East Texans improve their health, faith during 4th Annual Community faith-Based Health Walk

Published on Sunday, 9 October 2016 01:12 - Written by AUGUSTA ROBINSON, augustarobinson@tylerpaper.com

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Taking a 1-mile walk around Woldert Park on Saturday with other Christians, Evette Lewis said attending the fourth annual Community Faith-Based Health Walk benefited her physically and spiritually.

Mrs. Lewis, a member of St. Louis Baptist Church in Tyler, enjoyed getting to exercise at the event and learning about resources she could use to stay healthy.

The walk also made her reflect on her faith, because her husband was in a car wreck two years ago and is still affected by his injuries.

“Faith is where I’ve been for the last two years,” Mrs. Lewis said. “(Today) it was just good to be out here with faith-minded people.”

The walk was held by the East Texas Minority Health and Wellness Coalition and Terrence Ates, a member of the organization, said the event was designed to help attendees accomplish several goals.

“We wanted to promote physical activity to churches and faith-based organizations because we want to make an impact on chronic disease rates in minority communities,” Ates said. “It was just a laid-back, outdoor Saturday morning event.”

Several different health-related organizations were at the event and provided attendees with everything from healthy snacks to blood pressure screenings, flu shots and door prizes. Gospel music played throughout the morning. The event also featured praise dancing performances.

Gwenda Anderson, a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Jacksonville, attended the event with several church members. She said she enjoyed the event and tried Zumba for the first time.

“It seems like something I’d be interested in doing,” she said.

Ates said he hoped the event would encourage attendees to continue to want to walk with one another and stay healthy.

“I hope people were able to see that the simple act of walking with friends or with a church member, or with a neighbor, can improve their health,” he said. “It can improve their blood pressure, their self-esteem and their overall personal health.”