It’s time to step outside and regain your health! Coffey Health System invites area residents to take a step toward better health with “Walk with a Doc,” a twelve-week program that brings doctors and patients together for a weekly walk.
From June 3 to August 19, participants will gather on Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the Burlington High School track. In inclement weather, the walk will move to the Burlington Recreation Center. Participation is free and open to all ages.
Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation. Walk with a Doc promotes physical activity and stepping up awareness about health concerns.
“This program has had tremendous participation and success in hundreds of cities around the world,” said Coffey Health System Chief Medical Officer John Shell, M.D. “It’s an exciting and simple program that has shown such improved health results for countless people across the country—and after being cooped up for a year, we all need to get back outside and become active.”
Each walk is open to the community. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating walk with a CHS provider and other healthcare professionals who can provide support to participants and answer questions about exercise and nutrition during the walk.
Coffey Health System is participating through a partnership with the Kansas Hospital Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas’ Blue Health Initiative.
Walk with a Doc was started by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, OH. He has walked with patients and community members every weekend since 2005. More than 500 chapters now span the globe, including 18 Kansas locations.
“Walk with a Doc is honored to team up with Coffey Health System. By incorporating this program into the practice, Coffey Health System is demonstrating an exceptional level of care and commitment to their community,” said Dr. Sabgir. “Adding ten minutes of walking to your daily routine and swapping out bad fats with good fats at mealtime are examples of small, easy changes that can make a big difference in the health of your heart.”
For thousands, Walk With a Doc is the first step toward a healthier life. Gary in Indiana writes: “At 81 years old, I attend Walk with a Doc almost every week. Walking has become much more enjoyable, and I’ve been blessed with the unexpected benefits of it. I know I’m in a better state of health because of Walk With a Doc.”
Healthcare providers often see advantages beyond exercise. “Walk With a Doc is an opportunity to get fitter, it’s a way for patients to meet others looking for company to walk with, it is an education, it is laughter, it is camaraderie, it is group therapy,” said Massachusetts provider Nanadana Kansra, M.D.
The CDC estimates about 80 percent of premature cases of heart disease and stroke are preventable and encourages changes like stepping up physical activity or eating a heart-healthy diet. Further, the American Heart Association estimates that if Americans ate the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables every day, nearly 40,000 deaths would be prevented from cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes each year.
“Increasing exercise, even moderately, may help reduce the risks of many diseases, including coronary heart disease and Type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Shell. “We are excited to join Walk with a Doc and help our community more easily find opportunities for physical activity.”