In mid-November, 2013, my travels took me to Dallas, Texas to lecture at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA). This meeting is the premier gathering of cardiovascular experts and attracted over 17,000 professionals from around the world. This year’s AHA meeting featured a Global Congress on Physical Activity that offered a worldwide perspective on physical activity and its importance to population cardiovascular health and cardiac disease reduction. I was excited to speak in two sessions during this congress, including one with colleagues Steve Blair, Bill Kohl and Greg Heath. In this session we discussed the effects of physical inactivity on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and what we can do to try and stem the rising tide of chronic disease around the world. We all agreed that physical inactivity is the major public health problem of our time and that a global effort aimed at increasing physical activity offers our best hope of stemming this worrisome tide.
It is amazing to see more and more healthcare professionals and organizations like the AHA beginning to recognize the need to promote activity, like walking, in order to improve the health of patients worldwide. At the AHA Global Congress on Physical Activity, there was consensus that all patients should be asked about their physical activity habits at every doctor visit and given an exercise prescription for 150 minutes of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) done weekly. It is clear that daily walking is a powerful medicine for heart disease and virtually every other chronic disease and therefore we have to find a way for all patients to take it. For that reason, we need new and innovative ways to get people walking. It is such a simple solution that can have such a profound impact on global health, it is imperative that we all act quickly to get everyone walking.
Of course, while I was in Dallas I was able to do a good deal of walking myself. There are some great spots to walk in the downtown area and I supplemented this by walking on the treadmill at my hotel. That is the beauty of walking for exercise, it is so accessible and offers you a chance to explore a new city up close and at the same time get you the exercise you need to stay healthy.
Thank you for taking the time to ready my walking blog and I hope this entry finds you well and walking daily!