Bringing attention to Health Equity issues in America
Sacramento, Calif.- Dr. Dennis Godby, a practicing Naturopathic Doctor of 18 years, who runs his own practice in Sacramento, California, is at it again. He will be setting out on the second segment of his solo walking journey across the United States, for Walk USA for Health Equity (WUHE)
In August. Beginning in 2022 with segment one, Dr. Godby walked from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Knoxville, Tennessee (605 miles), 29 days later. Segment 2 will begin August 29, 2023 in Knoxville and end in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 660 miles later. He will complete the walk in 5 years, finishing in 2026.
Last year, 2022, was the inaugural launch of WUHE. There were a lot of unknowns. Could he average 22 miles a day in all weather and all terrain? And while Dr. Godby is a lifelong athlete, this would be a challenge for anyone (and Dr. Godby is 66 years young)! Would he be safe along regular roads, and advocating for health equity? With no support vehicle, would he be able to carry the weight of his gear for the entire journey? I’m pleased to say that the answer was a resounding YES! Segment 1 exceeded all expectations in every category. And, if all goes as planned, segment 2 will build upon the success and momentum of segment 1, as we have exciting social justice and health equity events planned.
Walking for health and longevity
Walking is a perfect exercise for health and longevity. A recent Harvard study(1) with 16,000 participants found that even those who were only able to get 4,400 steps a day greatly reduced their risk of dying prematurely compared to those less active. Walking is equally accessible to most everyone regardless of social class. It does not require gym memberships, expensive equipment, or financial investment, and can be accomplished in practically any weather, and can even be done in one’s own house. This is why Dr. Godby chose a monumental solo walk across the continent to bring attention to Health Equity issues in the regions as he passes through.
Most of us are pretty thrilled if we get our 10,000 steps a day. In comparison Dr. Godby will be averaging around 24 miles a day on leg 2, which is a colossal 50,000-60,000 steps each day for a month! He will be using these steps through 5 states to advance local and regional health equity issues. There are many health equity issues prominent in the regions of segment two, which include Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin including rural poverty, general inaccessibility of health care services, and racial inequities. He will be partnering with local health equity organizations to highlight the walk and raise awareness to local issues.
Dr. Godby plans on using the 8-10 hours a day walking to talk with people in the local communities to raise awareness and inspire change. Anyone along the route is invited to join him as he walks for conversation and for their health. Keep your eyes and ears open on Facebook and other social media platforms as we show highlights of Walk USA for Health Equity – 2023!
Please email him directly, [email protected] for more information and for ideas how you can help.
Dr. Dennis Godby, Naturopathic Doctor, Sutter Medical Foundation is also a regular contributor to Roseville Today. Learn more in his Natural Wellness column.
Author Deborah Langheld is a Naturopathic Doctor in Knoxville, TN. She is the co-director of Leg/Segment 2
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