Florida A&M University Student Writer
(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – After five minutes of sitting on The Set, 29 out of 40 people walking through could be classified as overweight or obese. In the campus eatery, the Orange Room, more students stand in line for fried chicken instead of wraps and deli sandwiches. In the cafeteria, more students choose pizza and burgers than salads and stir-fry. In the bottom cafeteria, students line up for pizza rather than deli sandwiches.
One place on campus students aren't lining up for is the campus recreation center.
According to the Office of Minority Health, almost 70 percent of adults in the African-American community aged 20 and over are overweight or obese. As these percentages rise, health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes also rise in the black community.
These trends are apparent as the on-campus clinic treats students, who suffer from being overweight or obese, on a daily basis.
Florida A&M University’s Student Health Service’s Rattler Wellness program is collaborating with Nubian Wellness to address the issue by encouraging students, faculty and staff to participate in Run With Me™.
This is a nationwide initiative to promote physical activity in the black community. Run With Me™ participants must pledge to participate in a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon of their choosing – either by walking, jogging or running – between now and December 31, 2013.
Participants are to find a race in their local city. Individuals are not required to run; walking or jogging is permissible. Medical professionals say, it is important to find a race that best fits your physical needs. Those who finish their race are eligible to win prizes. Prizes include wireless activity trackers, wireless headphones, gift certificates to sporting stores and more.
Kimi Walker, health services educator, said she wants Run With Me™ to “give people attainable goals to train for that don’t necessarily revolve around the scales.” These goals could be dropping a dress size, being able to run a mile under 15 minutes or working out at least 3 times a week.
Walker said Run With Me™ differs from other nationwide running initiatives because other initiatives usually focus only on black women. Walker said, “Run With Me™ is all focused on women and men of color.”
Run With Me™ aims to become a maintainable initiative on HBCU campuses and surrounding communities.
Participants will receive tips on such things as which shoes and clothes to wear while working out, how to train without getting hurt, which food to eat and so on. Running coach Randy Henley is one of many experts leading workshops, which will be supplemented by online tips and information. He said, “discussions will not only include educational but motivational messages too.”
Rattler Wellness Nutritionist, Brian Ringpfiel, says there are many things to remember prior to running. He said participants should drink adequate fluids throughout the day of the event.
“For all types of physical activity, aim to eat a small, balanced meal two to four hours before you exercise,” Ringpfiel continued.
He also noted to “avoid gulping large amounts of water at a time. This may cause bloating that can slow you down or cause stomach cramps. Aim for 1/2 cup fluid every 20 minutes during exercise.”
Prior to starting the program, check with your medical professional. For more information or to sign up to make a pledge for Run With Me™, visit www.rattlerwellness.com/rwm.
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