In early December of 2015, my travels took me to one of the world’s great cities — London. I was there to speak at the annual “Excellence in Pediatrics” meeting, which is held each year in a different city around the world.
This is a great meeting that drew nearly 1000 attendees this year from over 80 different countries! The focus of this meeting is on the care of children and adolescents, with a big emphasis on keeping kids and families healthy. I chaired a highlighted session on Active Healthy Families, the theme of which centered on the global problem of physical inactivity in kids and the many adverse effects this can have on health. There were a variety of speakers in this session from around Europe who presented compelling information on why it is so important to get kids more active and how we can best do this. I was particularly impressed by the presentation on a program called “Active Movement”, started in England by Dr. Mike Loosemore, with a focus on teaching kids the importance of being active as part of their early school curriculum.
During this trip I also got to visit with several old friends and sports medicine colleagues in London, who share my passion for getting and keeping patients active. I gave a talk on Exercise is Medicine to the Sports and Exercise Medicine Registrars (residents in training) at the University College London (UCL), that was organized by their supervisor and my old friend Dr. Courtney Kipps. I particularly enjoyed speaking and going to lunch with these young and very bright sports medicine doctors in training, who will go on to advance the field of sports and exercise medicine in the UK and beyond.
I also got a tour of the beautiful Harley Street Clinic in downtown London that is run by my friend and colleague, Professor Greg Whyte. This clinic is dedicated to keeping patients fit and offers consultations with a variety of specialists, all under one roof, who can evaluate and treat most anything that keeps a patient from being active. And finally, on my last day in London I got to attend the Premier League Football match (soccer to us Americans!) between West Ham United and Stoke City. There are few sporting events more exciting than a West Ham football match played on the pitch at the old Boleyn Ground stadium. Like always, the game was sold out with more than 35,000 screaming fans and I was lucky enough to get some great tickets from my friend Dr. Richard Weiler, who serves as the team doctor for West Ham. Even though the game ended in a 0-0 draw, it was still very well played and exciting.
Of course I did a lot of walking while in London, which ranks as one of my favorite cities in the world to walk in. The conference was held just next to Westminster Abbey, which is right in central London and a short walk to a host of attractions I went past, including Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Park, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square. And there is no better way than walking to enjoy the sights of a great city like London and also get in your daily dose of exercise.
I hope this blog finds you fit and looking forward to doing a lot of walking over the holidays!
Keep walking everyone!
Feature photo caption: At the West Ham United Football Match