Making a commitment to promote obesity education is one thing—walking over 1300 miles from Oregon to Southern California is quite another. Yet that’s just what one man did in the name of obesity awareness.
A high school football coach, Dale Rule, had struggled with his weight for over 20 years. After topping the scale at 363 in 2010, Dale made the decision to finally lose weight. Like many people, he struggled with his weight loss journey, but soon found success by reducing his caloric intake, cultivating a protein and vegetable rich diet and increasing activity levels. Easing into exercise, he began walking just one mile at a time, a process he describes as “painful, sad and frustrating.” Building up his routine to an average of eight miles a day, he eventually lost 140 pounds.
Obesity is a growing nationwide epidemic that affects more than one-third of American adults, which amounts to 78.6 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Being overweight or obese isn’t just a matter of the extra pounds; obesity has been linked to serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, stroke and heart attack.
Even more alarming, approximately 17% of school-age children and teenagers—a statistic that amounts to over 12.7 million children—are also affected by obesity. Like their adult counterparts, children with obesity are at risk for the same serious health conditions, namely diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. In fact, physicians are starting to diagnose young children with diseases that have only rarely been seen in kids in years past.
Inspired by his own weight loss journey and the staggering obesity statistics effecting teenagers, including those he coaches, Dale started a nonprofit organization called Everyone Walk, committed to encouraging physical fitness and increased physical activity, as well as raising obesity and Multiple Sclerosis awareness. Since 2011, he has hosted annual 24-hour walks to raise money for these causes.
On June 23, 2016, Rule embarked on one long walk—a 1300 mile walk down the Pacific coast, starting in Seaside, Oregon and ending at San Diego’s Sea World. He walked an average of 34 miles each day for 40 days without a single day off. His family followed along in an RV, where Dale spent his evenings resting and recovering.
Dale walked to promote Everyone Walk and his new book Is the Prize Worth the Price? He also walked to fundraise for a bigger goal: to build athletic and walking parks across the country. His first planned facility is an enclosed 40-acre space that will be built in Camas, Washington. The facility will be free to the public and funded through his nonprofit.
Following the 1300 mile trip, a very relieved Dale arrived in San Diego on Monday, August 1, to the embrace of his wife and children.
Dale characterizes his journey as a wonderful opportunity to think and realize, “We don’t have a weight problem in America, we have a worth problem in America. Look at the mirror and ask yourself, ‘do you love the person staring back at you?’ And if you can’t say ‘yes,’ you have to fix it.”
Laugh more. It eases stress, promotes social bonding, lowers blood pressure and can even boost your immune system!
Munch on carrots! Carrots are a valuable source of vitamin A. Not only are these veggies delicious, they can help improve vision and maintain healthy eyes.
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