Marva Fisher Baldwin
All Year Long...
No doubt...no secret, February is designated Black History month, but there are other observances deemed significant during February. They span the serious to the comical from National Children Dental Month to National Bake for Family Fun Month. Not to be forgotten, of course, is Valentine Day.
Some events, recognitions, and celebrations are bigger than one month. In fact, some deserve to be observed all year long. Black History and National Heart Month are two that fall in that category. Both are much too important to be only a one month focus. Statistically and factually, there is a point where the two intersect.
Based on studies and statistics, hypertension and heart disease are more prevalent among Blacks than any other ethnicity and are more fatal in Black women than any demographic. It's sad to say, these two health areas are very much a part of our history...but they don't have to be.
Heart disease is a part of my family's medical history and is a reason for me to rethink food choices and lifestyle behaviors. Some of us grew up on diets rich with salt and fats. However, a lack of exercise and physical movement were not as much a problem as fats. Working and doing chores on our farm allowed my siblings and I to get more than enough exercise.
A side note: When I was in graduate school at Atlanta University, one of the professors invited the graduate assistants over for dinner and class discussion. A group of us were discussing southern cooking as opposed to southern cuisine. As much as the professor could not convince us of the damage the fats were doing to us physically, neither could we convince the professor of the damage her cigarettes were doing to her and us. The truth is each of us had valid points.
Because hypertension and heart disease are so devastating to the Black community, we want to address the two throughout the year. We hope to present a variety of sources and resources to help us become more healthy and reduce the possibility of becoming victims of either or both these two diseases that are too much a part of our community and our history.
Our focus will be three factors: stress, diet, exercise. To begin, we will present three very informative articles that provide useful general information. Articles 1 and 3 are not the same
Heart Disease in African-American Women
Take breaks from stress or stressing situations.
What Black Women Should Know...
Eat healthy foods. Avoid unhealthy Eat Eat Eat healthy foods. Avoid unhealthy additives.
Heart Disease in African American Women
Get moving. Walking is a good starting point.
Some of you say, “We can do whatever we want to!” But I tell you that not everything may be good or helpful. I Corinthians 10:23 (CEV)