Across the board, there is a lower life expectancy and a higher rate of many health problems among communities of color.
 
That's why the focus of the African American Men's Wellness Walk is to raise awareness and empower people to make decisions that can give them healthier lives.
 
Thousands of men, women and kids came out to enjoy a walk or 5-k run taking place in Columbus, and Youngstown. 
 
The African American Men's Wellness walk-in Youngstown is taking steps to close the gap in health disparities to promote healthier and longer lives.
 
Data shows ethnic minority groups throughout the U.S. have higher rates than whites of illness and death including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, asthma, heart disease, and prostate cancer.
 
Reverend Louis Macklin started the Youngstown African American Wellness Walk and told 21 News he, volunteers, and sponsors are trying to address and remedy those gaps. 
 
Some solutions to help reduce the life expectancy gap by four fewer years include access to healthy food with this traveling food truck, pop-up produce shops, and the Glennwood Food Market to increase access to healthier foods. 
 
Another obstacle is getting men to a doctor since screening tests help save lives.
 
That's where spouses or partners can make a difference.
 
"Sometimes they may have to make the appointment, take them to the appointment, go with them to the office. When there are health events that offer free screenings take them to the events," said Dr. Lashale Pugh, NE Ohio Black Health Coalition.
 
.Reverend Macklin says knowing your blood pressure, and other numbers can be critical to avoiding strokes, heart attacks and more. 
 
"Know your numbers. People play the number power ball, but they will gamble not knowing what their blood pressure is, PSA numbers are, or what their cholesterol or glucose numbers are," said Macklin. 
 
Macklin says you don't need a gym membership and can walk around the block or community park to build a healthier life for yourself. 
 
"If you don't have time for exercise and wellness you will find time to be sick, and it's going to cost you more and take more of your time and resources than you deserve," Pastor  Macklin emphasized.