The third week of March 2012 my travels took me to Utah and a ski conference at the Cliff Lodge in Snowbird. Snowbird is a great ski mountain that is only about a 40 minute drive from the Salt Lake City airport. It is known for it great snow and steep terrain. I had 2 great days of skiing, but unfortunately I twisted my knee at the end of my second day skiing and had to rest it the rest of my trip.

While I was bummed not to ski, it did give me more time to focus on the meeting and exercise. It was a four day sports medicine conference and we had some great speakers. I did a talk on Prescribing Exercise in Clinical Practice and of course talked about the Every Body Walk! web site and tools, including the mobile app. As usual, there was a lot of interest.

I think most physicians realize the tremendous health benefits associated with walking, but sometimes they are just not sure how to talk to their patients about it. My advice is to just ask them! At Kaiser Permanente we call it our exercise vital sign and every patient I see gets asked how many minutes per week they are exercising. If they are doing less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, I remind them to bump it up and get more.

I usually suggest they visit the Every Body Walk! site for helpful pointers and download the mobile app. If they don’t have a smartphone, I suggest they buy a pedometer from our health store and try to get 8-10,000 steps per day. You can get a decent pedometer for as little as $5.

Of course, I got my walking in during my Snowbird visit, especially on the days I was not skiing. I walked on a treadmill in the gym a couple days and then one day walked outside. The weather was pretty warm for Snowbird and I enjoyed being outside. While walking is not as exciting as skiing, it certainly is safer and easier on the knees!

Keep walking every day!