In mid-April 2016, my travels took me to sunny Florida for a lecture at Jacksonville University (JU). Along the way I stopped in the see my good friend Dr. Scott Powers at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The weather was perfect and it was a great trip that allowed me to do a lot of walking and relaxing. My first stop on this trip was Gainesville and a tour of the beautiful University of Florida campus. Dr. Powers has been a distinguished professor there for many years and studies the effect of exercise on the heart and skeletal muscle. So it was fun to see this beautiful campus with Scott as my tour guide.
After my visit, Scott drove me to Jacksonville where I met with students and faculty from the Jacksonville University College of Healthcare Science. They are a great group and very passionate about getting people more active not only on campus, but in the Jacksonville Community as well. Toward that goal, the mayor Jacksonville Lenny Curry and JU president Tim Cost both attended my lecture. You can find a link to my lecture at: https://wavemagazineonline.com/ju-awarded-bronze-level-status-exercise-medicine-campus-global-movement-founder-dr-bob-sallis/
I loved the fact that the leadership of a major city and prominent university can come together to support increasing physical activity in both students and citizens alike – all with the common goal of improving health. I said in my lecture that increasing activity levels is the single best thing a person can do to improve their health. This message clearly resonated in Jacksonville and I suspect this city-university partnership will be a model for making cities and universities more walkable and friendly to exercise.
Another highlight on this trip was the chance to have lunch with Artis Gilmore, who is a JU alum and member of the basketball Hall of Fame. Artis led JU to the 1970 NCAA National Championship game, where they lost to a great UCLA team that was coached by the legendary John Wooden. Basketball has been a passion of mine since I was young, so I vividly remember watching this game and marveling at the skill of Artis Gilmore and the way this tiny school from Jacksonville battled the mighty UCLA Bruins in college basketball’s biggest game. More importantly I learned that Artis Gilmore is an even better person than he was a basketball player and does all he can to support his alma mater and the city he lives in.
Thank you for reading my blog and spreading the word on the importance of walking to good health. I also hope you will also pass along how things are being done in Jacksonville and in a similar fashion work to make your city and schools healthier by getting them to walk.
Keep walking my friends!
Photo caption: With JU dean Christine Sapienza, JU President Tim Cost, Mayor Lenny Curry and Dr. Heather Hausenblas