In mid April 2013, my travels took me to Lausanne, for a meeting at the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This was an exciting meeting that brought together physicians and scientists from around the world to develop a plan for using physical activity (primarily walking) as a means to combat chronic disease. I have long felt that the Olympics should be about much more than showcasing the top athletes in the world and should also work to promote sports and exercise for everyone. It was great to see the IOC finally coming around to this idea and making a strong effort to try and increase physical activity around the world.
Do you know that more people around the world die of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) than any other cause? If you are not yet familiar with the term NCD’s, you should be. These are diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer that are not contagious or caused by infections. Not many years ago infectious diseases were the leading causes of death, but that is not the case anymore. Vaccines and antibiotics have dramatically reduced the death toll from infectious diseases and today NCD’s are by far the leading causes of death, causing about 60% of deaths world-wide.
Of course we have a vaccine that can help prevent and treat most all of these NCD’s, but too many people around the world are just not taking it. The tragic part is that this vaccine is readily available and free. It’s called walking! And that is why the Every Body Walk! campaign and this website were started – to try and get all Americans to take the walking vaccine that we know so effectively prevents and treats NCD’s.
Of course, during my visit to Lausanne I was able to find time each day to walk. It is a beautiful city located along the shores of Lake Geneva and surrounded by the Alps. It was a great way to take my daily dose of the walking vaccine and it was certainly infinitely more pleasant than getting a flu vaccine.
If we can get Americans to routinely take vaccines to prevent the flu, certainly we can convince them to take a walk to prevent NCD’s!
Please help us in encouraging Every Body to Walk to prevent NCD’s!
Keep walking and be well!