The 16th annual African-American Male Wellness Walk takes place Saturday morning in Columbus, beginning at 7 at Livingston Park.
Emmy-award winning actor Robert Ri'chard serves as the event's honorary chair and ambassador.
“We’re trying to make sure that black men are coming out and being active, know their numbers, and see their doctor once annually,” Ri’chard said. “The walk is happening at Livingston Park at 7 am. We’ll have free screenings all day. It’s a 5K walk, about 3.1 miles. It’s a nice, easy family affair. It’ll be in the park. We’ll have places to take care of kids, great music, great food. It’s going to be an awesome event.”
Studies have shown that African American males are dying from preventable diseases at 10 times the rate of other men. Living healthy is also something that's become a personal crusade for Ri'chard.
“I lost my grandfather a little too early due to poor health,” Ri’chard said. “So now it’s my mission to make sure everyone is doing preventative health because health is wealth. In my family, and I’m sure a lot a people can relate to the idea of having poor health because of bad education. There are excuses for bad health, but there’s also reasons for bad health. I was sort of living between the two. One – not being motivated to put my health first, which is really an excuse. Then the reason is poor education and understanding what it looks like when you eat too much fat, and it makes it a lot harder for your heart to pump. I was overweight. I lost 30 pounds doing my workout, and I’ve been able to maintain that weight loss for five years now with a simple10-minute commitment every single day.”
Ri'chard referring to his own medically-endorsed health effort called Highway Fit. Tomorrow's walk at Livingston Park takes place from 7 am until noon. In addition to free health screenings. there will also be information about mental wellness, financial services, and job opportunities.