In early November, 2013, my travels took me north to the wine country and beautiful Napa, California to speak at the “Napa Primary Care Conference on Caring for the Active and Athletic Patient”. I was involved in the planning and administration of this first time conference and it was a great success. The focus of this conference was on providing primary care physicians with the skills they need to help their patients get more active and stay that way. It featured topics on the importance of regular physical activity and other healthy behaviors and how do deal with common medical and musculoskeletal problems seen in patients who exercise or engage in athletic activity. More and more, physicians are recognizing that patient’s behavior has a much greater impact on health than any pill or procedure we could ever prescribe. For that reason, it is becoming increasingly clear that healthcare providers need to take an active role in promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles to patients and this served as a backdrop for this conference.

The conference featured some great speakers, including Drs. David Sobel and John Chuck from Kaiser Permanente, Drs. Gordon Matheson and Stan Shoor from Stanford University, Dr. Anthony Luke from U.C. San Francisco and Dr. Randy Eichner from the University of Oklahoma. Topics for the conference included dog walking to promote health, the role of exercise in disease prevention and the effect of happiness on health. There were also various lectures on injury prevention and management, along with medical issues like asthma, fibromyalgia and gout. The meeting was so well received that we are planning to repeat the conference in Maui on May 5-9, 2014 . So if these topics are of interest to you, please consider joining us!

In addition to the great lectures, there were ample opportunities to explore the Napa Valley and sample the great wine and food the region is known for. While it is a healthy pleasure to enjoy food and drink, it is also important to balance the calories we take in with the calories burned by exercising. For that reason, I also made a point to get in some walking every day. Napa is a great place to walk and the weather was perfect during my visit. So I did my walking in town, along the vineyards we visited and at the hotel gym.

I hope you are finding time to eat right and walk daily so you can stay healthy!

All the best!