Last Friday, Dr Mirta Roses from the Pan American Health Organization and I launched Wellness Week in New York, in the context of the UN High Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases.

As the balloons went up into the sky, the week’s health festivities opened in the heart of Harlem with health warm-ups, free smoothies and sunscreen and games promoting health awareness – which, with perfect weather and enthusiasm from the local community, made it a great way to start the weekend.

On Saturday I went to Central Park and saw hundreds of people riding free rental bikes; in the Humana tent, use of a stationary bike powered a blender, a real demonstration of innovation for health and sustainability.

GenYOUth organized races and fun games for all ages with hundreds of New Yorkers enjoying “Fitness, Mind, Body and Spirit games” in Central park – yet another event reflecting the social movement spirit of Wellness Week.

Many more events have taken place during the last few days: we saw Wellness Week advertised in the subway, health assessments were offered to interested citizens,  employers have offered special healthy options in workplaces, and another 13 cities across Latin America have followed.

Wellness Week highlights how the fine-tuning of our healthy habits can really make a difference in our lives… So while I admit, given I work on the 18th floor, that I may not take the stairs, I might just wear the pedometer I got this week to see if I can make my personal challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day…

What about you, what’s your personal well-being challenge?