In late-June 2014, my travels took me to Atlantic City, New Jersey to speak at a sports medicine meeting being held in conjunction with the first annual Challenge Atlantic City Triathlon. This was an Ironman Distance triathlon race and the conference was held to help educate the medical tent volunteers in preparation for their work on race day. For those of you not familiar with an Ironman distance triathlon, this consists of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 114 mile bike ride and finishes with a 26.2 mile marathon. It’s a grueling day of exercise for the participants and we often see them collapse related to exhaustion, dehydration and heat illness. I was there to speak to the attendees about the proper evaluation and treatment of an athlete who collapses during an endurance event.
Of course, you don’t need to run an Ironman to experience the tremendous health benefits associated with exercise. It is interesting to note that the biggest benefits from exercise are seen when a person goes from doing nothing to just moderate amounts, like walking for 30 min a day at a brisk pace. Now to be sure, if you walk longer than 30 min you get more benefit, but the curve starts to flatten out and it seems that doing beyond about 100 minutes of exercise per day does not add much additional health benefit. That is why most experts recommend doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise on 5 or more days each week, or 150 minutes per week. For me walking is the simplest way for a person to get in the daily exercise they need to stay healthy.
This was my first visit to Atlantic City and I really enjoyed it because the boardwalk with its beautiful ocean backdrop is a great place to walk. I took advantage of this every day I was there and made sure I got in at least 30 minutes of brisk walking. It is a great way to explore a new place and the Atlantic City Boardwalk is packed with interesting shops, restaurants and of course people.
Thanks for reading my blog and encouraging everyone you know to walk.