Health is more than individual, health is social.

Part 2: The Run for Health



Today, at EVERY opportunity, and I mean, every opportunity, I walk. But, extensive walking is a recent phenomenon. Before my injury, if I could run, I would always run instead of walk. I couldn’t help it. I have always been a runner and active my entire life in many other activities such as hiking, swimming, bicycle commuting, after opening my medical practice in 2005 I began sitting more throughout the day. I began to have lower back problems. You may have heard the saying, “sitting is the new smoking.” Research shows that sitting all day, even if exercising vigorously before or after work, is still a significant risk factor for early death.


Now, I rarely sit. 


In fact, if my wife approved, I would probably get rid of some of the chairs in the house to have more room for walking.  While treatment with PRP and Proloozone therapy made a significant difference in my healing, I cannot yet run.  Martin Luther King, JR, said, “if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk, crawl, but for God’s sake, keep on moving forward.” This has become my motto. 

Prolozone is a technique that combines the principles of neural therapy, Prolotherapy, and ozone therapy. It involves injecting combinations of procaine, anti-inflammatory medications, homeopathics, vitamins, minerals, proliferatives, and ozone/oxygen gas into degenerated or injured joints, and into areas of pain.


Journal of Prolotherapy



This year, inspired by the meniscus-torn knee not hurting while walking, I have been able to average twice as many steps per day throughout the month as I did when I was running with a healthy knee. To be able to double the distance, from walking to running, I must now quadruple the amount of time as I did when I was running. In order to accommodate my new “routine” into my daily schedule I reprioritized a few things and quickly honed my multi-tasking skills. 


When I look back on my walking steps/running miles for the several years prior to my injury it’s hard to believe how few steps I averaged on a daily basis. I would run 6-7 miles home in the evening and 6-7 miles back to work, 2x a week, plus hiking and other activities, but my daily walking step averages were:

  • 2015: 9,529

  • 2016: 8,748

  • 2017: 7,463

  • 2018: 9,113

  • 2019: 10,151

  • 2020: 15,300

This August, I will have averaged 19,000 steps/day, despite the horrid air quality for the last several weeks due to the California fires. 




While the importance of aerobic activity, such as walking, running, cycling, etc. has often been downplayed in recent years by “experts” who tout other forms of exercise as the key to health and longevity, a recent study in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) begs to differ. The long term study found that, compared with taking 4,000 steps per day, a number considered to be low for adults, taking 8,000 steps per day was associated with a whopping 51% lower risk for all-cause mortality (or death from all causes). Taking 12,000 steps per day was associated with a 65% lower risk compared with taking 4,000 steps.

Dr Dennis Godby

Pictured above: Dr. Godby and son Isaiah.

I thoroughly enjoy being in the outdoors, especially running in scenic areas, and swimming in beautiful lakes. The many memories of doing so have filled my life, and I look back on it  as a peak experience.. The loss of my “vehicle” for fitness, adventure, determination, discipline, exhilaration, endorphins, being at one with the world, carrying my message, and seeing the world was a crushing experience for me. 

To be honest, I prefer running over walking in many ways, but walking has become my pleasurable replacement activity. I have grown to appreciate its many advantages.  For example, walkers can have walking “dates” with their significant other, friends and children,  as a means for commuting to work,  and for adventure by grabbing a walking staff and taking a hike. Walkers can easily meander through the streets of a new city or small village for pleasure, or  consciously develop a walking plan for weight loss and health. Best of all, there’s no out of pocket expense and walking is affordable for everyone.



Recording steps throughout the day is a way to stay motivated and increase your step count. Without a step counter, walking is still fun, but it is harder to stay motivated and know how you are really doing in your walking program. Two things that have been extremely important in my personal daily walking regime are: 

  • An i-Phone using  the “heart app” to  record steps walked (there are many other apps and ways to count steps) 
  • Making sure the phone is always charged and recording steps.

“Low-impact exercise is generally defined as low load or low weight-bearing,” says Jacque Crockford, MS, CSCS, a certified personal trainer and exercise physiology content manager at the American Council on Exercise. “It excludes exercise like running and jumping, which place additional pressure on joints during motion.”


The Nation’s Health


Exercise can be done anywhere and I am living proof of that. You don’t need a gym. People often make excuses as to why they don’t exercise. It’s too: hot, cold, smoky, dark, scary, dangerous, polluted, etc. Walking at home, or in your office, or in public places (especially after re-opening with COVID-19) can be a great solution. It will also tell your loved ones (your children, spouse, parents, etc.) that you don’t make excuses and that literally, if there is solid ground, you will be walking.  


“As a naturopathic doctor, I have witnessed the power of a preventative lifestyle and naturopathic medicine to transform the health and lives of thousands of patients.“

Dr. Godby works nationally to share extremely good news – how to prevent the preventable – and founded and co-directed The Run: Moving Natural Medicine Forward. He ran 3,000 miles across the USA, at a 30 mile per day clip, over 4 months, to promote a healthier America and to increase the visibility of naturopathic medicine (see After talking to thousands of people across 16 states and Washington, DC, over 124 days on the highways and byways of America, Dr. Godby found that there is a virtual consensus across the USA that our nation is not preventing the preventable, that our very lifestyles are killing us, and that as a nation, we are overusing pharmaceutical drugs!