In early July 2015, my travels took me to Indianapolis and the headquarters of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to help plan the 2016 Annual Meeting and World Congress on Exercise is Medicine (EIM). It is hard to believe that this will be our 7th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine. This Congress is an amazing annual event that brings together experts from around the world to present the latest research on the health benefits of exercise and discuss how we can get patients to do the exercise they need to stay healthy. EIM started as a campaign to get doctors to assess the exercise habits of their patients and prescribe exercise like they would a medicine. It has now grown into a global health initiative, with 7 regional centers and thriving chapters in well over 40 countries around the world.
From the beginning, getting patients to simply walk 30 minutes per day has been the default exercise prescription. This in turn led former Kaiser Permanente CEO George Halvorson to start Every Body Walk!, the Campaign to Get America Walking, which was the genesis of this website and blog you are reading. I truly believe the best way to improve health in America is to get everyone walking. And every year I attend the EIM World Congress, I can clearly see that I am not alone in this belief.
I was joined on the EIM World Congress planning committee this year by Drs. Jim Skinner, Steve Blair, Felipe Lobelo and Liz Joy. As ACSM President-Elect, Liz will also serve as the chair of the 2016 ACSM Annual Meeting. We were all very excited by the many high quality submissions we received for next year’s EIM congress. Our job was to review them all and select the best ones to be part of the meeting and then help organize them into a finished program. It was a lot of work, but something we all enjoy and feel privileged to participate in. And it is especially satisfying when we get to attend the ACSM meeting and World Congress and view the fruits of our labor. This year’s meeting will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on May 31 thru June 4, and I hope many of you will attend.
Of course, while in was in Indy I made sure to get out for a nice walk every day. Indy is a very walkable city and the downtown area has a great system of canals lined by scenic paths that are the perfect place to walk. I also happened to connect with my dear friend and former college basketball coach Reggie Minton, who happened to also be in town for a meeting. We enjoyed a dinner at St. Elmo’s Steakhouse followed by a nice evening walk around town.
I hope this blog finds you well and walking every day!
Photo 1 caption: Walking along the canal in Indianapolis with Dr. Jim Skinner