BY CHAR’NESE TURNER
Most women, black women in particular, take on the daily role of superwoman. Superwoman takes care of home, family, work, and everyone else before she tends to her own needs and sometimes she is so busy that she forgets to care for herself. Mental and physical neglect on behalf of the African American woman is one of the many reasons why obesity, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure are common killers of women in the African American community.
It may or may not be surprising to find that black people represented 47.8% of obese adults in America in 2012. What’s really appalling is 56.6% of black women in 2012 were obese making it the most obese ethnicity by gender compared to 44.4% of Latino women and 32.8% of white women (State of Obesity). The month of April marks the 5th annual National African-American Women’s Fitness Month. Sheila Madison founded National African-American Women’s Fitness Month in an effort to encourage physical activity for African American women and promote healthy lifestyles.
So, in order to remain the superwoman that many black women are it is important to make self-health a top priority. First of all, recognize your own humanness and accept the fact that no matter how strong you may be there is still possibility for errors and mistakes. Many black women grew up admiring how their mothers and grandmothers gracefully balanced home and every other aspect of life but they rarely got to see their vulnerable side, the side of hurt and fear. It is totally fine to take off the cape and mask for a while and share that side of yourself with the world.
It is also important to remember that even though you may think you have everything under control, you really don’t. Just because you are superwoman doesn’t mean you take on the load alone. Do not be so prideful that you cannot ask for help and furthermore, do not be confident that you do not accept help from others. The fact of the matter is Superwomen need and deserve help along the way.
Once you’ve tackled the psychological aspect of your health it is best to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Superwomen are constantly busy with work, family and life but dedicating at least 30 minutes of each day to exercise will help you relieve stress and improve your overall well-being. Yes, walking with your children in the park and during sit-ups during commercial breaks does count as exercise. Once you find an activity that you enjoy stick with it.
The final step to improve self-health among black superwomen is the diet. Along with a healthy mind and an active body, eating clean foods is also necessary for putting yourself first. Now, clean food intake does not mean going vegan, it simply means adding more fruits and vegetables to your normal diet and being aware of the things most normally are blind too like calorie count, portion size, percent of fats and sugars.
Once you incorporated all aspects of self-health into your routine you’ll realize that you will become more energized and more confident to take on whatever life throws your way. Superwomen have the power to save everyone including themselves.