Find Your Path to an Active and Healthy Lifestyle

Posted on May 15, 2019 by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, and CAPT Felicia Collins, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director, Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser

As National Minority Health Month enters its last week, it has been inspiring to experience and learn about the events and activities taking place across the nation in support of minority health.

Being physically active is one of the best things we can do to improve our health. It is particularly important in improving health outcomes that can reduce health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities.

In 2018, just 21.7 percent of Latinos and 19.9 percent of African Americans met ODPHP’s aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening guidelines. And the numbers weren’t much better for whites. Just 26 percent of white Americans met both guidelines. So, it is clear that Active & Healthy is an important message for every community.

Being physically active doesn’t necessarily have to happen at the fitness center, in spin class or on the treadmill. For some of us, it can mean walking the dog for longer periods of time or at a quicker pace. Others might be physically active on the soccer field or basketball court, or the dance floor. The other good news is that any amount of physical activity counts toward the weekly total and has real health benefit. You don’t have to train to run a marathon to be Active and Healthy! Just aim to sit less and move more throughout the day.

In addition, on April 24, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hosted a discussion about the impact of the social determinants of health --including physical activity -- on physical and mental health, and other conditions that are more common among racial and ethnic minorities.

On April 17, OMH joined the HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, NIMHD, ODPHP and others for a Twitter chat to promote physical activity and staying healthy.

We are in the final days of the Active & Healthy Challenge! However, we will continue to promote the benefits of physical activity throughout the year with the goal of encouraging more Americans to incorporate the Active & Healthy lifestyle into their daily and weekly routines.