With a goal of launching a coordinated world-wide exercise movement on International Heart Day 2018, a Dutch technology entrepreneur has created "Imagine Run" - an app and program that guides users into the habit of regular exercise and a healthier lifestyle.
Although a regular walker, two years ago - at age 42 - Edwin Kuipers of Groningen in The Netherlands suffered cardiac arrest. Luckily his life was saved by his family, neighbors and paramedics.
Now, two years later, Edwin is fully recovered and healthy, thanks again to his daily walking routine. He is living proof of the importance of daily exercise and thus he became motivated to start a "movement": The Imagine Run.
The goal of this initiative is to create a better world, in which everybody can achieve a more active and healthier lifestyle, thus contributing to a strong heart and a healthy weight.
"Anywhere in the world, with our free Imagine Run App you can select a preferred distance that you want to walk or run. Just select one of the optional routes our app gives you and start walking or running. Our route guidance will guide you along walking, biking, and hiking roads and paths, and when you're done you're back where you started from," said Kuipers. "From your own front door, when you are on a holiday, a business trip at the other side of the world, or if you just want to have a quick walk during your break at work. The Imagine Run App will guide you and helps you discover new places'.
During Kuipers' recovery, he became frustrated by having to walk the same route over and over again. A dream of developing the Imagine Run App and accompanying world-wide movement was born: a free app for everyone, world-wide walking and running events, and tools like walking gear to facilitate daily exercise for literally anyone and everyone.
Latest statistics show daily exercise is more important than ever.
The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts obesity to become a worldwide epidemic by 2030. People that suffer from obesity have a higher risk of diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, and some specific types of cancer.
According to the WHO, in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese. Imagine Run's mission and aim is to reduce these numbers drastically by helping people to move more and exercise daily in a very accessible and low-threshold way.
Today, the app stores contain approximately 320,000 health-related apps. Still, the Imagine Run App is unique: next to the GPS routes functionality, the app consists of walking or running training programs, created by the expert and former marathon runner Gerard Nijboer - who won a silver medal in the marathon in the Moscow in 1980.
"Getting off your couch and training sensibly. That is the key. The training programs include advice for warming-up, good posture, and cooling-down. In this way you gradually build up endurance. We help motivate everyone to train step by step," Nijboer says.
To get and keep you motivated, Imagine Run is organizing a worldwide Imagine Run event on Sept. 29 of this year. Everyone, everywhere can join the Imagine Run, because you can set the pace, distance, and start / finish location yourself.
It is not a coincidence that the Imagine Run is being organized on Sept. 29, International World Heart Day.
It is Kuiper's' ultimate dream to make the world a better place by inspiring people to start moving with Imagine Run.
"Imagine we will actually be able set the world in motion on Sept. 29, and all days that follow. Walking or running can become a part of everyone's daily routine."