Legendary distance swimmer Diana Nyad takes to dry land to create a nation of walkers

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Americans are moving less and sitting more — in our cars, at our desks, and on the couch.

We’re more sedentary than our parents and grandparents ever were, and it’s wreaking havoc on our health: Obesity is epidemic, type 2 diabetes is a major health concern, and more than 100 million Americans have high blood pressure.

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad wants to change that by getting us up — and walking.

Nyad, who in 2013 became an international sensation when she swam 110 miles from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Fla., has created an organization called EverWalk with her longtime friend and trainer, Bonnie Stoll. Its mission is as audacious as Nyad’s long-ago swim at age 64:

“We are trying to develop a nation of 100 million walkers,” said Nyad, now 69.

Those who want to join the EverWalk movement need only pledge to walk three times a week. The walks can be solo, with friends, or with small EverWalk groups whose 9,000 active members are organized regionally via the EverWalk website.

Participants can also pay a fee to take part in EverWalk’s large, days-long mega treks like the one Nyad will lead from Philadelphia to Washington starting on Aug. 26. Dubbed “The Liberty Walk,” the 134-mile journey will take seven days and cover about 20 miles a day.

“We have people who have never done anything like this in their lives,” Nyad said. “Now they’re the athletes.”

Read The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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