Celebrating Minority Health Month: Black Girls Run Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A group of Indy women is taking control of their health by taking to the track. The group is called Black Girls Run Indianapolis. It formed several years ago as a branch of the national organization.

When Black Girls Run formed in 2009, the idea was to help women get healthier. But to also break the myth that black women don’t run. Organizers said health is the most important thing in life. So now is the time to get up, and lace up.

Running only takes putting one foot in front of the other. But even with how easy that sounds, everyone isn’t quite up for the challenge.

“Just start out walking if you just walk you never know how far you’ve gone,” said Carla Mangum.

Black Girls Run formed in 2009 and since then has worked to change the statistic that 80 percent of black women are overweight. Contrary to the name, the goal is to help women be healthy.

“It’s probably one of the best things I’ve done the sisterhood is a great place for people who are looking to be encouraged by other young women,” said Charisse Edwards.

Branches of the group across the United states help keep that mission alive including in Indianapolis.

“There are not enough African-American women out there being physically fit and finding different ways to do it,” said Kathena Smith.

And it’s not just Black Girls Run telling you to run. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says physical activity improves your health and can extend your life. Just by running you can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, strengthen bones, improve your mental health and so much more.

Smith started running after realized she packed on 60 unwanted pounds. She says she’s come a a long way in three years.

“I’ve been able to lose 42 pounds with the girls’ encouragement and getting out there and moving.”

The speed isn’t what is important.

“We have walkers we call them wallgers,” said Edwards.

It’s your race, your pace and commitment.