In late January 2017, my travels took me to Las Vegas to speak at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) School of Allied Health Sciences as part of their Sports Science Speaker Series. The title of my talk was “Merging Fitness with Healthcare; The Importance of Exercise as Medicine”, and the audience consisted of students and faculty from the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, as well as those from the new UNVL medical school. My visit was organized by Dr. John Mercer, who is a professor of Kinesiology at UNLV.

My visit also coincided with a basketball game between UNLV and my alma mater the US Air Force Academy. I always enjoy getting to watch the Air Force Falcons battle it out in the tough Mountain West Athletic Conference. For this game I was invited to watch from UNLV President Dr. Len Jessup’s personal box and enjoyed getting to meet various leaders from the University. However, it was a tough game for me to watch, that included 3 overtime periods to decide. In the end Air Force lost a close one but they gave the Runin’ Rebels all they could handle.

At the UNLV vs Air Force basketball game with Dr John Mercer and Tedd Girouard

The following day I enjoyed the chance to talk to the UNLV students and faculty about the importance of merging fitness with healthcare. Many of the students are interested in working in the fitness industry and would also love the chance to help patients improve their health by increasing their physical activity. Unfortunately, the healthcare system in America does not reimburse fitness professionals for working with patients. I think that needs to change. I should be able to refer my diabetic patient to a fitness professional that can help them get more active; in a similar fashion to referring them to a dietician to help them eat better.   We know that proper diet and exercise work hand to both prevent and treat diabetes, as well as almost every other chronic disease.

Of course, while I was in Las Vegas I made sure to get my walking in, even though the weather was mostly cold and rainy. So when the weather was bad on the famed Las Vegas strip, I found plenty of indoor spots to take a walk without having to deal with the inclement weather. Yet another great thing about walking is you can do it in almost any locations – indoors or out.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you are doing the walking you need to stay healthy.

Keep walking my friends!


Photo Credit: At my lecture with Drs. John Mercer and Laura Kruskall