek Summer Trek Series. They led hikes in some of most breathtaking places in America, from Yosemite National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains and in many beautiful local parks and state parks too.
GirlTrek – Walking is a Solution
We know firsthand the value of spending time in the great outdoors. Walking has a catalytic effect of getting whole families moving. When mothers get walking, kids get healthy role models and families gain an activity that forges bonds for life. When women walk, neighbors meet neighbors and solve community problems together. When women get outside, they notice their environment and opportunities to act. This leads to the greening of communities, greater interest in environmental issues and a desire to explore even more of the great outdoors.
We know walking is a solution. It reduces risk of heart disease and stroke, lowers risk of obesity, enhances mental well-being and so much more. We know fresh air heals. Walking is not only healthy, it can be empowering. At GirlTrek, our walking isn’t mere sport. We don’t hit the streets of our communities for show. This health movement is more than cool hashtags and cute outfits. This is a revolution. Our walking is our activism.
#OptOutside – Will You Go Out With Me?
To give thanks to the 80,000 women who are building the GirlTrek health movement with us and to celebrate the end of the season, we are joining with our partners at REI to stage the biggest #OptOutside event in black communities across the country: the Black Family 5K.
GirlTrek families will be rounding up their loved ones on the day after Thanksgiving to #OptOutside for a Family 5K. GirlTrek is even providing customizable race bibs and official 5K shirts to 100 GirlTrek Family 5Ks across the United States.
We hope to inspire a new tradition, an alternative to Black Friday’s mega consumerism; one where families #OptOutside for healthy fun to kick off the holiday season.
Will you go outside and celebrate with us?
Morgan and Vanessa