The second week of March 2012 my travels took me to the Big Apple to speak at the Multisport World Conference and Expo. This is a great meeting put on by a buddy of mine named Dr Jordan Metzl, who is a well known sports medicine doc in New York City. The conference was held at Columbia University and attracted about 2000 people with an interest in endurance sports like triathlon and marathon. I gave 2 talks, one on medical issues in endurance athletes and another on the importance of exercise for health.
I gave the opening talk of the meeting titled “The Secret to a Long and Healthy Life; Exercise” and I felt like I was really preaching to the choir, so to speak, in talking to this group about how important exercise is to health. Virtually all of the attendees are already avid exercises, but mainly they do it for a love of endurance sports and physical activity. I was surprised at how many were not really aware of how much their exercise habits benefit their health. I challenged all of them to become ambassadors for physical activity and to tell all their family and friends who do not regularly exercise to just get up and walk!
Brisk walking is really all you have to do. You don’t have to do triathlons or marathons to get the great health benefits of exercise. You just need to get out and walk 30 minutes per day on 5 or more days each week – that is just 150 minutes per week! I bet most of you spend at least that much time watching TV. Walking is absolutely the best thing that you can do for your health. And the fact that you are reading this blog tells me you must already be thinking about walking, so if you are not already doing it, please start today.
Of course, no trip to New York City would be complete without walking in Central Park. That is absolutely the best place I have ever walked. It is about a 6 mile loop around the park, but there are hundreds of trails throughout and the scenery is beautiful. But the best part of walking in Central Park is the people watching and taking in the whole New York experience. I was there 3 days and got in a great walk in Central Park every day.
All the best and keep walking!