In early August 2016, my travels took me to the beautiful Okanagan Valley and the town of Kelowna. This trip was mostly about relaxing, physical activity and a chance to visit with good friends who share my passion for connecting fitness with healthcare. We were hosted by my friend Dr. Gordon Matheson in his beautiful home and joined by Dr. David Sobel, my former colleague at Kaiser. David has just retired after a long and distinguished career at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California and Gordon is in the midst of retiring after an equally distinguished career as a professor and team physician at Stanford University. Both of these colleagues have been key collaborators in the Exercise is Medicine initiative and Every Body Walk! campaign.
Like me, Gordon and David (and our wives) really enjoy the chance to be outdoors and physically active and Kelowna is the perfect place to do this. We spent our first day on Okanagan Lake and had a great time boating, swimming and tubing behind the boat. The weather was perfect and that water temperature was just right to swim and relax in the lake.
The next day, we went for a long bike ride along the Kettle Valley Railroad which is an abandoned railway bed through south central British Columbia that has been turned into a great cycling and hiking trail. We did an amazing 15 mile ride along the old railroad tracks that run through numerous old tunnels and trellis’s, offering amazing views of the lake and Kettle Valley. This is such a great way to turn old and unused railroad track into a mecca for physical activity and is a model for what should be done around the world.
On the following day we decided to stay local and do a workout with Gordon’s trainer in a local gym. This was a great reminder for me that there is more to fitness and simply being able to run and walk for a long distance. Being fit also means being strong and flexible and Gord’s trainer took us through a great workout that stressed core strength and flexibility – which I learned (quite clearly) are things I need to work on!
Our last day in Kelowna was reserved for rest and wine tasting. All of us also enjoy good wine and this region is packed with amazing vineyards and wineries that offer some of the best tasting wine one can find. I was amazed at just how many wineries there were within a short drive and we had our chance to sample more that our share of great wines.
This trip was really a great chance to just relax and re-charge my batteries with no speaking duties associated with it. Of course that best part was the chance to get out for walks and to be active with great friends. I hope that you are doing the same and getting the walking and other physical activity you need to be healthy.
Keep walking my friends!