In early May 2013, my travels took me to Israel. I was there to speak at the launch of Exercise is Medicine Israel, that was held in Tel Aviv. It was a great meeting that attracted close to 400 Israeli physicians and other healthcare providers from a broad range of specialties. The conference was organized by my friend Dr. Naama Constantini, who is working hard to connect fitness with healthcare throughout Israel.
Once again, I was amazed to find colleagues from yet another part of the world in total agreement about the global public health problem of physical inactivity and the need to promote the importance of walking for 150 minutes each week. I am not aware of any other major public health problem that has such global recognition and agreement on what needs to be done to solve it. That is why I think the Every Body Walk! campaign is so important. We are on a mission to get the word out around the world that walking is the single best thing you can do for your health and longevity. Certainly the people of Israel are hearing this message.
Of course, while in Israel I was able to partake in a great deal of walking. It is an amazing place to walk, with literally thousands of years of history layered across the country. My favorite was the old city of Jerusalem, where you have no choice but to walk since cars are not allowed. It was a thrill to be able to walk the Stations of the Cross, which is the same route that Jesus followed on the day he was crucified. I also got to walk on top of Masada, along the shores of the Mediterranean in the ancient city of Caesarea and into the salty waters of the Dead Sea, where you literally float like a cork because of the high salt content of the water.
I think there is no better way to explore a country than by walking and I certainly found that to be true in Israel. Of course, what makes seeing the sights on foot even better is the tremendous health benefits you accrue by doing that walking. So I hope you are well and walking daily, whether you are at home or away. It is the single best thing you can do for your health!
Keep on walking my friends!