AUSTIN, Texas, June 26, 2023 - Black men have long experienced inequities in the United States, leading to the poorest health outcomes of any racial group. Over 70% of Black men are overweight or obese and 57.2% have hypertension with the lowest life expectancy at just 66.7 years. A new collaboration between the American Heart Association in Central Texas and the Black Men’s Health Clinic (BMHC) aims to combat these statistics through a BikeRx program, thanks to the support of Comfort Systems USA Mtech-Icon.
As a part of the Bike Rx program, the Association purchased a stationary bike for BMHC so patients have a consistent, safe place to be active and improve their overall health. Clinicians will write prescriptions for exercise as a part of the care plan while patients are provided with educational materials and encouraged to take and track their blood pressure and weight prior to using the bike.
“As a member of the Black Men’s Health Clinic and team leader in the health and wellness space, the bike initiative is a wonderful and much needed program that can truly change lives,” said BMHC Community Outreach Ambassador and UT Austin School of Nursing's AMEN program Kiounis Williams. “Prescribing movement as medicine is a new and innovative way to improve disease and diagnoses rather than prescription drugs.”
Located in a strategic neighborhood to reach men of color, the Black Men’s Health Clinic is new and growing. “With this program, the Black Men's Health Clinic seeks to change the narrative of how exercise can create long term health benefits and create healthier lifestyles,” continued Williams. “We are so thankful and grateful to be a part of this movement alongside the American Heart Association. We look forward to helping many lives through this initiative and we have even bigger plans to promote this method of medicine far and beyond.”
While there are certain health risk factors that cannot be changed, there are other, modifiable risk factors that can positively impact health. Regular exercise plays a key role in improving health outcomes, both in strengthening the cardiovascular system and burning extra calories. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. Though right now, only about 1 in 5 adults meets this recommendation.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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