Health Team

UNC med student leads others to 'walk in faith'

Posted July 22, 2014

At Lyon Park Recreation Center in Durham, the walking track is often as busy as the basketball court.

That's partly because of an eight-week research project begun by Milele Bynum, a 42-year-old medical student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with the help of several members of First Calvary Baptist Church.

“We developed a program called ‘Walking in Faith,’” Bynum said. “It uses the ‘Faithful Family’ curriculum, which was a nutrition curriculum.”

She chose the program because she could relate personally to the health risks of being overweight.

“Weight is something that I have struggled with and I continue to struggle with,” Bynum said. “I've definitely seen how weight and obesity can affect your health.”

Lay leaders in the church helped gather more participants to meet the challenge of 150 minutes per week of walking, plus increasing fruits and vegetables, in their diet.

There was also a spiritual component.

Bynum said participants looked at the Bible “and how that touches upon health. It teaches us how to take care of our ‘Temple.’”

Debbie Royster found that 30 minutes of walking five days a week wasn't as hard she thought it would be.

“Before you know it, your 30 minutes is done,” she said.

Trellis Frierson lost about 20 pounds.

“And I kept it off,” she said. “I didn't gain it back.”

Bynum still fits regular exercise around her busy medical school demands, and she makes sure her three children are there to develop the same habits.

“It's not the easiest thing. I recognize that,” she said. “Trying to make it a family effort helps.”


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