Walking, even just a little, every day is beneficial. Walking with a doctor once a month helps participants understand the importance link between exercise and good health.
The kick-off session for the Pratt Regional Medical Center-sponsored Walk with a Doc exercise program drew about 30 area residents to Blythe Family Fitness on Monday evening. They came to get involved with a health program designed to bring doctors and community members together to share walks and develop good exercise habits.
“We’re very excited about the turnout,” Andie Dean, PRMC community relations manager said. “PRMC is pleased to bring this international program to Pratt to encourage healthy physical activity.”
Monday night walkers ranged in age from 30 to late 70s and included PRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Page.
Dean gathered the walkers together for brief remarks to get the event started and Dr. Eric Clarkson of Pratt Family Practice spoke briefly about the problems of opioid abuse, urging listeners to keep these medications where others could not gain access to them.
As an incentive for participation in Walk with a Doc, Dean said walkers attending three sessions would receive a free pedometer, those attending six sessions would receive a free water bottle and those attending all 12 sessions would receive a free Walk with a Doc shirt.
Monday’s walk was held in one of Blythe’s first-floor gyms and walkers followed a blue track around the circumference. Sixteen laps equaled a mile walkers were informed, but no one was keeping count unless they chose to.
There are no rules associated with the walk, just the encouragement to put one foot in front of another until a walker was ready to be done.
“Walking has many benefits,” Dean said. “According to the American Heart Association, walking as little as 30 minutes a day can improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.”
Until the weather warms in March or April, walks will continue at the Blythe Family Fitness center. Then, Walk with a Doc will move to Lemon Park.
Walk with a Doc activities are scheduled for the third Monday of the next 12 months, and the next walk will be 6 p.m. Monday, February 18.
“We are grateful to Blythe for donating use of their facility for the winter walks,” Dean said.