About a dozen intrepid walkers braved misting rain and brisk evening temperatures Wednesday for the first ‘Walk with a Doc’ to promote physical activity.
This was the first of three Wednesday walks hosted by the Family Health Team, Native Friendship Centre, Health Unit, and Youth Initiatives, and the 45-minute stroll through the scenic Little Falls and Bunnell Park walking trails will see a physician and agency reps participate.
This Wednesday’s walk and the final one next week, October 3, are intended to encourage people to begin a fall fitness program, and learn the health benefits of physical activity, said FHT administrator Jennifer Learning.
“It’s important for heart health and your entire health,” she said. “The doctors are happy to do this to encourage physical activity, and it’s also nice to showcase our nice walking trails here.”
The walks take participants along the river through to the Bunnell Park campground entrance where drinks and snacks are available before returning to Little Falls. Learning said the agencies hope these walks – which are stroller and pet friendly – prove a warm-up for the high school hall walking program. She said the walk’s organizers are also considering hosting some other ‘Doc’ outdoor activities this winter, possibly snowshoeing, given that there are snowshoes available through Rainbow Centre.
The ‘Walk with a Doc’ concept comes from an initiative organized by Thunder Bay’s Northern Hearts, which promotes heart health, and has hosted June walks with cardiologist Dr. Christopher Lai at Boulevard Lake. The idea originated in Columbus, Ohio by Dr. David Sagbir.
Some of the benefits of walking can include: decreased stress and fatigue; weight loss and weight control; improved circulation, and lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Of course, there is also the positive health benefits associated with socializing and having fun, so that may be another reason to ‘Walk with a Doc,’ adds Learning. “Physical activity can be easy and fun, especially if there are lots of people involved.” (For more info, call Learning at 597-2721, ext. 265).