In early August 2015, my travels took me to the beautiful South American city of Santiago, Chile. I was there to give a talk at the 60th Annual Congress of the Chilean Sports Medicine Society. I was invited by my great friend and colleague, Dr. Sandra Mahecha Matsudo, who has been instrumental in spreading Exercise is Medicine not only in Chile, but all thru Latin America. In addition to giving a keynote address at the Sports Medicine Society meeting, I also gave a talk at the Exercise is Medicine course held in conjunction, along with various other talks to medical leaders, journalists and university students.
The focus of my talks was on the strong connection between exercise and health, and the fact that if exercise were a medicine, it would be the most powerful drug we have and no doubt every physician would want to prescribe it and every patient would want to take it. So why isn’t this happening today with exercise? It just doesn’t make sense that doctors around the world feel so comfortable prescribing drugs, but seldom prescribe walking in a similar fashion. I believe this has to change if we are going to see a reduction in the rising rates of chronic disease seen throughout the world.
I discovered that Chile is a beautiful country with wonderful people and outstanding food and wine to match. In addition to touring Santiago, I also had the chance to visit the beautiful beach towns of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, as well as sample some fine wines during a visit to the Casablanca region. Despite the winter weather in August and some unseasonably heavy rains, I got out every day for a walk during my visit and loved exploring the city on foot. I found Santiago to be a very walkable city, with great trails and parks throughout. You can see a video about my visit to Chile at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofzMMV_LAnc
Thank you for reading my blog and supporting my quest to promote walking around the world. The response in Chile to this message was very positive and I hope it is in your town as well. Please join me in walking daily and spreading the word on the numerous health benefits this will bring.
All my best!