Dr. Anthony Fleg Created A Community By Using Running As Medicine


My guest today is the coordinator of the Native Health Initiative and the Director of Running Medicine.

From an individual to an entire community, he believes that running can truly be the foundation of great health across the board.

Anthony Fleg at a Running Medicine Event

I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Dr. Anthony Fleg.

Humble Beginnings

Anthony’s first experience running on a team was as a freshman in high school for his cross country team.

Unlike all of his other teammates, Anthony showed up to run in basketball shoes.

A lack of proper footwear didn’t discourage him from continuing.

Anthony went on to run competitively at a Division III college in Philadelphia, PA.

It was his college coach that would end up influencing the way Anthony would forever view running.

His coach gave just as much praise and attention to each runner on the team regardless of the times they ran.

This team/community mentality would stick with Anthony.

Running As Stress Relief

While in Med school Anthony found himself using running as a stress reliever.

He jumped at the opportunity to coach the club track and cross country teams.

It was while coaching undergrads that he realized how much he enjoyed giving back through running.

As a coach Anthony found himself following the examples of the coaches in his past.

He rewarded the efforts and teamwork of the runners just as much as running fast times.

In 2006, Anthony was doing one on one coaching advertised as running medicine.

He worked with a lot of individuals from the Native American Community.

Native Americans view different forms of movement as ceremonial and medicinal.

Running Medicine

Anthony Fleg at the Beginning of a Running Medicine Program

Ten years after his first coaching experience, Anthony was still struggling to find his niche.

In December of 2015, while exercising, Anthony had a spiritual vision.

His vision was of inter-generational groups playing together and moving together.

Anthony felt so strongly about his vision that he didn’t waste any time taking the steps to make it a reality.

In particular, Anthony was focusing on Native Americans but still wanted to make it inclusive.

Native American communities struggle with higher rates of disease.

On the first day in March of 2016, there were 70 people that had joined the community.

Impact On Community

Running Medicine promotes the person as a whole, including mind, body, and wellness.

Currently, there are 5 groups with over 450 people in the Albuquerque, New Mexico alone.

The “we” mentality and positive outlook are what keeps people coming back.

Communities can be created anywhere, but it is critical to make sure you’re taking care of yourself first.

One’s own wellness is central to others seeing what their own wellness could look like.

Finding passionate people for the group is far more important than the money aspect.

Thinking outside the box and tapping into the local community are key to being successful.

Anthony and the Running Medicine community are always welcoming anyone to join.

A Mother and Daughter Working Out Together


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Anthony and join his community for a run if you’re in the area by checking out Running Medicine.


Dr. Anthony Fleg believes that running is medicine not just for individuals, but for communities at large. #runchat Click To Tweet


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